The MAC: Celebrating Our First Decade!
Part IX: Major Settlement with the Blues (2015)
January 1, 2017, marked the 10th Anniversary of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors! As we begin our second decade, we will be looking at where we’ve been, where we are, and where the profession is going with one, unified organization working hard every day for the chiropractic profession in Michigan.
A New Year Brings a New President – Dr. Damian Palmer – and Executive Committee
In December 2014, MAC membership chose a new President and Vice President/Director of External Affairs to serve for 2015-2016. Dr. Damian Palmer of Hesperia, who had been serving as MAC VP, was elected President. Dr. Christopher Dolecki, after years of stellar work on the MAC Government Relations, Legal Affairs, and Insurance Relations committees, was elected to serve his first term on the Executive Committee, as Vice President.
At the first meeting of the new Board of Directors in 2015, the Board chose Dr. Lisa Olszewski of Chelsea to serve as Director of Internal Affairs, and Dr. Eric DiMartino of Chesterfield as Director of Financial Affairs. The Executive Committee was rounded out by Chairman Dr. Dennis Whitford of Mt. Pleasant, who had served the previous two years as MAC President.
Legal Settlements in Lawsuits Against the Blues!
In May 2014, after the Michigan Supreme Court denied the Blues’ final appeals regarding class action status – a major legal victory for the MAC – settlement talks with Blue Cross and Blue Care Network began in earnest. These talks led to what is believed to be the most successful settlement ever negotiated by a chiropractic state association against the Blues.
In 2009, when Governor Granholm signed into law the 30-years-in-the-making update of Michigan’s chiropractic scope of practice, we gained the ability to practice in a fashion that allowed for an increase in allowable services while protecting the uniqueness of chiropractic. With the Blue Cross Agreements, Michigan chiropractic patients gained the ability to have their insurance coverage pay for these vital services, leading to improved patient care and the enhancement of chiropractic practices across the state.
While the implementation of the Settlement Agreements has not been without its challenges, the MAC Executive Committee and Board of Directors remain committed to ensuring that it is properly implemented and that all discrimination against chiropractors and our patients is eliminated.
MAC Attack in Washington, DC!
The MAC was once again well represented at the annual National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC), held in late February in Washington, DC. MAC leadership, including Dr. Palmer and Dr. Dolecki, joined by other members of the Board of Directors, travelled to DC to touch base with members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation and their staffs. On the agenda was chiropractic’s role as a low-cost solution to high-cost health care, chiropractic inclusion in the National Health Service Corps, access to chiropractic among our active duty military personnel and our Veterans, and enacting a long-term fix that eliminates disparities for Medicare providers, including chiropractors.
Our efforts paid off, as U.S. Representative Tim Walberg of Tipton co-sponsored House Resolution (HR) 542, known as the “National Health Service Corps Improvement Act of 2015,” legislation that sought to amend the Public Health Service Act to specifically provide for the participation of chiropractors in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship and loan repayment programs.
Sgt. Shilo Harris Highlight of Spring Convention!
In late April, the MAC presented our Spring 2015 Convention & Exhibition at the Adoba Hotel Dearborn. Our keynote speaker was American hero and chiropractic advocate Shilo Harris, spokesman for The Patriot Project. At the Friday night Opening Session, Shilo and Patriot Project founder Dr. Tim Novelli were awarded the 2015 MAC Chiropractic Champion Awards. Shilo told convention attendees his harrowing story of service and sacrifice in Iraq, where his armored vehicle was struck by an IED. As spokesman for The Patriot Project, he shares his story with groups around the country, raising awareness for chiropractic and PTSD, and serving as an inspiration to fellow soldiers. His story will never be forgotten by those who heard it during this stirring event. We also celebrated the 120th Birthday of Chiropractic at the Spring and Fall Conventions.
WorkSafe Expands to Michigan Hospitals!
In 2015, MAC member Dr. Tim Sala of Caro conducted the first-ever hospital presentation for WorkSafe, the MAC’s workplace safety training for workers in the manufacturing industry, nursing, and hospital field, at Caro Community Hospital in Michigan’s Thumb. WorkSafe reached out to Michigan hospitals because those workers have a high degree of back injuries due to all the lifting, twisting, and long hours on their feet. Dr. Sala’s presentation was geared toward helping hospital workers avoid situations that could lead to injuries and establish ergonomic movement for conducting repetitive tasks. Dr. Sala was chosen to conduct WorkSafe by Dr. Dan Greene, WorkSafe Director (pictured, left).
MAC Introduces CA Advancement Program (CAAP)
We all know that a highly competent CA is the lifeblood of a chiropractic practice. In an effort to enhance the knowledge and skills of our members’ chiropractic assistants, the MAC introduced our CA Advancement Program (CAAP). Special CAAP courses providing real-world knowledge our CAs can put into practice directly upon their return to the office are offered throughout the year, and CAs who complete the program receive a certificate of completion.
MAC Receives “Thank You” Letter from Governor Snyder
In September, the MAC received a letter from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder thanking us for our support of his 4X4 Plan and wishing us well at our upcoming Fall Convention. The letter reads, in part: “Thank you for your support of my ‘Michigan Health and Wellness 4x4 Plan.‛ Through the implementation of your screening program, people throughout Michigan are beginning to take personal responsibility to improve their quality of life. Practicing healthy behaviors and measures leads to a healthy lifestyle and helps build a stronger Michigan.”
www.chiromi.com – New User-Friendly Design
The MAC unveiled our new and improved website, featuring our latest news, upcoming programs and events, current and archived copies of the Journal, and many other exclusive resources available only to MAC members. The website was also integrated with our membership database, allowing users to easily update membership profiles and register for events online. Our re-vamp of the website continues, and watch for major updates in 2018!