Annette Bernat
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American Chiropractic Association Shares Progress on Initiatives, Presents Annual Awards

Arlington, Va. - The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) House of Delegates held its annual meeting this weekend in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2018 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference. During the meeting, delegates participated in important discussions regarding the future direction of the association, shared progress on initiatives and passed resolutions on professional and public health issues.

ACA also presented its 2018 Awards during the meeting. ACA’s Annual Awards are presented to chiropractors and other individuals in recognition of exceptional service, achievement and/or leadership within the chiropractic profession.

The association’s highest honor, the Chiropractor of the Year Award, was presented to former ACA President David Herd, DC. Under Dr. Herd’s leadership over the past two years, ACA undertook major projects to transform itself for future success. The association launched a new brand based on collaboration and evidence-based, patient-centered care. ACA also updated its governance structure to enable it to respond more quickly to opportunities and challenges within the modern health care system, to leverage member expertise more effectively and to engage a new generation of leaders.

Karen Konarski-Hart, DC
, a member of the ACA Board of Governors, received the Humanitarian of the Year Award. In addition to her chiropractic practice, Dr. Konarski-Hart is a licensed EMT who has participated in several disaster responses over the years and has championed the effort to have chiropractors certified for federal disaster response teams. 

Other 2018 ACA Award recipients include:

  • John Stites, DC, of Davenport, Iowa, director of community clinics, Palmer College of Chiropractic:  Academician of the Year Award, which recognizes an individual for his efforts in advancing the profession through academic or educational excellence.
  • Dean Smith, DC, of Eaton, Ohio, senior clinical faculty, exercise science, Miami University: George B. McClelland Researcher of the Year Award, which recognizes an individual for developing, refining and/or expanding the body of knowledge in chiropractic.
  • Kathy Boulet, DC, of Lewiston, Maine: Delegate of the Year Award, and Heidi Henson, DC, of Central Point, Ore.:Alternate Delegate of the Year Award. Both awards recognize exceptional service, achievement and/or leadership to the profession.
  • Mariangela Penna, DC, of Bayside, N.Y.: Flynn-Lynch Award, which recognizes an outstanding member with no more than five years’ experience in the House of Delegates.
(L-R) Former ACA President David Herd, DC, and ACA Board of Governors member, Karen Konarski-Hart, DC
Photos of award winners are available upon request by e-mailing ACA's communications department.
In other NCLC news:
Choosing Wisely: Delegates held a deliberative discussion about important issues affecting the profession, including ACA’s recommendations as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation (ABIMF). The HOD expressed its support for the association’s participation in this important initiative and also voted on a motion to review the recommendations as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign’s regular annual review process that will occur in June. ABIMF encourages all partner associations and societies to do an annual review of their recommendations to ensure their continued accuracy. ACA collected feedback from HOD members during the annual meeting, and additional feedback will be considered during the HOD’s quarterly call in May.  ACA will take these comments into consideration as it conducts its annual review in June.

Medicare Equality Campaign: Leaders of the ACA Legislative Advisory Board and the ACA Political Action Committee informed delegates that a major push for Medicare equality continues with work toward introducing a bill in Congress that would enable chiropractors to practice to the fullest extent of their licensure in Medicare.  A major grassroots campaign, planned for when the bill is introduced, will require chiropractors nationwide to support efforts to gain co-sponsors for the legislation, which will greatly increase its chances of success.

Council on Women’s Health:
 Delegates approved a resolution to establish a Council on Women’s Health. The new council is charged with increasing education, care and awareness of conditions that impact the female patient population. The group will also identify and support research, patient-centered evidence-based practices and relevant quality measures.

NCLC is the premier national conference for doctors of chiropractic, chiropractic assistants and chiropractic doctoral students. The event brings together the best of chiropractic, including current and future leaders, by exposing them to important professional briefings, cutting-edge education programs and opportunities to meet with elected officials and colleagues.




About the American Chiropractic Association
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways -- by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices. We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic. To learn more, visit, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.