Chiropractic Community Health Initiatives Across Canada
Community engagement, health programs and voluntary initiatives promote greater understanding and access to chiropractic care. Through these efforts many more Canadians, especially those from vulnerable and marginalized populations, are able to benefit from the healthcare expertise of chiropractors to improve their health and wellbeing. Establishing and supporting community initiatives exemplifies our organizations’ mission to improve spine, muscle, and nervous system healthcare in Canada. The purpose of this report is to highlight the positive healthcare impact the chiropractic profession is having in our communities, identify for stakeholders and policymakers that a persistent gap exists which is being met in some communities only through these types of efforts, and support advocacy on the need for increased integration of chiropractic care in Canadian communities.
Funded by the federal government, the VNHS delivers comprehensive medical, counselling and social services to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Indigenous community. Free chiropractic services are provided by Dr. Ingrid Neufeld.
The Mustard Seed serves more than 2,000 people and provides more than 49,000 services every year, including chiropractic and other crucial health and wellness services. Dr. Keith Belliveau, a Calgary chiropractor, currently volunteers at the Mustard Seed.
BMHC is Edmonton’s only community owned and operated health centre. It fills a gap in health care services for people who are living on the margins of society because of adverse historical, social, and economic circumstances. A group of volunteer chiropractors provide services for clients on a walk-in basis every Tuesday, led by Dr. Roman Bayrock, who initiated the program in 1997.
The MCC is a not-for-profit community health centre with a purpose to create and promote a healthy inner-city community. Services are provided primarily to the residents of the North End and Point Douglas communities, which include 65 to 75 per cent of the Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) recipients in Manitoba.
In 2011, MCC launched a chiropractic program in association with the Manitoba Chiropractors Association, funded by the Manitoba government’s department of family services. Dr. Audrey Toth is the clinic chiropractor at MCC, working two five-hour shifts weekly. Dr. Steven Passmore is the primary investigator researching the patient outcomes of nonpharmacological care in comparison to opioid prescription.
SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health) runs out of the Westside Community Clinic, offering free walk-in clinical and social services in Saskatoon’s inner city. Services are run by student volunteers and professional mentors from a wide range of healthcare fields. Dr. Scott Irwin currently offers chiropractic care once a week at the SWITCH clinic.
The Yonge Street Mission (YSM) has been providing a safe haven for youth, ages 16-24, since 1993. The health-care facility at the YSM offers an holistically structured blend of services, composed of over 60 health professionals, including family doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses, RMTs, a naturopath, foot specialists and chiropractors, all of whom participate on a volunteer basis. Dr. Gordon Lawson is one of the longest-serving chiropractors at the YSM.
Back2Life program at TAIBU Community Health Centre, North York
‘Back 2 Life’ is a two year low back pain management program with the aim of providing relief from pain and suffering through assessment and treatment, lifestyle changes, education and support, physical activity and massage therapy. The program incorporates the services of Dr. Chris Morgan, a chiropractor, and a kinesiologist working out of TAIBU, a Community Health Centre servicing the low-income neighbourhood of Malvern.
Chiropractic services have been provided free of charge to members of the Tobique First Nations community by Dr. Keli Spencer at the Neqotkuk Health Center since August 2014.
The New Brunswick Chiropractic Association (NBCA) partnered with the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative (CCGI) to apply for funding from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) to adapt self-management resources for the Tobique First Nations. The project was approved by both the Ontario Tech University (formerly UOIT) and CMCC Research Ethics Board and interviews will commence later in 2019.
Accueil Bonneau’s chiropractic clinic was born out of a collaboration with the Association des Chiropracticiens du Québec (ACQ). Located in the Health Space of the organization, which also welcomes podiatrists, volunteer chiropractors offer free preventative care and treatment to respond to the problems commonly encountered by homeless people. The chiropractic clinic offers treatments twice a week to anyone taking part in Accueil Bonneau's social reintegration program. Between 2015 and 2017, 564 persons received 1,967 treatments from 55 chiropractors volunteering more than 1,000 hours. In 2018, Accueil Bonneau received Canada’s Volunteer Award in the Social Innovator category.
Resulting from a partnership between the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association and the Salvation Army, Dr. Darrell Wade provides complimentary chiropractic care to low-income and uninsured patients at the New Hope Community Centre two days a week.
This outreach program is an important part of the Hamilton Urban Core Community Health Centre’s approach to pain reduction and management for the hundreds of individuals and families it serves. Services at the Inner City Outreach Chiropractic Clinic are offered free of charge on the first Friday of the month by Dr. Reginald Gates.
The Health2Work program was launched by the Region of Waterloo, in partnership with the Ontario Chiropractic Association and Langs Community Health Centre. It provides clients receiving Ontario Works (OW) and non-disabled family members on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) access to chiropractic care, funded by the OW program. Chiropractors and caseworkers also work together with OW clients to select suitable employment paths and job training programs based on their physical capabilities.
The Chiropractic Association of London, in partnership with Salvation Army, operates a free chiropractic clinic 1-3 pm on Fridays. The clinic is staffed by a rotating team of 19 volunteer chiropractors.