National Congress of American Indians Supports Inclusion of Chiropractic Physicians in the Indian Health Service
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Amanda Donohue: (703) 812-0209
Annette Bernat: (703) 812-0226 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 09, 2015 

National Congress of American Indians Supports Inclusion of Chiropractic Physicians in the Indian Health Service

Arlington, Va. – The National Congress of American Indians of the United States (NCAI), the nation’s largest and oldest native advocacy organization, recently passed a resolution supporting the inclusion of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal health care facilities. NCAI, which is organized as a representative congress of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, adopted the resolution at its 72nd annual convention in San Diego in October.

“Members of the American Indian community deserve access to the best health care available, which includes the services provided by chiropractic physicians,” said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. “I am grateful that NCAI has made a significant enhancement in providing top-notch care to various American Indian tribes by strengthening its ties to the chiropractic profession. This resolution is a great first step in expanding access to DCs and should help in future federal efforts with the IHS and other native agencies.”

NCAI’s resolution notes that IHS, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and tribal health care programs incur higher costs than average health care programs in the country, increasing the urgency and need to integrate services such as chiropractic care, naturopathic medicine and acupuncture that improve patient outcomes and reduces cost. IHS provides health care to approximately 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives through a system of programs and facilities operated by Alaska Native Corporations or those located on or near American Indian reservations and, in some cases, through contractors in certain urban areas.

According to a 2009 study in Spine (Martin B et al.), Native Americans have more than double the rate of activity limitations due to chronic back conditions compared to the general population (6.8 percent vs. 3.2 percent). Chiropractic physicians represent a primary care approach for the prevention, diagnosis, and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders that can often enable patients to reduce or avoid the need for risker treatments such as drugs and surgery.

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About ACA
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit us at www.acatoday.org.