The Life and Career of Dr. Howard Loomis Jr.

May 22, 2019 -- Howard F. Loomis Jr., DC, FIACA, (1967) reflected upon his lifelong love for learning as well as his relationship with Logan during the University’s recent Spring Symposium.

A pioneer and innovative leader in the understanding of human nutrition and enzymes, Dr. Loomis has made a tremendous impact on health care. Most notably, he developed a system for identifying nutritional deficiencies and stresses on the body.

Today, he serves as president and director of Food Enzyme Institute, which educates thousands of health care professionals on the value of diet and nutrition in maintaining optimal health. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge with others and staying at the forefront of health care.

Before an eager crowd of attendees, Dr. Loomis addressed his own continuing education process, noting that the purpose of chiropractic educators is not to make a student a healer, but to impart knowledge so a student can pass exams and become licensed to practice applying that knowledge.

“Each of you is an artist that brings your education, individual talents and compassion together to heal your patient,” he said. “Remember that regardless of the decade in which you were educated, basic anatomy, physiology and neurology do not change.”

Dr. Loomis’ story begins in June 1937, several months before he was born. His mother, a registered nurse, brought her mother who was experiencing heart and lung problems to see a specialist.

“After the exam, while my grandmother was getting dressed, the doctor wrote a note and handed it to my mother,” he said. “It said, ‘She may drop dead any minute.’ Imagine being five months pregnant and being handed that note. That scene was told a few times as I grew up.”

On the way home, they passed a two-story white frame home on a corner lot with a well-groomed green lawn. “The sign on the lawn simply read ‘Dr. Griffith, Chiropractor.’ No one in my family had ever been to a chiropractor, and certainly not an RN in 1937. But my mother was very resourceful,” he said.

The fact that Dr. Loomis’ grandmother would live for another 11 years―long enough for him to have fond memories of her―had a profound impact on Dr. Loomis.

His second encounter with chiropractic wouldn’t occur until 1948 when back pain stemming from a car accident forced Dr. Loomis’ father to quit his job as a baker. His father pursued a second career as a chiropractor, bringing his family to Logan Chiropractic College in St. Louis.

After moving back to Buffalo, New York, so his father could practice, Dr. Loomis returned to St. Louis for a brief trip. A chance visit to Logan resulted in him enrolling in classes to become a chiropractor.

The next few decades would bring many milestones and life-defining moments. In the late 1960s, Logan President Dr. William Coggins led efforts to purchase a new campus in Chesterfield. “I still take pride in the fact that I, and many other alumni, were able to contribute toward the purchase,” Dr. Loomis said. “I experience a renewed sense of that that every time I revisit the campus and proceed up D.P. Casey Drive.”

By the 1980s, Dr. Loomis’ career took on a new direction. He was asked to conduct clinical outcome studies in the use of food enzymes for health care professionals. After five years of research, he began lecturing internationally, ultimately selling his practice and moving to Madison, Wisconsin to open his own supplement company, which later became certified by the State of Wisconsin Educational Approval Board as an educational institution―a proud moment of his career.

Over the years, Dr. Loomis has remained an advocate for chiropractic and supporter of Logan. In the early 2000s, he donated funds to help construct an amphitheater as part of the William D. Purser Center. More recently, he has provided the funds to establish the Howard F. Loomis Jr., DC Endowed Chair of the Viscero-Somatic Center at Logan.

“The only constant in this world is change,” he said. “While our knowledge base of the functions of the human body continues to greatly expand, the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology and neurology will not change during your career. Continue your personal education and grow.”


Drs. Alex and Sara Vidan Discuss Opportunities, Opioids at Symposium

May 17, 2019 -- Alex Vidan, DC and Sara Vidan, DC gave a presentation at the 2019 Logan University Spring Symposium that challenged DCs to reframe obstacles and opportunities.

The Vidans graduated from Logan in 2004. The couple shared some of the challenges they’ve faced, including the realization early on that trying to appeal to everyone wasn’t the best business tactic. “We had to change our perspective on some things and faced a lot of obstacles along the way,” Dr. Sara Vidan said. “We realized we were going wide versus deep when we started our practice. We wanted to help anyone with a spine. The problem is that it’s really hard to market that and have people understand what you do. We realized we had to find our niche.”

The discovery of their niche occurred when Dr. Alex Vidan started experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), which causes pain or dysfunction of the jaw and the joints connecting the mandible to the skull. “In our search to find answers, we found a market so huge that we had no idea existed. It’s a $4 billion market,” Dr. Sara Vidan said. Between 5 and 12 percent of Americans suffer from TMJD, which tends to be more prevalent in young people and women.

“People are looking for answers but not finding them anywhere,” Dr. Sara Vidan said, adding that research from oral care providers says that a diagnosis of TMJD or related orofacial pain conditions should be based on a cervical spine examination, in addition to patient history. In addition to providing an accurate diagnosis, chiropractic can provide effective treatment through jaw adjustments. The problem, however, is that many oral care providers have a poor understanding of chiropractic care and how it can help their patients. The result is that many TMJD sufferers end up undergoing unnecessary oral surgery.

