Logan alum Dr. Steven Clarke stands up for Doctors of Chiropractic by tackling industry inequalities

Dr. Steven Clarke

A group of New Jersey chiropractors are making history. 

Their seven-year legal battle against Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey finally came to an end in June 2016 after the insurance company was found in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A federal judge approved a $33 million settlement, representing five years of restitution for New Jersey chiropractors who were denied reimbursement for non-chiropractic manipulative therapies, such as traction, ultrasound, EMS etc.

That win is just one recent significant outcome of work conducted by members of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) led by their president, December 1982 Logan graduate Steven Clarke, DC. However, the mission to serve as a voice and advocate for DCs, as well as fighting injustices against the profession, started more than 30 years ago.

In January 1983, the future of Doctors of Chiropractic practicing in the State of New Jersey looked bleak. Outdated state laws prevented chiropractors from providing any kind of care or treatment beyond the articulations of the spinal column and related structures.

Dr. Clarke, a determined new graduate, headed back home to The Garden State where he found work as an associate at a chiropractic practice in Nutley, N.J. “I was well educated at Logan but not familiar with the ins and outs of the profession, especially on the licensing, but I started hearing things,” he said.

Little by little, Dr. Clarke was introduced to various doctors, several who were working to promote chiropractic in the state. Eventually, a number of the chiropractic leaders in the ANJC asked Dr. Clarke to get involved on the legislative committee. “I said, I don’t know anything about legislation.” And they said, “You’ll learn.”

It turns out Dr. Clarke was the right person for the job. He was energetic and wanted to get involved. He was also “tired of getting beat up by the insurance companies” and working under the most restrictive scope of practice in the country, meaning DCs couldn’t adjust extremities unless it was directly related to the hip, pelvis or spine. “Well, you can’t complain unless you get involved,” he said. “The ANJC shared their experiences, and after a while I started learning, understanding and developing strategies.”

Dr. Clarke immersed himself in articles, attended meetings, met with lobbyists and state legislators and studied legislative policies. In 2001, he was appointed ANJC’s Legislative Chair.

In addition to laws that hadn’t changed since the early 1950s, the state of professional organizations for chiropractors in New Jersey was complicated. Half a dozen associations of varying opinions existed, getting very little accomplished on their own to advance the DC profession.

“Finally we realized there was never going to be any change if we didn’t unite and get organized,” he said. “Several of the groups decided to collaborate, pool our resources and get one lobbyist and one executive director. Eventually, all but one group came together. We hired an attorney, a public relations team and established a headquarters. Our executive director was not only a chiropractor but had a business mind.”

With structure and a well-defined purpose, Dr. Clarke and his colleagues set out to work on the current laws in place. He and other members examined scopes of practice for every other state, looking at what worked and what didn’t.

“We were the only state whose chiropractic scope of practice didn’t include a provision about nutrition and we wanted it. We also wanted continuing education to be a requirement for DCs,” he said.

Five years later in January 2010, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed the proposed Chiropractic Scope of Practice into law.

Dr. Clarke (center) at Logan's 2011 Homecoming

“No one ever expected we’d get it done,” Dr. Clarke said. “So many people were fighting us from the medical profession. Every time there was a question or issue, we would have to defend it. We had to testify at Assembly and Senate hearings, provide articles and research. We traveled up and down the entire state to meet with virtually every legislator to explain the issues so that they would understand the importance of the legislation.”

While there were many wins along the way, there were also a few losses.

The ANJC wanted the scope of practice to include acupuncture, but that was denied. On the other hand, they secured mandatory continuing education. Today, licensed New Jersey chiropractors must obtain 30 credits of continuing education every two years—two of those credits must be in nutrition and two must be in the rules and regulations of record keeping.

Dr. Clarke said 2010 really changed things in New Jersey, allowing the profession to finally start using what had been taught in chiropractic school in practice. “It also codified many of the loose ends we had in our regulations and strengthened our profession,” he said. “From top to bottom it was a strong team effort and something that has brought us continued victories against strong odds.”

