As detailed in an Oct. 12 joint release, Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) and Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC) have established automatic one-year memberships in the Chiropractic Health Care section of the American Public Health Association for chiropractic students beginning with the Fall 2009 incoming classes.
"Providing our chiropractic students with APHA membership will expose them to mainstream public health activities and engage them politically through the association's student assembly," said Dr. John Scaringe, interim president at SCU. "Furthermore, the membership provides doctors of chiropractic opportunities to pursue post-graduate education in public health, or employment and careers in public health, government, research, or policy-making."
"Supporting student membership will expand chiropractic involvement with the APHA and ultimately, the profession's contribution to the field of public health," enthused NYCC President Dr. Frank Nicchi. "Undoubtedly, this will enhance our ability as a profession to integrate into health care systems, providing new and exciting opportunities for our graduates."
Western States President Joseph Brimhall, DC, echoed Drs. Scaringe and Nicchi's sentiments regarding the opportunity for students to learn more about public health: "Given the current focus on health care policies, now is a critical time for the chiropractic profession to participate in public health activities that promote healthy living and educate consumers about health care decisions," he said. "Our students, as future doctors of chiropractic, will benefit from their association with APHA in learning to integrate treatment options with lifestyle choices in order to better serve their patients and their communities."
Fostering a service mentality in future chiropractors and establishing closer ties between the chiropractic and public health professions is a "win, win, win" situation for students, both professions and the American public, according to Dr. Rand Baird, public health committee chair for the World Federation of Chiropractic and a key player in the development of the Chiropractic Health Care section of the APHA in 1995. Dr. Baird added that increasing the membership ranks will also make the CHC section "a louder and more effective voice, increase its working budget and its number of delegate seats in the APHA Governing Council."
To learn more about the APHA including information on membership in the Chiropractic Health Care section, visit www.apha.org. To read about ongoing section activities and the importance of public health, read "Chiropractic in the APHA," a periodic column in DC authored by Dr. Baird and other leaders in public health.