Engage 2020 Conference Daily: Friday, Jan. 31

Tomorrow’s Highlights: Saturday, Feb. 1

McAndrews Leadership Lecture

Opportunities, evidence and strong leadership in the profession will enable chiropractors to rise and meet the needs of today’s patients. ACA is excited to announce that Richard Brown, DC, secretary-general of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), will present the 2020 McAndrews Leadership Lecture. Join us tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. in Columbia 6 & 8 for this much-anticipated presentation, “EPIC: Our Driver, Our Duty, Our Future.”

Support the ACA-PAC

Last chance! Support the ACA-PAC and help make Medicare modernization a reality. Buy a raffle ticket at the ACA-PAC booth, located in the Exhibit Hall.

ACA Hub Schedule for Saturday

The ACA Hub, located in the back of the Expo Hall, features free professional headshots and the ACA Store. The Hub is open tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Education Sessions Included in Engage Registration

ACA Engage brings you cutting-edge, evidence-based education sessions featuring some of the profession’s most respected leaders and content experts. View tomorrow’s education sessions here.

Today’s News in Brief

House of Delegates Meeting

Members of the ACA House of Delegates (HoD) convened today to discuss topics important to the future of the chiropractic profession. Annual elections and appointments were also made during the gathering.

President Robert C. Jones, DC, opened the meeting by praising delegates for their courage in continuing to support critical governance changes that were implemented in recent years, helping to position ACA and its members for success. “ACA is not only surviving; it’s thriving,” he told delegates. “It’s been a year of great leaps for our professional path of integration and collaboration with other members of the healthcare community.”

During his travels around the country, Dr. Jones says he has met many chiropractors who expressed thanks for ACA’s bold steps forward. One of those steps was the introduction of H.R. 3654, legislation that would allow chiropractors practicing in Medicare to provide the full scope of services allowed under their state license.

ACA Vice President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, added that ACA has been engaging with other stakeholders in the chiropractic profession to increase the chances of the bill’s success. “We’re open to any collaboration that will advance H.R. 3654,” she said.

In addition, Dr. Maiers highlighted collaborations ACA has forged with national patient pain coalitions promoting non-drug treatments and its partnership with members of the physical therapy and osteopathic professions to hold the first Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference in November.

Deliberative Session  

As part of its agenda, the House of Delegates spent time today in a deliberative session designed to encourage deeper discussions on issues important to the profession. Delegates tackled questions regarding the future of health care in America and how the chiropractic profession can better position itself for success. In advance of the discussion, early-career doctors who are part of ACA’s NextGen group shared their vision for the future too, offering the assembled group a rich collection of ideas and perspectives to draw from during their talks. Feedback collected during the session will be referred back to ACA’s Board of Governors to evaluate for further action.

Legislative Update 

ACA’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy John Falardeau provided an update on H.R. 3654, ACA’s Medicare modernization bill. He said the bill currently has 43 cosponsors in Congress. In addition, more than 11,000 messages in support of the bill have been sent to Congress since the legislation was introduced and chiropractic groups from 48 states have signed on to ACA’s open letter to Congress. He noted that H.R. 3654 is bipartisan legislation, supported by Democrats and Republicans.

Falardeau added that a new rule in Congress stipulates that legislation with more than 290 cosponsors will be automatically considered on the House floor, so ACA members who have not sent in a message of support to their elected representative should do so—and encourage others to do the same. “If you’ve sent one, send another,” Falardeau said. “Send three or four. Get your family and friends to send them, too.”

Brian Sutter of the Capitol Hill Consulting Group, which works with ACA on Medicare parity, said that Congress is very interested in moving bipartisan bills forward right now, and H.R. 3654 has almost equal support from either side of the aisle, which should continue to work in the bill’s favor.

Lewis Squires, DC, chairman of the ACA-PAC, later implored delegates to donate to the ACA Political Action Committee (ACA-PAC), which contributed $138,000 to pro-chiropractic candidates in the first year of the 2019-2020 congressional election cycle.

Esteban Sandoval, a SACA member who works with the PAC, shared that many SACA students have made a commitment to supporting the PAC as well, even though budgets are tight for many of them. He proudly reported that every SACA member present at a recent student meeting was an active contributor to the PAC.

