Healthcare as a Team Sport: The Modern Chiropractor and Mental Health Professionals

James Leonard, DC, is passionate about systems design, interdisciplinary care and intentional care coordination. He works for Crossover Health in a tech-enabled, direct-to-employer interdisciplinary clinic in Detroit, Mich. In his efforts to promote better coordinated care for his patients, he has served on multiple multidisciplinary task forces, including the Utah Coalition for Opioid Overdose Prevention, MIBAC Michigan Back Collaborative and the Opioid Advisory Board. He also spends time volunteering with World Spine Care, where he served as clinic supervisor in the Dominican Republic.

Through his experiences, Dr. Leonard has developed strategies to build effective teams to help patients struggling with mental health issues – the psycho element of the biopsychosocial perspective on pain – and get them the care they need. He shares his approach to collaboration in “Healthcare as a Team Sport: The Role of the Modern Chiropractor in Collaboration with Mental Health Professionals” at Engage 2023.

Below, the ACA Blog learns more about what doctors can expect from this Engage 2023 education program.

How is the topic you are presenting at Engage 2023 relevant to today’s chiropractor?

Dr. Leonard: In 2008, Scott Haldeman described the low back pain healthcare marketplace as a difficult-to-navigate supermarket with seemingly unlimited amounts of options. Since this article was published, modern techniques and the amount of disinformation have seemed to make things worse.

Dr. Leonard

The modern chiropractor has the opportunity to help patients navigate this market and make informed decisions that help them get the highest level of comprehensive care available. But it takes intention and informed decision-making. This presentation aims to highlight what key players you need to have on your team and how to think about finding them in the wild.

What first made you interested in the topic?

Dr. Leonard: I am fortunate to have spent my entire career in collaborative and multi-professional care environments. As a result, I’ve been able to see how powerful and impactful a coordinated care effort can be on an individual’s life.

When you can get a group of different providers to give a coherent and positively reinforcing message it can be downright miraculous. But this magic doesn’t happen without a little effort, precise communication and deliberate action. Over the past few years, identifying the key ingredients of these magic moments has become a bit of an obsession.

What practical knowledge or skills can attendees take away from your presentation?

Dr. Leonard: We are going to build a framework for how to think about delivering high-value spine care by reviewing and pulling themes from some of the industry-leading guidelines. Then we are going to discuss some best practices in vetting and building a care team that can manage the psycho element of the biopsychosocial perspective on pain.

How will what attendees take away make them a better doctor?

Dr. Leonard: This presentation adds structure to the ambiguous world of interprofessional care coordination and collaboration. Our patients live in a multi-professional world. We should join them in partnership to help them navigate it.

What benefits do you gain from attending ACA Engage and seeing your colleagues and the people you are presenting to in person?

Dr. Leonard: I think it is a great opportunity for prospective shaping. I am a big believer in the saying, “The rising tide raises all ships.” Having the opportunity to learn and work together with so many different providers who are facing similar, but different, problems will be an awesome way to grow, develop and cultivate relationships.


Want to learn more? Plan to attend Dr. Leonard’s presentation at Engage 2023. Click here to view the ACA Engage schedule and all that the program has to offer. Click here for conference details and to register!