Happy Holidays!

December 14, 2018 -- From our Logan University family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays. 

Empowering Patients to Better Health

December 13, 2018 -- Through his work at CareSTL Health, a federally qualified community health center, Ross Mattox, DC, RMSK has embraced the opportunity to help patients change their lives.

One such patient is Monteal Paige. When she first visited CareSTL in hopes of alleviating severe chronic pain and multiple chronic health conditions, Monteal was a little over 300 pounds—a lot of weight for her 5’2” frame to carry. “Her situation is common for many of our patients, and obesity is the biggest impediment to getting better,” Dr. Mattox said. “It’s a vicious cycle. Patients hurt, therefore they don’t move, which causes weight gain and only exacerbates their pain.”

For patients like Monteal, chiropractic adjustments can of course alleviate pain, but real, lasting relief must come from major lifestyle changes. That can seem like a daunting task—one that takes hard work and persistence. Although habits can feel impossible to break, Dr. Mattox is doing what he can to ease the way. 

Along with his team of interns, preceptors and residents, Dr. Mattox has researched and compiled information for patients on getting affordable or free healthy food and exercise. They’ve put together diet plans tailored to low-income patients and assembled lists of area food pantries, as well as a packet listing every YMCA and community health center in the Greater St. Louis area. “Almost everyone has a reason why they can’t do something—it may be money or transportation or any number of other things,” Dr. Mattox explained. “We find ways around every barrier. For example, we included free community health centers and information on how to get to the centers via public transportation.”

The bottom line, though, is that patients have to be willing to put in the work. And Monteal was more than willing. She started going to water aerobics, an ideal exercise for overweight individuals since the pool reduces the weight and pressure on knees and joints. “Because almost all of our patients are obese and have some sort of joint pain, the No. 1 thing I push for is movement,” Dr. Mattox said. “When they push back, saying it hurts to move, I say, ‘OK, then get in the pool.’”

Monteal discovered she loved water aerobics and started attending multiple times per week. After a few months, she was such a regular that when the instructor called in sick, others in the class pointed to her and asked her to fill in. Now, she’s an official teacher. 

Monteal also worked on her diet. “Our goal is not to overhaul someone’s diet, because that’s not realistic and we’re dealing with people with limited resources,” Dr. Mattox said. First, patients are instructed to fill out a simple food diary for a week so their CareSTL team can understand their current eating habits. Not all patients comply with this request, but Monteal was a straight-A student, logging her meals for months. “I have a collection of her food diaries I keep on my desk to show to others,” Dr. Mattox said. Starting with this simple tool and with some sound advice from Dr. Mattox, Monteal’s diet gradually changed, with fruits and vegetables replacing fried foods. 

The results from these simple—but not easy—changes were astounding: In just six months, Monteal lost around 70 pounds. “We empowered her to do this, but it was all her,” Dr. Mattox said. “Now she comes in smiling and happy, and she didn’t used to be like that. It’s changed her life and gives me a great example to use when talking to other patients.”

Like so many other patients who are in chronic pain, Monteal simply didn’t know where to start, which left her feeling helpless and depressed. “We told her it was possible and showed her what to do, one day at a time,” Dr. Mattox said. “We taught her to take control of her own health, but she put in all the effort to do so. Monteal now weighs less, takes fewer medications, requires fewer doctor visits, has new friends through her exercise classes and is a happier person.”

Online Program Flexibility Gives Ginna Cortese Freedom to Pursue Passions

December 11, 2018 -- Ginna Cortese’s education relies on the flexibility of Logan University’s fully-online degree programs. 

Being part of a military family, Ginna has become accustomed to the adaptability needed to travel and live all over the globe. She needed a program that could adapt to her ever-changing schedule, and that’s why she chose to pursue a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Human Performance from Logan. 

Ginna first discovered her desire for health care and helping others while volunteering in a hospital in North Carolina. She worked in the physical therapy department with disabled veterans, gunshot victims, amputees and spinal cord injury patients. 

She enjoyed her work so much and had always been passionate about learning and living a healthy life, so she decided to continue furthering her education in various aspects of health care – from personal training to respiratory therapy to, now, nutrition. 

After moving to Germany with her husband and diving deep into her fitness routine with daily training, a personal trainer at her gym asked if she ever considered competitive body building.

“I thought he was crazy,” she said. “I barely even spoke any German. But, after some consideration, I decided to give it a shot. After all, I was in Germany and if I did terribly, no one I knew would ever have to know.”

She trained tirelessly for six months for her first competition, which was against fellow amateurs. She won first place, and the judges even allowed her to compete that same day against experienced competitors. 

She won again. 

At her first competition, Ginna met a German body building coach, who asked her to be part of his team. She agreed and would go on to compete six times over the next year, winning or placing in the top each time.  

