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Posted on 06-24-2016

FROM BOB TO ROMEO

We enjoyed a wide-ranging scope of activities this week.  From our board of director’s (BOD) meeting, where we installed new directors and executive officers, to ensuring chiropractors can continue to practice in the animal kingdom.

Let’s start with our latest BOD meeting.  As you undoubtedly know, CCA officially launched its new configuration of a thirteen member board this weekend past.  The architect of this transformation was Bob Harris.  Bob is on the faculty for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He has worked in Amman, Jordan, Tokyo, Japan and Minsk, Belarus to help organizations.

He believes that nonprofit organizations should be as efficient as any commercial business. Often referred to as the “Martha Stewart of association management” for providing tips and templates for making management easier, we were very pleased to have Bob lead us in eight hours of discussions on strategic planning and roles and responsibilities in all facets of association management.  This was an incredibly useful endeavor to ensure CCA’s transition to a new management model is efficient, effective, and achieves the advantages of the new structure.  

All of this has an enormous impact on your GA team as we align our political and legislative strategies to reflect CCA’s mission on behalf of chiropractic in California.  More details on the events of the BOD will be disseminated through other means.  

Bob Harris, CAE

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History of the DOT Exam in California

We’ve been fielding a number of calls and emails regarding the action in New York that led to the removal of their chiropractors from the National Registry to conduct DOT exams.  We’ve covered this a bit in the last couple of Corners, but it’s an issue that can benefit from more attention. 

In 2001, a truck driver suffering from mental illness, ran his big rig into the state capitol and died trapped in his vehicle as it caught fire.  I remember being evacuated from the capitol and watching the blaze from the sidewalk before a group of firefighters ran towards us fools screaming “move back, move back.”  This was prior to 911 and it never occurred to us the cargo could have been filled with explosives.  The cargo was in fact, nothing more than cans of evaporated milk.

Assembly Members Williams and Lowenthal to the Rescue

It didn't start out as all peaches and cream.  Senator Jackie Speier, now a Congresswoman, researched who had cleared the driver’s pre-employment physical examination, and it was a chiropractor.  As you know, not the biggest fan of chiropractic, Ms. Speier was looking to place blame, but instead found out that when the State adopted an omnibus bill to adapt to federal law regarding DOT exams, chiropractors were inadvertently left out of performing these physicals for individuals over the age of 65. 

CCA knows an opportunity when it sees one and met with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  DMV said it was an oversight and to run a bill to fix the issue.  CCA was able to navigate the legislative process successfully only to have the Governor veto the measure. In his veto message the governor called for a study to be conducted by DMV, which was released in 2005.

At that point the Department of Transportation (DOT) had worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and put together a panel of providers to come up with a standard exam that must be taken by any provider in the nation in order to be able to administer this exam.  It took several years, but once completed those providers who passed the exam were eligible to provide this exam and only those providers.  It should be noted that it also has to be part of the providers training, education and scope of practice.

CCA subsequently teamed up with the Southern California University of Health Sciences and co-sponsored AB 722 by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, which statutorily codified the right for all providers, including chiropractors, to be able to take the DOT exams and once they passed they could legally administer the DOT pre-employment physical exam. 

CCA went one step further and made sure that DCs could also administer the dipstick test by running AB 2143 by Assemblymember Das Williams in 2014, which was also signed by the Governor.  This now proclaimed in California statute that DC’s were authorized to administer every part of the DOT exam in a one-stop shop.

These two pieces of legislation are significant in light of the actions taken in New York.  California is one of only three states in the union that protect the right of chiropractors to administer this test in their statutes.  The other two are Arkansas and Kansas. 

As a result of CCA’s legislative efforts on this matter, it would be exceedingly difficult to take away chiropractors’ right to perform these physicals in California.  This is a very serious matter as you know, and efforts to fight the concerted movement to strip chiropractors from the National Registry in any state must be met with resistance. 

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CCA is Radio Active - In a Good Way!

I’ve also mentioned CCA’s newly installed President, Dr. Leslie Hewitt, and I appeared on a public affairs radio program last week.  We were interviewed by radio personality Julie Ryan for her weekly show discussing the many virtues of chiropractic.  It was taped at a CBS network radio station and the show aired on five affiliate stations.  Quite the coup for CCA.  I’d like to thank CCA’s new team from KFB Public Affairs for making this happen.  If you’re not yet familiar with KFB Public Affairs team click here for more information http://www.kfbpublicaffairs.com/

To listen to the 23-minute radio show (commercials edited out for your convenience) please click here http://kncifm.cbslocal.com/2016/06/28/public-affairs-show-with-julie-ryan-june-26-2016/.

Love to hear your thoughts on the interview and how we can make these events even more powerful for chiropractic in the future.

    

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The Animal Kingdom

I mentioned animal chiropractic in the introduction and some of you may recall this issue from last year.  The Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) undertook the effort to define animal rehabilitation.  The initial draft recommendations caused quite a stir as over 100 people turned up for public testimony at the first hearing.  A subsequent hearing of the full board resulted in the creation of a task force to work on the definition.

CCA’s interest in this enterprise rests on maintaining the status quo.  Animal chiropractic is currently covered in California Code of Regulations (CCR) and our doctors are happy with the current arrangement.  Any new definition of animal rehabilitation that contravenes existing CCRs on the matter would be unacceptable.  Therefore, your GA team has been working with VMB staff, testifying at hearings, submitting written statements, suggesting language, and generally investing our resources to ensure our current rights are protected.

We attended the first meeting of the task force which was comprised of board members, as well as stakeholders.  The draft recommendations included the language proffered by CCA.  It took six hours to get to our item, but it was unanimously approved.  We waited another hour until adjournment to ensure nothing untoward happened to undo the vote. 

There is much left to the process as the task force was not able to complete all its business on the issue and will meet again.  Assuming the next meeting completes their work, a vote of the full board will be required.  We remain vigilant. 

As you may know from earlier editions of the Corner, my wife and I are blessed to have three Western Pleasure show horses who are the beneficiaries of chiropractic.  We know intimately the benefits of animal chiropractic and a horse absent of subluxations is a happy, high performing horse.  Just look how good my buddy Romeo looks.

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From your GA team and all of your hard working team members at CCA HQ, we wish everyone a happy, restful, and safe INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY! 

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

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