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Chiropractic Future Leaders Memorial Scholarship Fund
Dr. Jack Kessinger
Members of the American Chiropractic Association lost two cherished colleagues: Missouri delegate Jack Kessinger, DC, DABCI, and Illinois delegate Frank Strehl, DC, DABCI, who each passed away following long illnesses. Aside from their long service in the ACA House of Delegates, Drs. Kessinger and Strehl were members of ACA’s Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders and actively involved for many years in training future generations of DCs in that specialty.
Dr. Kessinger taught post-graduate license renewal diagnostic seminars throughout the country and Dr. Strehl was a part-time instructor at National University of Health Sciences. Both men served their patients and their profession admirably until the very end of their lives.
“These men made a difference to ACA, but their more profound impact was on the lives of chiropractic patients. Just imagine all the doctors who learned from them and who, in turn, healed patients in their communities,” said ACA President Dr. Keith Overland. “We will miss them dearly. There is no question we are all better off for having known them.”
Dr. Robert Mastronardi
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) mourns the loss of its Chairman of the Board of Governors (BOG) Robert Mastronardi, DC, 60, who passed away following a battle with cancer.
Remembered as a true friend and a tireless advocate for the chiropractic profession, Dr. Mastronardi, a 1977 graduate of National College of Chiropractic, also served ACA as Finance Committee chairman and was an active member of the Health Care Reform Task Force, the Strategic Planning Committee and the Practice Management Committee. In his home state, he was a past president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island, and was named Chiropractor of the Year by that group in 1992.
Many within the profession recall the good memories and hard work they shared with Dr. Mastronardi:
“Bobby has been a dedicated leader within ACA and in Rhode Island for more years than I can count. More than that, he was a dear friend who brought so much joy to our shared mission,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. “Despite my grief, I am grateful for the memories I have of Bobby, and I must say that between my tears today as I remember him, I am smiling just as much. He wanted so badly to be the finest chairman ACA has ever seen. I am certain he would have been just that.”
“Dr. Mastronardi and I have been friends since our days at National College back in the 1970s, and I had the privilege of working with him in the ACA House of Delegates (HOD) for 15 years and the BOG for the past five years,” said ACA Vice President Anthony Hamm, DC. “Two images come to mind when I remember my friend: his love of family and his love for our profession. There was never a time when we were together that he didn't apprise me of his children and their welfare. I will miss my friend and the sunlight he brought to each room he entered.”
“I first met Bobby in 1991 when I joined the HOD. He welcomed me with open arms and helped guide me through the workings of the House. We had so many fun times together that included great meals, practical jokes, pranks, quiet conversation and laughs until our sides hurt,” said former ACA Board Chairman and current Chiropractic Summit Chairman Lewis Bazakos, DC. “He was endlessly devoted to his profession and his family, and he will be remembered for his leadership, his infectious laugh, his sense of humor and the pride he felt for his children.”
“In all my years of leadership and travel on behalf of ACA, I rarely met anyone more proud of being a chiropractic physician than Dr. Bobby Mastronardi. He essentially was chiropractic in Rhode Island, since he knew most of the legislative leaders there on a first-name basis,” said ACA Past President Glenn Manceaux, DC. “He was a beloved father and he enjoyed sports, having been an accomplished athlete in high school and college, so it’s no surprise he reached the upper echelon of ACA leadership. His sense of humor, his love for ACA and his devotion to service were second to none. He will be missed by all who knew him--and by those who didn’t, because he served them too! May he rest in peace.”
Dr. Ritch Miller
The American Chiropractic Association mourns the loss of its Nebraska Delegate and Medicare Committee Chairman Ritch Miller, DC.
Aside from his devotion to his family and his service to his patients, Dr. Miller is probably best remembered for his work on behalf of America's senior citizens. He was one of the top experts on Medicare in the chiropractic community, and he never backed down from his fight to ensure that seniors have access to the health care provider of their choice--including doctors of chiropractic.
"Dr. Miller had to be one of the hardest workers among ACA's leadership. In addition to his advocacy work, he took the time to help thousands of DCs work through the daunting process of Medicare documentation and audits," said ACA President Dr. Keith Overland. "He taught our profession not to roll over and to fight until we win. This is a tragic loss for us all."