The Vidans are working on changing that, educating oral care providers on chiropractic’s role in treating TMJD. Key to their success, they said, has been taking the time to understand the unique philosophy of oral care providers. “You have to know who you’re speaking to, otherwise you’ll lose out on those opportunities,” Dr. Alex Vidan said. “You have to meet them where they are and show them what we do.”

The Vidans challenged Symposium attendees to uncover their own unique niche and start to see obstacles as opportunities. One huge obstacle that is also a huge opportunity for chiropractic is the opioid epidemic. The risks of taking opioids are astronomical: “A study by the Coalition for Safe and Effective Pain Management found that up to 26% of patients prescribed opioids become addicted on the first prescription and up to 80% of heroin users became addicted because of opioids,” Dr. Vidan said. “The demand for opioids is based on a misconception that pain can be helped with a pill. As chiropractors, we know that’s not true. You heal the body, not just cover up symptoms with a pill.”

The opioid epidemic has resulted in growing support for chiropractic from the insurance and medical fields. Actuaries hired by UnitedHealthcare recommended chiropractic and other conservative treatment be given as a first line of defense against chronic pain, from a purely financial standpoint. “They want to find a way for doctors to automatically refer their patients to chiropractors,” Dr. Vidan said. “They see us as the answer and want to waive copays and deductibles—even doing that, chiropractic can save insurance companies huge amounts of money,” Dr. Alex Vidan said.

The medical field is also more widely endorsing chiropractic. The Institute of Medicine, the FDA and the CDC all now recommend non-pharmacological approaches to chronic pain treatment. Harvard and Yale have also recommended chiropractic for chronic pain treatment.

Dr. Arlan Fuhr Discusses Activator Safety and Efficacy at Symposium

May 13, 2019 -- Arlan Fuhr, DC (1961) is the co-inventor of the Activator Method, the world’s most widely used chiropractic adjusting technique. At the 2019 Logan University Spring Symposium, Dr. Fuhr presented the many research studies that have confirmed the Activator’s safety and efficacy for spinal manipulation.

Dr. Fuhr has always believed in the necessity of research to back up chiropractic claims. “Data always wins, and if you don’t have data, it’s called hall talk,” he said. The first prominent study took place in 1985 with funding from the National Institutes of Health; the Activator is the first and only chiropractic technique or instrument to receive an NIH grant.

Subsequent studies followed. Research partners included prestigious medical schools such as Baylor College of Medicine’s Bio-Innovations Laboratory. One interesting finding of these studies was that a 140 Newton (N) Activator thrust will move a bone 0.3 to 1.6 mm, while a 540 N manual thrust results in 1.1 mm of movement. The Activator achieves equal or greater movement than a manual thrust with far less force through two factors:

  • Speed: The Activator delivers a thrust up to 200 times faster than a manual adjustment, according to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
  • The ideal wave form: The frequency of the ideal wave form is fast enough to stimulate mechanoreceptors and propagates more easily through biological tissue. “Enhancing the frequency spectrum of the Activator device toward an ideal wave form allows us to create more bone movement with less force,” said Dr. Fuhr. Each iteration of the Activator has gotten closer, with the Activator I achieving 35% of the ideal wave form and the Activator V, the latest iteration, achieving 94% of the ideal wave form.

During his presentation, Dr. Fuhr also discussed research on the safety of chiropractic for pediatric patients, specifically a 2015 proposal published in the Journal for Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The proposal relies upon two assumptions, Dr. Fuhr explained. One, that chiropractic clinicians are able to measure the force and speed of each manual thrust and, two, that force and speed are the only two thrust profile parameters. This is achievable through use of the Activator. “In the laboratory setting, the Activator V performs the most consistent, despite operator experience level,” said Dr. Fuhr, noting one of many points supporting the Activator’s use with pediatric patients.

The proposal provides the following guidelines for cervical spine loading by age: no more than 20 N in children 0 to 23 months, 85 N for children 2 to 8 years old, 135 N for patients ages 8 to 18 and 155 N for adults. Dr. Fuhr stressed that with patients young and old alike, just one thrust per contact point is typically needed. “Less is more—people are doing too much to the body,” he said. “Do less to the body and let the body do the work.”

Dr. Fuhr wrapped up his presentation with a brief overview of research showing the Activator is effective in reducing IVF inflammation-induced thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical allodynia and hyper-excitability of sensory neurons. This research comes from a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, “WNT signaling underlies the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain in rodents.”

He also discussed research recently accepted for publication in Calcified Tissue International on the Activator’s safety when used on osteoporotic patients. “Our intention is to publish in journals not related to chiropractic because we want chiropractic to be known by other disciplines, such as rheumatology and orthopedics,” Dr. Fuhr said.

