By Annette Bernat
With October past and National Chiropractic Health Month 2019 behind us, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s “Strength. Stability. Success.” campaign, raising public awareness of the importance of musculoskeletal health. It was encouraging to watch as members of the profession spread the word about NCHM using resources from our campaign toolkit. In some cases, individuals and groups went above and beyond our expectations. Following are a few highlights from the campaign.
The biggest story that emerged from NCHM 2019 is the record-breaking number of proclamations signed. In all, 34 state and local governments declared October as National Chiropractic Health Month (the previous record was 27, set in 2017). That included the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as local governments in Bucyrus and Eaton, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; Crossville, Tenn.; Huron, S.D.; Payson, Ariz.; Olivette, Mo.; Overland Park, Kansas; and Omaha, Neb. In addition, chiropractors and students in Texas made an impressive push this year, resulting in the following 16 cities signing proclamations: McKinney, Plano, Pasadena, Weatherford, Abilene, Killeen, Waco, Frisco, Houston, Amarillo, The Colony, San Antonio, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Tomball and Georgetown. (Pictured at right is the proclamation of Eaton, Ohio, and below is the proclamation of Pasadena, Texas. Visit ACA’s Facebook page for more photos of proclamations and signing events shared with us throughout October.)
Many proclamations also resulted in photo opportunities for chiropractors with their governors/mayors or a special announcement at state/city government meetings, further raising the profile of the chiropractic community. In West Texas, the local Fox affiliate station even filed this report.
Outreach to local media is another activity that doctors engage in during NCHM. For example, ACA member Patrick Montgomery, DC, who is a professor at Logan University, marked NCHM by participating in a sit-down interview with the local Fox News station in St. Louis, Mo., to discuss the effectiveness of chiropractic for treating low back pain. He also took the opportunity to raise awareness of the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act of 2019, H.R. 3654, which aims to increase Medicare beneficiaries’ coverage of chiropractic services.
There were others who were also successful in gaining airtime locally, including ACA member Paul Dupuis, DC, of Jefferson City, Mo., who participated in a special report about chiropractic and the opioid crisis.
Posts on the Internet and social media are powerful ways that many people and organizations participate in NCHM. The NCHM toolkit this year featured shareable graphics in English and in Spanish, and for the first time we promoted diversity by including images of people with physical disabilities (see image at right) to underscore the point that all people—no matter their physical ability—can take steps to improve their musculoskeletal health. We were encouraged to see many individual doctors and practices post and share the graphics using the hashtag #StepsToStrength. The Texas Chiropractic Association went one step further and produced a video about NCHM for their social media channels. Likewise, ACA member Blake Kalkstein, DC, and Warren Kalkstein, DC, of Towson, Md., also created their own video using ACA’s NCHM facts and figures and posted it on their practice website.
Logan University, meanwhile, conducted a fun social media campaign in conjunction with NCHM that featured students and teachers holding up white boards that finished the sentence, “Chiropractic gives me…” (see image below). The posts featured positive messages, such as the one from Kristina Petrocco-Napuli, DC, president of ACA’s Council on Women’s Health, who wrote that chiropractic gives her “the passion to make a difference in the care of women.”
There were many other examples of doctors and groups who used NCHM resources to highlight the important theme and messages in this year’s campaign—too numerable to mention here. Be assured, however, that everyone who took part this year contributed to the strength and success of NCHM 2019.
Annette Bernat is ACA vice president of branding and communications. If you have any comments or feedback that you would like to share with ACA about this year’s “Strength. Stability. Success.” campaign, please send them to [email protected]. We are interested to know which resources in the toolkit you found most useful, what could be improved and what suggestions you might have for the toolkit and the theme for NCHM IN 2020.