SEVERAL ACA LEADERS AND STAFF MEMBERS attended the 2015 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit, which took place Aug. 3 to 6 in Seattle. The NCSL Legislative Summit, the nation’s largest gathering of legislators and legislative staff for more than 40 years, provides ACA with the opportunity to discuss its pro-chiropractic message face-to-face with state leaders, broaden contacts with state officials and increase awareness of new and emerging legislative issues affecting the chiropractic profession.
“ACA has always had a strong presence at the NCSL Legislative Summit,” says John Falardeau, ACA’s senior vice president of public policy and advocacy. “It’s given us the opportunity to make ourselves visible to various state legislators and their legislative staff, who come from all over the country.”
Falardeau was joined at the NCSL Legislative Summit by ACA District 1 Governor Kelli K. Pearson, DC; ACA Washington State Delegate Gina Wolf, DC; Washington State Chiropractic Association (WSCA) Executive Director Lori Grassi; and several other Seattle-area DCs, including WSCA President Stephanie Greenall, DC.
According to Falardeau, the response from visitors to the ACA booth at the summit was overwhelmingly positive with respect to the benefits of services provided by doctors of chiropractic (DCs).
“A lot of attendees were interested in learning about what to expect during a visit to a chiropractic physician, and several people who came by the booth were chiropractic patients,” said Falardeau. “We heard a lot of discussion while we were there about the prescription painkiller crisis in America, as well as chiropractic’s ability to be a part of the solution. The opioid overuse and abuse issue really seemed to resonate with folks.”
While they were in Seattle, ACA and WSCA leaders invited DCs, chiropractic assistants and chiropractic students from around Washington to join them at the TanakaSan restaurant on Aug. 5 to talk about policy issues. Those who were unable to attend the event in person and still interested in the discussion followed the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ChiroPubNight.
“It was the first time we’ve hosted one of these pub nights, and we think it was a great way for Washington-area DCs to meet each other, network and form professional relationships,” said Falardeau. “It’s also an opportunity to meet the people who advocate on the profession’s behalf within the corridors of that particular state’s capital. ACA plans to do more of these pub nights at future events in other parts of the country.”
Falardeau noted that ACA plans to be represented at the 2016 NCSL Legislative Summit, which will take place Aug. 8 to 11 in Chicago.
“Being at the Summit this year underscored the importance of ACA having a presence in a setting where legislators from all over the country gather and meet with various interest groups and businesses to talk about the key issues that affect the chiropractic profession,” he added.