Finally, he shared his goals for improving accessibility for the modern learner by virtualizing Activator training materials. The Activator Institute VT is now available worldwide, with plans to have training materials available in multiple languages. 

Symposium Speaker Dr. Carl Cleveland III on Chiropractic’s Rising Cultural Authority

May 9, 2019 -- “There’s never been a time of greater cultural authority for chiropractic.” That’s the message Carl Cleveland III, DC delivered during his presentation at the 2019 Logan University Spring Symposium.

Dr. Cleveland is President of Cleveland University in Kansas City, which was founded by his grandfather, Carl Cleveland, DC. He is also an author, educator and international lecturer. Generations of his family have been pioneers in chiropractic, giving him a unique perspective on just how far the profession has come in terms of public acceptance.

It all started with Dr. Cleveland’s great-grandmother, Sylva Ashworth. Sylva was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1874, 26 years before chiropractic was founded. By the time she was 27, she suffered from cardiovascular problems and severe diabetes that caused an infection in her foot. Surgeons didn’t think she could survive the amputation and predicted she’d live only a few more months. Thankfully, a neighbor suggested Sylva try chiropractic. “Over time, her gangrenous toes pinkened up and the diabetes left her,” Dr. Cleveland said. “Not long after, she packed up her children and moved to Davenport, Iowa, to enroll in Palmer College of Chiropractic.”

Sylva’s daughter Ruth followed in her mother’s footsteps. Ruth met her husband Carl Cleveland while both were students at the Palmer School of Chiropractic. The couple eventually moved to Kansas City and founded Central College of Chiropractic in 1922. The school was run out of their home. Chiropractic wouldn’t be legal in Missouri for another five years. Their son, Dr. Cleveland’s father, grew up afraid that his parents could be arrested at any moment. They escaped arrest—many of their students did not—but it was nevertheless a curious home to grow up in, with the kitchen serving as the dissection lab. 

Although chiropractic was legal by the time Dr. Cleveland came along, the public still largely misunderstood it or—worse—thought of DCs as “quacks,” Dr. Cleveland recalls. Chiropractic has come a long way since then. “Today my grandchildren won’t hear words of disrespect about what we do,” Dr. Cleveland said.

Indicators of chiropractic’s cultural authority include:

  • As of 2018, chiropractors were serving in official capacities at 97 VA facilities and 66 military treatment centers in the U.S. and overseas.
  • Chiropractors were included in the official medical staff for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
  • DCs serve all 32 NFL teams and 28 of 30 MLB teams.
  • In 2017, the American College of Physicians, the Danish Health Authority, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association all recommended chiropractic for pain control ahead of pharmacological options, driven in large part by the opioid crisis.
  • In 2018, Missouri covered chiropractic care under Medicaid.
  • As of April 2019, Missouri HealthNet covers complementary and alternative therapies to treat adult chronic pain.

This increase in visibility and trust is due to a few different factors. One big reason is that chiropractic succeeds in all three goals laid out by the triple aim of the Affordable Care Act: improved care experience, reduced health care costs and improved health care outcomes. Numerous studies prove chiropractic’s efficacy in each area. Chiropractic patients seeking treatment for back pain tend to rate their satisfaction higher when compared to medical patients. A 2017 Consumer Reports study showed that 95% of back pain patients find effective relief from chiropractic. Studies have demonstrated the significant cost benefits of sending patients to a chiropractor as a first line of defense against back and neck pain.

Dr. Cleveland concluded his presentation with a call for the chiropractic community to cultivate a wider understanding of chiropractic care and prepare future DCs to work within a multidisciplinary environment.  

Dr. McDonald Delivers State of the University Address

May 6, 2019 -- 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 Gretzsky’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

Logan has record-setting 2017 Spring Symposium

Logan's 2017 Spring Symposium held April 27-30 drew a record-setting 646 attendees - the largest attendance dating back to its inception in 2014. 

The expertise and diversity of this year’s thought leaders in the chiropractic and health fields attracted members of the Logan community, both near and far. 

Highlights included: 

  • Logan President Clay McDonald, DC, JD, MBA, delivered the State of the University Address which included an update on Logan’s evolving curriculum to better prepare students for practice as well as University-wide efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care, both locally and globally. 

  • Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, executive director of research and innovation at Northwestern Health Sciences University, who was named this year’s recipient of the Dr. Beatrice B. Hagen Award, addressed chiropractors as innovative entrepreneurs and leaders beyond complementary and integrative health care. 

  • Additional lectures were given by 27 speakers on topics ranging from chiropractic techniques and functional neuroimaging to becoming a chiropractic expert in the community.

  • Scholarships were awarded to nearly 50 students.

Save the date for next year’s Spring Symposium scheduled for May 3-6, 2018.

2017 Spring Symposium

Recently Visited Pages

Click the star to "favorite" a page and keep it at the top of your list of Visited Pages.