As our nation continues to debate health care reform and chiropractic's role within the reformed landscape, Dr. Miller's opinion won't soon be forgotten. He will long be remembered for signing each email with "Primarily a CARE-ing Physician."
Dr. Frank Strehl
He has been in private practice at Strehl Natural Health since 1981. He served as President of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders and has held the role of Adjunct Faculty Member at the Department of Diagnosis at the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Lombard.
Dr. Strehl graduated from Taylor University in Upland, IN in 1973 with a BA degree in Biology. He then worked for the Indiana Public Health Department of Grant County. He completed graduate school at George Washington University School of Medicine in anatomic pathology, where he performed over 300 necropsies he became a necropsy supervisor at Litton Bionetics.
He then received a BS in Human Biology and Doctor of Chiropractic from the National College of Chiropractic in Lombard. Following some years in private practice, he completed the diplomat program through the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders, leading to board certification as a DABCI and expanding his scope into natural internal medicine.
Besides writing hundreds of articles for various medical journals, he served on the Editorial Review Board for Natural Medicine Journal. Through his research and medical practice, Dr. Strehl became aware of the need for new treatments and therefore formulated a variety of custom natural supplements that are available to this day. Dr. Strehl had a lot of personality and from 1995-2003 was host of the lively weekly interactive radio show “Doctor on Call”.
Since 2003, he served as the Northern Illinois delegate to the American Chiropractic Association and was a member of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors for the National University of Health Sciences. He was a member of the ACA’s Long Range Plan Committee, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Committee, and the Wellness Committee, and a member of the ACA’s Bylaws & Ethics Committee.
Dr. Henry West, Jr.
Dr. West served as ACA president in the 1970s, before the profession benefitted from the victory won in the historic Wilk vs. AMA case. He fought against the discrimination against doctors of chiropractic that was rampant at the time, and every DC since has benefitted from his efforts.
Everyone called Dr. West, "Hank" to differentiate him from his father, Henry Sr. Hank spent his summers on his uncle's sheep ranch in Kilgore, Idaho and his winters vigorously pursuing athletics. He loved playing football and basketball on the school yard at Emerson Elementary. Later, he was an all--state player in basketball and football at Pocatello High School where he graduated in l951. He was given a full-ride athletic scholarship to play football at BYU where he excelled as a quarterback. He was invited to training camp with the Baltimore Colts and the Green Bay Packers but an injury in his last collegiate game forced a change of plans. Dr. West served a 30 month LDS mission in Paris France where he was called as a counselor to the mission president. He was also Servicemen's Coordinator for 500 LDS Servicemen in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. He succeeded his father who had served in Paris, 30 years earlier. He remained active in the LDS church all his life, serving in stake and ward callings. He consistently honored his calling as a home teacher--a position he held until his passing.
Dr. West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western States College of Chiropractic in Portland Oregon in l961. Upon his return to Pocatello, he entered practice with his father and uncle, Dr. Arthur West, at the West Chiropractic Clinic. Shortly thereafter, an amiable separation occurred and Dr. Arthur started the West Chiropractic Center. His son, Dr. Darth West later joined him. The Chiropractic legacy returned to one entity in 2006 when Hank's son, Jason, purchased West Chiropractic Center and the two offices were merged into the West Clinic.
Dr. West became nationally known when he was elected President of the American Chiropractic Association in 1976. He was also a renowned post-graduate instructor in non-surgical orthopedics for over 40 years. He has had the honor of speaking in London, England; Athens, Greece (where a television interview was conducted in French--a language in which both he and the interviewer could communicate.), Rome, Italy, Sydney, Australia, and Banff, Alberta Canada. He developed a strong doctor following from these classes and had many physicians from around the world visit his office to observe treatments. They, in turn, referred patients from 48 of the fifty states. He has presented major papers at symposiums and conferences including Governor's conferences, Trial Lawyers Associations, and state and national American Chiropractic Association meetings.