It was also a turning point for the ANJC. Membership grew and DCs felt the state association was truly fighting for them. Of the 2,300 licensed chiropractors in New Jersey today, 2,000 are members of ANJC, making it the seventh largest chiropractic association in the United States.

“Whenever there is negative publicity involving chiropractic, we are on top of it,” he said. “We send talking points and research to our members and provide them with the resources and support they need. Members knows that we are very responsive to the needs of the chiropractic profession inside and outside of our state.”

Looking back at the events of the past 30 years, Dr. Clarke credits a solid foundation at Logan with preparing him to take on challenges both in practice and in the profession.

“When you’re in school—in the daily grind—it’s hard, but when you get out and start practicing, you realize what a good education it is,” said Dr. Clarke. “It’s definitely something you don’t truly appreciate until you’re speaking with patients, other doctors or others in health care.”

In 2006, Dr. Clarke was named New Jersey Chiropractor of the Year, and five years later, he was named Alumnus of the Year by the Logan Alumni Association. More recently, he met with members of Logan’s administration, who praised the ANJC for their efforts that champion DCs and the mission of chiropractic.

Dr. Clarke says the success of ANJC lies with the talents and efforts of people who have made the organization so dynamic.

“The ANJC has so many great volunteers,” he said. “We have good legal minds—good insurance and legislative minds—everyone has their own niche. We ask everyone to do a little bit and all together we can take a step back and say, ‘Look at what we’re getting done.’”

While some of the biggest hurdles may have been cleared, Dr. Clarke and the ANJC continue to work on behalf of the profession to ensure equality and access to chiropractic care. New Jersey, as of recently, is the only state which requires chiropractic assistants to be licensed— another initiative of Dr. Clarke and the ANJC.

“When you start getting wins, I suppose you think, what’s next, what else can I do?” said Dr. Clarke. “Our unwritten motto at ANJC is we’re going to take on any issue we have to take on. This is our profession, our life. We’re changing people’s lives and defending our vocation. We’re not sitting back. We’re going to fight.”

Logan conducts research involving wearable technology and body composition

At a time with an increased interest in collecting biometric information, such as heart rate, physical activity and sleep via the use of wearable devices, Robert Davidson, PhD, director of the Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance degree at Logan, along with students and faculty from Missouri Baptist University (MBU), is conducting a research study to determine whether wearable technology can be used to accurately determine body composition and diet composition.

The purpose of the study is threefold: to evaluate the InBody Band (a wristwearable single-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis, or BIA, device) for body composition (fat and lean tissue) measurement accuracy; to evaluate the ability and accuracy of the NUDGE app (a smartphone software application that interacts with wearable tracking devices and downloads, stores, analyzes and reports the biometric information) to collect data from wearable fitness trackers; and to evaluate the feasibility of using wearable tracker biometric data to estimate diet composition, using custom software developed by Dr. Davidson.

By tracking participants’ physical activity and daily diet via the InBody Band, the Logan and MBU team will be comparing the InBody Band to the goldstandard technology for body composition measurement—dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)—using the GE Lunar DEXA machine at Logan. BIA technology has been around for some time, but the InBody Band is the first wearable device to incorporate the technology. Currently, no scientific reports validating InBody Band’s accuracy exist.

Dr. Davidson has recently conducted similar studies and will perform research design and data analysis roles for this study, as well as serve as the DXA supervisor.

The research team began recruiting participants in January for the one year study. The team hypothesizes that wearable technology can be used to accurately determine body composition and diet composition.

If data supports the InBody Band as a reliable wearable that can assess body fat percentage, consumers would have a new fitness tracker that could potentially help individuals obtain a healthier percentage of body fat. This in turn could change the public’s focus from weight to an individual’s body composition.

Logan University sponsors the Roberto Clemente Sports Chiropractic Award

Logan University sponsors the prestigious Roberto Clemente Sports Chiropractic Award given biannually by FICS and the FICS Foundation. This award honors the life and work of Roberto Clemente, one of baseball’s greatest players, who was also an outstanding philanthropist and a strong advocate for the chiropractic profession. The award is given to a doctor of chiropractic who has demonstrated outstanding voluntary service in the field of sports chiropractic.

