By ACA President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD
With life being what it is, maintaining connections can be challenging even during good times. But as we have all learned, it can become much harder during difficult times, especially if you haven’t reached out in a while. One thing I found myself genuinely grateful for during the COVID-19 pandemic has been all the opportunities I have had through the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) to connect with my professional peers—many of whom I count as good friends.
Connecting doesn’t have to mean cocktails on Zoom (though that’s fun, too). It can mean posting in our member community and having an exchange with someone who is likeminded (or not); attending an online education program or forum where relevant topics are explored; participating in shared celebrations; or meeting as an association to learn, grow, network and advocate for legislation that will have a positive impact on the care of our patients.
Coming up this fall and winter, here are a few opportunities for you to reach out and connect with ACA:
Women’s Roundtable (Men welcome, too!)
Issues related to diversity and inclusion have been a hot topic. ACA’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (EDI) has done a tremendous job bringing those issues forward and examining them through the lens of the chiropractic profession. Last year the EDI Committee held a forum on issues of race in the chiropractic profession; this year it will focus on gender issues in a Women’s Roundtable, which will be held virtually on Sept. 30. This event will be of interest to women and men in the profession, as it touches on aspects of patient care and outcomes, too. I’m delighted to be invited to participate in that discussion along with my colleagues Nakiesha Pearson, DC, ND, MS (emcee), Kristina Petrocco-Napuli, DC, MS (moderator), Brandi Childress, DC, Tiffany Butler, DC, Heidi Henson-Dunlap, DC, and Jennifer Brocker, DC, DICCP. With statistics showing that women represent almost one-third of the chiropractic profession today, it makes sense to explore the impact that this could have on the profession as well as our patients. We’ll also look at issues such as sexual harassment of female chiropractors by patients, injuries common to female chiropractors, how the gender of a chiropractor may affect patient outcomes and more. I’m looking forward to a stimulating discussion, which will also include a Q&A session so that attendees can share their experiences as well as any questions and comments. Register here.
National Chiropractic Health Month
October is approaching, and that means National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) is almost here. This year’s theme is “Keep Moving,” promoting the benefits of movement/physical activity to both our physical and mental health. Finding ways to reduce stress and anxiety is especially relevant today, considering the mental and emotional challenges that the pandemic has posed over the past year and a half. Therefore, reminding people that adding more movement and physical activity to their day will not only enhance their overall health but also reduce stress and anxiety and boost their mood is a simple but powerful message. As chiropractors, we have the tools to help people who are in pain or out of condition to get moving…so they can keep moving forward. Together, as ACA members, we can spread this message to our patients, friends, families and followers this October. Visit www.acatoday.org/NCHM to find resources for the campaign.
Reconnecting at Engage 2022
Like other associations, ACA adapted its last annual meeting to a virtual format. We may not have been in the same hotel meeting room, but I believe there really was a sense of camaraderie and connection among those who attended. For Engage 2022, however, we will be back together, in person, Feb. 2-5 in Washington, D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. As anyone who has attended an ACA annual meeting in the past can affirm, it can feel somewhat like a reunion. Seeing colleagues and old college friends, making new connections and coming together to move this great profession forward is a unifying experience. Engage 2022 will give us all a chance to reconnect. We recognize that some people may still prefer not to travel, so there will be portions of the meeting that will be accessible virtually. We want to give as many ACA members as possible the chance to reach out and keep their connections to this association alive and strong. Visit www.acatoday.org/Engage to learn more and register.
ACA Council Events
A great place to connect with colleagues who have similar professional interests as you is in one of ACA’s Specialty Councils. This is where you can do a deep dive into any of 12 chiropractic specialties and stay abreast of the latest developments. Many councils are planning symposiums this fall that will feature cutting-edge education programs. Consider attending one of these programs and becoming a council member.
I hope you will join with us during one or all these upcoming events! Make no mistake, your participation and ongoing support as a member are what make it possible for ACA to keep moving forward, too.