He authored or co-authored articles and papers such as " Biomechanics of the Spine; Physical Examination of the Spine; Physical Examination of the Chiropractic Patient; The Power of Ultra-High Dilutions; Medical Paradigms: Alternative Remedies for Antibiotic Resistant Infections: Organophosphate toxicity and Synaptic Nerve Transmission; Homeopathic Remedy Considerations for Anxiety and Depression; Homeopathic Nosode Remedies for Viral Infections; and Neuro-Immuno-Endocrine Considerations in Gastroenterology.
Dr. West was delighted to be included in Larry Miller's book DRIVEN.
Dr. West loved reading and studying. He was a life-long student, so family vacations consisted of parking the children at a hotel swimming pool while he attended seminars at locations around the country. It was his goal to read a medical text and/or articles every week which he would then summarize and share with his patients. He kept track of how many "Dr. West book reports" he handed out--over a fifty year practice--more than two million. He loved his patients and often said that he never worked a day in his life because work was a pleasure.. This was poignantly illustrated when during his illness his nurse sedated him and told him to go to "a happy place like the beach or favorite vacation spot." His response was, "I am going to my office."
"Despite my sadness, I am humbled to walk in the footsteps of men who were so engaged, so involved and who contributed so much to our profession and the lives of patients until the very end," said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. "We will miss him dearly, but we will always remember him as a giant within both the chiropractic profession and ACA."
Dr. Kerwin Winkler
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) mourns the loss of past Chairman of the Board of Governors Kerwin P. Winkler, DC, who passed away following a battle with cancer.
Dr. Winkler held many distinguished positions over his long career, including president of the South Dakota Chiropractors’ Association, South Dakota delegate to ACA, chairman of ACA’s Board of Governors, member of ACA’s Legislative Committee, vice president of the Chiropractic Centennial Committee, ACA delegate to the World Federation of Chiropractic, member of the board of directors of Palmer College’s Alumni Association, member of the Board of Trustees at Texas Chiropractic College and executive editor of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association. As a result of his service, he was also the recipient of the ACA’s Chiropractor of the Year Award, The Lee Homewood Lifetime Achievement Award, the Palmer College Alumni of the Year Award and the South Dakota Chiropractor of the Year--he holds the distinction of being the only person to win this award twice.
However, to those privileged enough to know Dr. Winkler personally, he is best remembered as a mentor. He had a natural ability to build lasting relationships, even with other health care providers who, initially, did not wish to coordinate their patients’ care with a DC. His easy-going, friendly manner made everyone he met feel as though he truly cared about them. With everyone from chiropractic students to fellow board members, Dr. Winkler always remembered important details and asked thoughtful questions.
Many who were mentored by Dr. Winkler have chimed in to remember his life and legacy:
“Dr. Winkler was a beloved member of our profession, an exemplary professional and a true gentleman of the highest integrity. His commitment to advancing our profession was second to none,” said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. “We have indeed lost another great friend and chiropractic giant.”
“Dr. Winkler was a man of quiet dignity and immense character in a troubled and modern world all too often devoid of these things,” said ACA Political Consultant Rick Miller. “To acquire unto ourselves even a fraction of the fine qualities and attributes he possessed would be a grand achievement and a cause for celebration. He was a perfect role model who will be long remembered. It was a privilege to have known him. He will be deeply missed.”
“Dr. Winkler was Chairman of the Board when I was president of SACA at Life University. I owe my graduation to his intervention on my behalf specifically, and SACA generally, during a crisis there. He was a gentleman indeed, making a lowly student feel so significant, wanted and needed,” said ACA Spokesperson Robert A. Hayden, DC. “I hope I can do something important, like he did, with the time I have left. Godspeed, Dr. Winkler, and thank you for all you did.”
Even toward the end of his life, Dr. Winkler shared his wisdom with the profession. When asked about his advice for future generations in the April issue of ACA News, he answered:
“I believe that DCs need to begin interacting with each other, and with other health care providers while they’re students. When they learn to get along, they will continue down that path of cooperation as they grow and mature, and their generation won’t become divided. They’ll also be used to building relationships with other providers and will understand what each profession can contribute to the wider health care picture. This way, when they get out into their respective communities, they will be able to work together.”