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Posted on 01-27-2017

Youth in Action for Chiropractic

Ignorance isn’t bliss in politics, its certain death.  In our ongoing efforts to rid the legislature of any ignorance regarding chiropractic, we launched our inaugural student lobby day this week, Student CCA ChiroCon.

In the two years I’ve been with CCA I’ve seen how few legislators and staff understand the rigorous curriculum undertaken to become chiropractors in California.  Who better to educate these folk than the very students undergoing this challenging endeavor?  You see, sometimes it’s not solely the message, but the messenger that makes the difference in politics.  And our students were the perfect messengers.

By all accounts this was a successful venture – check out the agenda.  We had nearly 90 students sign up – great response for an inaugural event. We are grateful to Senators Joel Anderson and Jim Beall for taking time to talk with our students, especially since the Governor scheduled his State-of-the State during our event.  We are also thankful for Senate Insurance Committee consultant, Hugh Slayden for sharing how the legislative process works and a few entertaining behind the scene stories.

Senator Joel Anderson Senator Jim Beall Consultant Hugh Slayden

Senators Anderson and Beall were impressed with the quantity and quality of our student representatives.  Senator Anderson made it a point to tell the students they had a distinct advantage representing their profession; legislators like young people who are obviously trying to make a difference in the world. 

But the real stars this day were our students who represented all three of our colleges with distinction.  The students met with legislators key to the chiropractic profession: chairs and vice chairs of key committees such as Health and Business & Professions. Feedback from the Capitol is they did a great job representing the profession and some were treated to special visits to the Floor of the legislature. We provided each student with a distinctive Student CCA ChiroCon scarf and they proved a great way to garner attention and interest.It seems Senator Anderson was correct, legislators like hearing from young people!

Our students are our profession’s leaders of tomorrow. ChiroCon is CCA’s means of mentoring, teaching, and providing real world political training. When it’s time for them take the reins and for us to entrust the future of chiropractic to them; they will be ready. 

Our President, Dr. Leslie Hewitt and Chair of the Legislative Action Committee, Dr. David Paris were fantastic facilitating the day’s agenda. Special thanks to Monica Miller, CCA lobbyist, who helped tremendously in providing needed input into the planning of the agenda and providing important background information.  Our volunteer board members yet again giving the extra effort and making the day one we can all be proud of. We learned a lot about how to improve on ChiroCon for next year and look forward to an even more successful event.

I would be remiss if I didn’t proffer a special thank you to all the CCA staff who made this event happen.  Michelle Bancroft Associate Director of Governmental Affairs, who created the most amazing materials to prep our students and organized and marketed the event relentlessly. Julie Birkman, our Jack of all Trades Extraordinaire who makes sure what needs to be done gets done. Kim DeWeese our Director of Conventions and Seminars, who saved the day by using her vast network of hospitality contacts to secure a location to accommodate the last minute surge in attendance.  Kayleigh Carey, Marketing and Membership Coordinator, barely recovered from her respiratory ailments found the strength to staff the event and ensure our social media needs were covered.  And of course, our public affairs team, KFB who once again produced top notch professional collateral material for our students to leave with legislators and promoted the event to the media. We are a small team at CCA, but we accomplish so much because we always support each other. Thank you all! 

Department of Managed Health Care & Blue Cross Update

We’re still pushing the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) regarding Blue Cross asking for reimbursements.  Our initial work led to a number of letters going out to our members from Blue Cross retracting their ridiculous demands.  However, members continue receive these ludicrous demands.  The inconsistency at Blue Cross is unacceptable and we are engaging strongly with DMHC and soliciting assistance from friends in the legislature. DMHC must send a cease and desist letter to Blue Cross to out an end to this once and for all.

Bill Deadline Coming Up Soon As The Shopping Continues

Monica Miller, our contract lobbyist and I continue to shop for authors for our legislative package. To view the package, click here. The bill introduction deadline isn’t until mid-February; but securing authors is a full-time effort.  Speaking of Monica, she’s arranged a full day of meetings at the Capitol for Dr. Hewitt.  It’s important to take around the face of CCA, our President, so legislators can build relationships for future endeavors.  At the end of the day it’s all about relationships.

I’ve worked on a number of campaigns where in Republican staff from the Capitol had the same job as I opposing my candidate.  We’d fire our best shots back and forth for weeks until Election Day.  Afterwards, we’d return to the Capitol, have a beer, share our stories and look for ways to work together in the coming year.  Not everyone can keep things from becoming personal, but in politics it’s simply something you need to be able to do if you want to be effective. 

NewsRadio KFBK – Interview With John McGinness Regarding Student CCA ChiroCon & Chiropractic As A Solution To Opioid Epidemic

As most of you know I worked for Democrats exclusively and count many Republican colleagues amongst my friends.  I am comfortable looking for what we have in common as opposed to what drives us apart.  I just had a great opportunity to be interviewed on the conservative radio station in Sacramento where Rush Limbaugh is King.  KFB used its vast network of relationships to secure an interview on the John McGinness show. John spent more than 31 years with the Sheriff's Department in Sacramento and is a highly decorated veteran with a background in many high profile assignments.  He’s also an adjunct professor of criminal justice, communications, leadership and professional studies with the California State University.  His show is on Sacramento's top rated NewsRadio KFBK on AM 1530 and FM 93.1.

John was particularly concerned about the opioid epidemic and gave us a full ten minutes to discuss how chiropractic is a solution to the epidemic.  We are grateful to KFB for this opportunity and John McGinness for his honesty and integrity regarding such an important issue to our country.  To listen the interview, click here.

We will continue to seize every opportunity to promote chiropractic everywhere possible as we groom our students to take our place one day and lead us into an increasingly fruitful future.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.


Want to respond to what you just read? Just look below for the comment box. I encourage your feedback and questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.


2017 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

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