The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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Battlefield Acupuncture: A Non-pharmaceutical Pain Reduction Option

A VA chiropractic residency exposes participants to a wide range of treatments. In this blog post, resident Vivian Ly, DC, of the Connecticut VA discusses "battlefield acupuncture" or BFA. Air Force Colonel Richard Niemtzow introduced the BFA protocol in 2001 as a subset of auricular acupuncture. In 2013, $5.4 million was awarded to the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to teach BFA to healthcare providers in both the military and department of Veterans Affairs and assess it. Dr. Ly notes that BFA is easily learned and has been proposed to treat a variety of conditions that cause pain in active military members and veterans.

Author: Vivian Ly
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A New Cohort Joins the VA Chiropractic Residency Program

A new cohort of residents has joined the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system’s Chiropractic Residency Program this year. Three chiropractors participating in the program – Vivian Ly, DC, Danielle Aslan, DC, and Dr. Jamie Zeman, DC – will continue ACA’s blog series on the residency program over the next year, sharing their experiences as well as lessons learned working as part of an integrated hospital team.

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Communicating Chiropractic: An Algorithm to Answer Difficult Questions

Although the culture of health care is shifting and complementary and alternative options are being implemented in hospital and primary care settings, many allopathic practitioners are not necessarily familiar with chiropractic. My biggest take-away from being exposed to interprofessional collaboration on a day-to-day basis in the VA is the need for chiropractors to prepare answers to questions regarding what chiropractic care is, common conditions seen, neurophysiological effects of treatment, and the incidence of adverse events.

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Veterans Affairs Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Care

Starting this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is launching its Whole Health System in each of the 18 Veterans Integrative Service Networks (VISN). This will be done via one flagship site in each VISN to assist veterans through self-empowerment, self-care, and clinical treatment. As part of my residency, I’ve been introduced to the program and have attended an orientation. The process of whole health can begin at any point the veteran chooses, though typically it’s initiated when they seek to establish care within VA. First, they will be connected with a health coach who will sit down and discuss what the patient desires with regard to his specific needs.  Subsequently, the veteran will fill out a patient health inventory, a tool that’s designed to get to the heart of what matters most to him.

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Communicating Chiropractic in an Integrated Healthcare Setting

It was at the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference that VA resident Stephanie Halloran, DC, began to appreciate the necessity of communicating chiropractic clearly and accurately to outside audiences. Today, she presents information on chiropractic, both formally and informally, to addiction/pain fellows, neurosurgeons, and internal medicine residents within the VA’s integrated healthcare setting. Each presentation Dr. Halloran gives, as well as the many she attends in the VA, helps her to become a better communicator. 

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Senate Clears Bill Extending Funding for Veterans Choice Program

*Member-Exclusive Content* A bill combining the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) seven community care programs easily cleared the Senate May 23 with a vote of 92-5. Included among the programs is the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek care from private providers, including chiropractors. The bill also eliminates previous requirements for accessing outside services. While this is a promising development, the American Chiropractic Association will closely monitor resulting regulations and implementation in consideration of past issues chiropractors have experienced with the Veterans Choice Program.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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Congressional Caucus on Integrative Health, Wellness Holds Inaugural Meeting

*Member-Exclusive Content* With the burgeoning opioid epidemic serving as backdrop, the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus (IHWC) held its inaugural meeting March 15 on Capitol Hill. The Caucus was founded by Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) with the goal of providing a non-partisan educational forum to increase understanding of how shifting the focus in health care to prevention and health promotion can create cost savings and improve health outcomes for Americans.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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VA Chiropractic Residents: Where Are They Now?

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

The blog posts in the VA Chiropractic Residencies series thus far have been focused solely on the current residents’ experiences as they unfold throughout the year. For many, the question remains: What happens after the residency ends? In this post, I summarize what Brian Giuliani, DC, the 2016 graduate of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, and Kelsey Corcoran, DC, the 2017 graduate of the VA of Western New York Healthcare System, learned from their respective programs, their favorite rotations, where they are now, and what advice they have for students interested in applying for the VA Chiropractic Residency.

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My Rotation Through a VA Pain Medicine Clinic

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

Some of the most valuable knowledge you gain in the Veterans Affairs (VA) chiropractic residency program comes from rotating in other specialties. Within the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, Stephanie Halloran, DC, rotates at both the West Haven and Newington locations. Thus far, she has spent time in rheumatology, physiatry, women’s clinic (primary care), neurology, pain medicine and the interventional pain clinic. Although she says each rotation has contributed greatly to her clinical acumen, in this post she primarily focuses on what she learned in pain medicine.

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How to Apply for a Chiropractic Residency in the VA (Part 1)

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

*Member-Exclusive Content* In this first blog post in a series of three discussing how to be selected for one of the five VA residencies, I’ll be outlining the application process and providing an in-depth guide of how to write a solid personal statement. Subsequent blog posts will cover finding recommendations, completing the necessary application requirements and preparing yourself for an interview.  Some of the information will be from the VA’s residency website while other parts are based on the personal experiences and opinions of current VA residents.

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