Board of Governors Elections

Members of the ACA House of Delegates today voted to fill two seats on the association’s six-member Board of Governors (BOG). Winners of today’s election are:

  • Robert C. Jones, DC, of Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, of Minneapolis, Minn.

Following the election, the new BOG met to elect officers. They are:

  • Robert C. Jones, DC, ACA President
  • Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, ACA Vice President

Re-elected President Dr. Jones then made two presidential re-appointments:

  • Steve C. Roberts, JD, LLM, of St. Louis, Mo., Finance Chair
  • Kathy Boulet, DC, Nominating Committee Member

Karen Konarski-Hart, DC, of Little Rock, Ark., and Leo Bronston, DC, of Onalaska, Wis., will also continue on the board for the next year.


(Board members pictured above, from left: Steve Roberts, Dr. Leo Bronston, Dr. Michele Maiers, Dr. Karen Konarski-Hart, Dr. Kathy Boulet, and Dr. Robert C. Jones.)

In other news, Margaret M. Freihaut, DC, ACA’s Missouri delegate, was ratified by the House of Delegates as a new member of the Nominating Committee. She is replacing Eric Benson, DC, whose term on the committee expired this year.

Awards Presented

ACA was proud to present several of its Annual Awards today to deserving individuals who went above and beyond in showing their dedication to the chiropractic profession.

The Delegate of the Year Award was presented to both Gina Wolf, DC, of Spokane Valley, Wash. for her extensive leadership and commitment to advancing the profession through critical meetings and committee involvement, and to Eric Benson, DC, of Grand Island, Neb. for his unfailing dedication and continuing efforts to serve and improve ACA and the profession through his involvement in committees, task forces and the ACA-PAC.

The Alternate Delegate of the Year Award was presented to Quinn James, DC, of St. Peters, Mo., for his outstanding legislative efforts and willingness to share his knowledge and resources with others.

The Flynn-Lynch Memorial Award, recognizing a member of the House of Delegates who has served no more than five years, was presented to Michael Welker, DC, of Butte, Mont., who has demonstrated a passion and drive in his work that has exceeded expectations.

The Humanitarian of the Year Award was presented to James Martin, DC, of Wasilla, Alaska, for his dedication and numerous selfless contributions to his community and the profession.

In other news…

Rodney Williams, DC (pictured below with Dr. Karen Konarski-Hart), was inducted into FICC during the HoD meeting. Dr. Williams is chairman of the American Black Chiropractic Association (ABCA) Budget and Finance Committee.

NextGen Announces New Leadership Team

NextGen, ACA’s early career practitioners, announced a new leadership team today during their annual meeting. The new team is made up of:

  • William “Beau” Foshee, DC – Chair
  • Sarah Graham, DC – Vice Chair
  • Kaelyn Mead, DC – Member
  • Katie Benson, DC – Member
  • Michael Solla, DC – Member

SACA Welcomes New National Executive Board

Congratulations to the 2020/2021 SACA National Executive Board! Elected to the board during the SACA Business Meeting this week were:

  • SACA National Chair: Alli Totzke of National University of Health Sciences
  • National Vice Chair, Derek Martin of the University of Bridgeport
  • Legislative Chair, Kirsten Sparley of the University of Western States
  • Legislative Vice Chair, Preetkamal Kaur of Parker University.
  • Immediate Past Chair: James Walters, DC.

Stop the Bleed

Thirteen people were certified in Stop the Bleed this week at Engage 2020. Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to improve the chance of survival of victims with life-threatening bleeding in an emergency. Becoming certified means that participants may begin to teach those in their communities, through state and local organizations, youth groups, churches and more.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) representatives Beth Chalick-Kaplan, DNP, FNP-BC, CRNP, CCM, and Corey Henderson, DrPH, MPA, joined ACA member Troy Sturgill, DC, today in presenting Quality Payment Program in Year 4 (2020) and CMS Engagement. Since chiropractors are newly eligible to report MIPS data, Drs. Chalick-Kaplan and Henderson outlined MIPS eligibility, reporting options and data submission, performance categories, and payment adjustments. They also touched on Advanced APM criteria and models currently being tested by the CMS Innovation Center. Dr. Sturgill then shared his personal experience engaging with CMS as a QPP clinician champion.