At age 56, Ginna is breaking barriers both as a non-traditional student and body builder. She attributes her ability to simultaneously pursue both of her passions to Logan’s online degree program flexibility, a feature that other programs Ginna tried simply didn’t offer. As a member of a military family, she also loved the opportunity Logan provided to complete her internship through the Veterans Affairs hospital in El Paso, Texas.  

After she graduates from Logan in December, Ginna and her husband are moving to Korea, and Ginna will start training for a competition in North Carolina in June. Ginna is also interested in furthering her Logan education through courses in the future.

#LeadersMade: Jacob “Blake” Brumbelow

December 7, 2018 -- Jacob “Blake” Brumbelow, president of Logan’s Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA), is strengthening the group’s ties with ACA National through open dialogue, relationship building and routine communication. Over the past few months, Jacob and members of SACA have been working closely with ACA to bring more events and speakers to Logan’s campus. As a result, they’ve increased SACA’s membership and have been building better connections with faculty and staff at Logan. 

“When taking the position of president, I knew I wanted to increase engagement among the student body and build better relationships with the faculty, staff and administration,” he said. “When we had our first meeting, we decided as a team to start small and not over-promise. Since then, we’ve blown away even my expectations for the organization.”

Jacob credits the growth to the student body as well as to the SACA leadership team and trimester representatives whom he said work tirelessly to spread the word to their classmates. “They have all grown into their leadership roles. Witnessing that improvement has made me a very proud president,” he said. 

Dr. Brittany Overman Ramirez Featured in The American Chiropractor

December 5, 2018 -- An advanced practice clinician with Mizzou Athletics Training Complex - a Logan University Health Center partner site in Columbia, Missouri - Dr. Brittany Overman Ramirez serves as a team chiropractor for Mizzou Athletics, including Mizzou Football. She is the sole female chiropractor working with an SEC football team and one of just a handful of women chiropractors working at a D1 university. 

Check out her cover feature in the December issue of The American Chiropractor here

Students Use Chiropractic to Improve Quality of Life in Ecuador

December 3, 2018 -- Just after completing exams and checking off another trimester this summer, seven female DC students packed their bags and chiropractic tables and headed south to Quito, Ecuador, for clinic abroad, eager to put their knowledge to use on real patients.

The inspiration for the trip came from Lizzie Rooker-Ortega, Trimester 10 student, who met her husband in Ecuador on a volunteer trip three years ago. “It’s always been a big focus of mine to give back to communities,” Lizzie said. Along with help from her husband and mother-in-law, Lizzie coordinated the 10-day trip, including travel arrangements, itineraries and a partnership with a local university.

The students, all of whom are current or past members of the Executive Board of Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) at Logan, were accompanied by Erica Hackett, DC, FIAMA, clinician and instructor, and Charlotte Meier, DC (2017). WLC partnered with Instituto Tecnologico Superior Esculapio, a naturopathic university in Quito, to give health exams to patients, provide chiropractic adjustments and share nutrition and exercise tips.

“First and foremost, the goal was to help the people of Ecuador,” Lizzie said. “Chiropractic is poorly known in South America, and the people of Ecuador are underserved in terms of health.”

The trip also served as a learning opportunity for the students—four of whom were entering the clinics for the first time upon their return to Logan—as well as exposure for chiropractic and the University. “Any international outreach for chiropractic and Logan is huge,” Lizzie said. “There are so many aspects of someone’s life that can be impacted through chiropractic—whether it’s physical, nutritional or emotional.”

As patients came into the temporary clinic, Logan students used a translator to ask questions and understand the patient’s complaint. From there, the students consulted with Dr. Hackett regarding a patient plan and got to work adjusting and teaching at-home exercises and posture tips. They treated patients who had previously suffered from cancer, a heart attack, a kidney ablation, cramping or pain throughout the body, among other complaints—more complicated cases than the students typically encountered in St. Louis, Lizzie said.

Throughout the five days of clinic, WLC saw more than 100 patients, and they treated each patient at least twice. They even referred some patients back to the naturopathic institute to continue care.

“People are in pain for so long that it affects them emotionally, too. The better they feel, the better they want to live, and the better they want to take care of themselves,” Lizzie said. “By experiencing these cases and treating these patients, we were able to grow and be challenged as health care providers and really focus on providing high-quality patient care.”

In addition to treating patients, the women spent time exploring the city. They saw the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, the monument marking the equator where visitors can stand with one foot in each hemisphere; the Monument to Independence; waterfalls and more.

“A personal goal of mine was for the other students and staff to experience a different way of life in Ecuador,” Lizzie said. “It is a very special place to me with a beautiful culture and beautiful people. Logan helped give me the tools and opportunities to give back to the people of Ecuador, and do so with my fellow students.”

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