Congratulations to 2017 winner Philip T. Santiago, DC! Dr. Santiago is pictured on the left with his award and Roberto Clemente Jr.

Logan's website named "Best University Website" by the Web Marketing Association

The Web Marketing Association recently announced the results of their 2017 Internet Advertising Competition Awards and Logan University won the award for Best University Website in 2017.

After being nominated, Logan's website competed head-to-head with other university websites and was deemed the best by excelling in the following categories:

- Creativity
- Innovation
- Copywriting
- Impact
- Design
- Use of the medium
- Memorability

Previously, Logan won the University of Standard Excellence Award in 2014 for its old website design. Logan's new redesigned website launched on January 17th, 2017 with the help of VIVIDSITES.

Logan graduate Dr. Josh Akin, team chiropractor for the Chicago Cubs, discusses chiropractic and winning the World Series

In a recent issue of The Tower, December 2006 Logan Doctor of Chiropractic graduate Josh Akin, DC, spoke about his career as the team chiropractor for the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs as well as being the founder and clinical director of Chicago Chiropractic & Sports Medicine. 

In honor of the beginning of the 2017 MLB season, Dr. Akin spoke about his experience working with the Cubs during their World Series victory and what he looks forward to this season.

Last Fall, the Chicago Cubs ended the season as World Series Champions. What was it like to be a part of a team that made sports history?

"It was an amazing experience to say the least. While, I am not on the road for the regular season, I traveled to the away games in the playoffs. The atmosphere in the stadiums, both home and road, was unreal and I feel so fortunate to have been able to experience it from that perspective. 

Game 7 was what seemed like an entire playoff run all in that one night. To see the whole year of work, for everyone involved, come down to that level of drama was seemingly fitting and thankfully we came out on the right side. I saw the game from the stands, in the first handful of innings, and then the clubhouse and the level of excitement, was like nothing I had been part of prior."

How is chiropractic care a critical tool for injury prevention and performance improvement?

"As far as “care,” the biggest thing to address is the volume increase that time of year. Nothing is different in terms of treatment approach, however it is important to stay proactive with tools to help the players ahead of anything as the volume of games reaches such a high level. The full-time staff does an amazing job utilizing all of our tools (cryotherapy chambers, hyperbaric chambers, sensory deprivation tanks, etc. as well as all hands-on) I just truly try to be available if necessary. "

As the 2017 baseball season officially opens, what are the top three goals for keeping the Cubs in top condition?

"In returning for this season, I think with the shorter off-season it is most important to get into a routine of body maintenance for these guys. Compared to some years, this off-season, was up to 6 to 7 weeks shorter so making sure we are heading into 2017 as prepared as possible. We utilize the same proactive thinking process that I do in the clinic. The more we can screen, assess and hopefully catch to work on prior to any injury occurring is the absolute key. We will always have to deal with the unforeseen but the better we can prepare that player to tolerate the next season and its demand, ideally the fewer issues that will arise. "

Learn more about how you can become a chiropractor and work with athletes.

What can I do with a degree in Health Informatics?

Health informatics is a rapidly changing field where its professionals improve health care by harnessing the wealth of information that spans the patient continuum of care. Multiple disciplines, such as business and technology, intersect with healthcare in this field.

What kind of jobs are available to students who earn an online Master of Science degree in Health Informatics?

Depending on previous work experiences, graduates may pursue careers as:

Systems analysts
Implementation specialists
IT project analysts
IT project managers
Clinical analysts
Clinical informatics managers
Consultants, trainers & sales for HIT vendors/consultants
Educators (academia)
Business analysts

While there is no guarantee that a graduate will be able to secure a job in the health information technology industry immediately after graduation, they will be positioned to lead the growing and evolving health care landscape.

To learn more about a Master of Science degree in Health Informatics, click here to request information or contact Admissions@logan.edu.

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