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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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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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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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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Gaining a New Perspective from Geriatric Medicine

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

As chiropractors, we have such an opportunity to make an impact on musculoskeletal pain in the elderly, and it often begins with education. Fall prevention, diet and nutrition, exercise and encouraging socialization are just a few ways in which we can make a difference. Fear can be crippling, and depression is not uncommon. Dr. Rachel (Mooers) Clark, a participant in the VA chiropractic residency program, recalls that learning to communicate effectively and motivate this population is one of the greatest things she gained from her experience in the geriatric clinic at the Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in Los Angeles. 

Author: Rachel Clark
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VA Residents Attend North American Spine Society’s Annual Symposium

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

In late October, three of the five chiropractic residents within the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system attended the North American Spine Society’s (NASS) annual symposium in Orlando, Fla.  Rachel Mooers from Los Angeles, Stephanie Halloran from West Haven, Conn., and I spent four days immersing ourselves in spine care from a (mostly) different perspective.

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Chiropractors Treating Veterans Asked to Join Referral Network

*Member-Exclusive Content* Chiropractors treating veterans via programs administered through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were notified recently that they should enroll in a new chiropractic referral network to continue participating in the VA’s Community Care Network (CCN). In its letter to chiropractors, contractor TriWest Healthcare Alliance explained that providers who wish to participate in the “new” Community Care Network must enroll in EmpowerChiro, a chiropractic referral network administered under TriWest. Referrals, appointment scheduling, documentation, claims, codes and reimbursement were also briefly touched upon--leading to questions this blog post seeks to answer.

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Author: Jack Dusik
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VA Residency: Anatomy of a Day in Greater Los Angeles

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

The saying goes: If you’ve seen one VA hospital, you’ve seen one VA hospital. Across the board, there are many similarities between the chiropractic residency sites. However, each has its own flavor – making them unique in their own way. As a New Jersey native, moving to the opposite side of the country wasn’t even a question when I discovered my acceptance to the VA chiropractic residency program in Los Angeles (although retiring my snow shovel for year-round sunshine made the decision quite acceptable, let me tell you…). The opportunity to treat our nation’s veterans in this setting was a dream come true, and almost four months in, I couldn’t be happier. 

Author: Rachel Clark
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Busy Days at the VA Yield Opportunities to Elevate Skills and Knowledge

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

VA chiropractic resident Stephanie Halloran, DC, frequently finds herself fielding questions about her day-to-day routine in the Veterans Administration (VA) from family, friends and colleagues. The Connecticut VA Healthcare System has two chiropractic sites located in West Haven and Newington. Dr. Halloran is primarily at the West Haven campus, but spends at least every other Tuesday in Newington. Collectively she works under the guidance of Drs. Anthony Lisi, Christopher Coulis, Lauren Austin-McClellan, Nathanial Majoris, and Todd Kawecki. Although each day can vary, Dr. Halloran offers this look into a typical VA resident schedule.

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