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.”

Spirit Night to Benefit Clinic Abroad - March 22nd, 2017

You can support Logan's next Clinic Abroad trip on Wednesday, March 22nd between 5pm and 7:30pm at the Chick-Fil-A located at 17365 Chesterfield Airport Road. 

Drop your receipt in one of the four fundraising bins and 20% of your pre-tax total will benefit Clinic Abroad!

Dine-in, carry out or drive thru to show your support!

Clinic Abroad Fundraiser - International Tap House - March 11th, 2016

Help raise money for the upcoming Clinic Abroad trip by visiting the International Tap House on Friday, March 11th between 7pm and 10pm. Half of all proceeds will go towards the Logan Clinic Abroad Trip to the Dominican Republic.

All are welcome to attend and feel free to bring your own food!

The International Tap House is located at:
161 Long Rd.
Chesterfield, MO 63005

Clinic Abroad Krispy Kreme Fundraiser

National Boards and Spring Break are quickly approaching and it’s time to start preparing for early mornings and late nights. Treat yourself and save some time cooking by having a Krispy Kreme to start off your day of studying or intense procrastinating!

The Clinic Abroad team is selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts for $8.00 a box. Pre-order your box by emailing Alex at by Wednesday, March 9th. All of the profits will go towards the Spring Clinic Abroad Trip. Orders will be available to be picked up the morning of March 11th.

Also, keep an eye out for upcoming fundraisers! There's more to come!

Logan's Clinic Abroad Program from a Student's Perspective

Earlier this month, Trimester 8 student Taryn Lewis from Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of six students (accompanied by Southfield Health Center Clinician Aimee Jokerst, DC, FIAMA, and Mid Rivers Health Center Clinician Ashley Lewandoski, DC) who participated in Logan’s Clinic Abroad program to the Dominican Republic Jan. 2 through 11. 

Taryn on her experiences:

"The Clinic Abroad program was incredibly immersive, and the amount of practice and experience I gained was invaluable because I was required to rely on my skillsI would definitely do it again because of all that I learned from my peers and the clinicians.
We treated patients over the course of six days in two different cities which provided a lot of experience in a short amount of time. Being one of the younger students on the trip (the rest were Trimester 10 students), I was relying on the others’ opinions and critiquing on my adjustments during the first few days, but I quickly learned I could count on my skills and knowledge.

We saw patients with all kinds of symptoms from leg to shoulder problems. One man had previously been shot five times in the leg and was suffering from muscle issues due to scarring. Another man came in bent over and couldn’t look up to see people’s faces. Within three adjustments, he was standing straight up and told us he hadn’t been that way in a long time. It was truly astounding to see the changes in some patents within just a few days.

Many of these people are living very labor-intensive lifestyles with little to no access to medical care outside of groups like us who visit. Even though we couldn’t always communicate, you could tell how grateful they were for our care. Many of them brought us small gifts, like fruit, juice or knick-knacks, just to say thank you."

Clinic Abroad - Dominican Republic - August 2015

At the end of August, eight Logan University students and two faculty members embarked on a clinic abroad trip to the Dominican Republic. The trip was designed to push students out of their comfort zone while treating citizens of a third-world country with chiropractic care.

The group spent six clinic days in the country, split between two different locations in Santo Domingo. In total, the students and clinicians saw 617 total patient visits during their stay.

The next clinic abroad trip is already being planned and is tentatively scheduled between January 2nd, 2016 and January 11th, 2016. If you're interested in attending, contact Dr. Barry Wiese at

Recently Visited Pages

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