On Friday, May 3, Logan University President Dr. Clay McDonald addressed attendees of Logan’s 2019 Symposium for his annual State of the University presentation.
He began the presentation with an emotional reminder of the role chiropractors can play in solving the opioid crisis that continues to plague the nation. That role necessitates chiropractors being more integrated into the broader health care environment—a vision Dr. McDonald has had for the University since his earliest days as president six years ago.
Making that vision a reality is even more important today as 870 million prescriptions for opioids have been dispensed in the past five years, and 80% of today’s heroin users started with prescription opioids. Each day, 115 people die from opioid-related drug overdoses, totaling 160,000 in the past five years.
Real lives are at stake, and access to chiropractic is key. “It is an indisputable fact that people suffering from chronic pain die in unprecedented numbers while evidence-informed options like chiropractic are not given to them,” Dr. McDonald added. “Imagine if those millions of prescriptions dispensed for chronic pain had never been written, and instead those patients had accessed the evidence-informed care of a chiropractor rather than filling a prescription for an addictive drug.”
Dr. McDonald went on to state that Logan University and the chiropractic field as a whole are obligated to work to increase access to chiropractic care, incorporating chiropractic’s collective knowledge of biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, lifestyle and exercise. Whether patients are suffering from acute or chronic pain or simply wish to achieve optimal health, chiropractic should be available to them.
That’s a lofty goal, and one Logan intends to achieve through leadership. “Leaders Made is a mantra that embraces our intent to educate and graduate practice-ready providers who strive to care for more people in more places,” Dr. McDonald said. Logan ensures its graduates are prepared to work in diverse settings by grounding its curriculum in:
- Evidence-Informed Decision Making
- Patient-Centered Care
- Critical Thinking Skills
“When we combine these three attributes and put our students to work in a variety of clinical settings, they emerge from Logan truly ready to care for patients and interact in the global health community,” Dr. McDonald said. Today, Logan DC students practice not only within the school’s traditional chiropractic clinic, but also within the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, University-level athletic programs, integrated multidisciplinary health centers and Paraquad, the region’s largest organization dedicated to the disabled.
Dr. McDonald used Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote, “Skate to where the puck is going,” as a call to action for both Logan and the entire chiropractic industry. “Complacency would tell us to ignore the patients we haven’t reached yet because they don’t fit a specific model of practice,” he said. “We choose the opposite of complacency. We choose leadership.”
Logan’s commitment to expanding access to chiropractic care also fuels the University’s intent to create new degrees that expand the reach of chiropractic philosophy. Graduates from the College of Health Sciences are educated with the same Logan hallmarks of critical thinking, evidence-informed decision making and patient-centered care. These programs have already proven a strong success:
- The Master of Science Degree in Nutrition Human Performance has attracted more than 1,000 students since its founding in 2011.
- Logan recently introduced a new advanced degree in Dietetics.
- The Master of Science Degree in Sports Science and Rehabilitation has more than 600 graduates since its founding in 2008.
“We will continue to prepare health care leaders to meet the needs of the broader public,” Dr. McDonald said. “The science of biomechanics, anatomy and physiology, lifestyle and exercise, combined with the Logan approach to education, position this University to make a difference in the future and more importantly, stem the tide of people receiving the wrong kind of care.”
You can watch a recording of Dr. McDonald”s 2019 State of the University Address here on YouTube.