The San Jose City Council
honored Palmer College of Chiropractic
during a special ceremony at the Council meeting that Tuesday. The Council presented a special Commendation that paid tribute to the San Jose Campus’ network of community-outreach clinics, which, for more than two decades, have provided complimentary care to low-income patients with limited health care resources.
San Jose Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen and Councilmember Rose Herrera presented the Commendation to Dr. Andre KnustGraichen, D.C
., a graduate of Palmer Chiropractic College's San Jose Campus, class of 1984. He has served as clinical professor at the outreach clinics for more than 20 years and accepted the award that day on behalf Palmer.
Introduced in 1988, Palmer’s outreach program has expanded the intern experience beyond the campus-based clinic by providing care for patients at San Jose-based satellite clinics.
The award-commendation was happy news for Palmer alum, Dr. David York, D.C. of Advantage Chiropractic in San Francisco.
He shared his intern recollections on those days, when the outreach program first began. "We did outreach then, as most people that become doctors do," he said. "The outreach of satellite clinics gave students a chance to see a broader spectrum of the community."
His classmate from the class of 1990, Dr. Greg Snow, D.C.,
would agree. “It has been rewarding on many levels to work with the various service organizations over the past two decades providing chiropractic care to the underserved residents of San Jose and Santa Clara County,” said, Snow. He now serves at the San Jose campus as dean of clinics.
York considered the time spent at the outreach extremely valuable. "We got to help the less fortunate and improve our diagnostic skills." York is pleased that his alma mater has maintained such a positive outreach presence in the local community. "I think it is a win win scenerio for all involved," York said.
"Community outreach is a sure way to bring health to people without access to healthcare and many practitioners are meeting this need in the form of free or sliding scale clinics, educational workshops and health screening events," said Dr. Christopher DeMartini, D.C. who is a chiropractic neurologist, of California Neurohealth
in Redwood City, CA.
While Dr. DeMartini is not an alum of Palmer, he has met and worked with fellow chiropractors who have attended Palmer. He believes very strongly in community outreach. "All aspiring or licensed doctors should do outreach because we have a duty to help people have the best health," he said. DeMartini also noted that it is through outreach and education that the community is better served.
These Palmer outreach clinics are maintained in partnership with the Salvation Army, Cityteam ministries, Emergency Housing Consortium (EHC), and the Ecumenical Association of Housing (EAH)
; among other South Bay social-service agencies.
"Palmer has been providing chiropractic services for our men in at our homeless
shelter and in our long-term recovery," said Carol Patterson, vice-president of marketing and communications for Cityteam.
While Palmer has recently cutback on its partnership with Cityteam,
Patterson noted the impact. "Many of these individuals have not had medical care in a long time – so some of the chiropractors identify some other medical issues besides chiropractic issues and then they are referred to other medical services." "This can be life saving," she said. "Plus, she noted, people that are homeless can have critical foot and leg problems because they have been walking long distances." "Chiropractic services for them, said Patterson have helped tremendously that wouldn't have the opportunity to have this kind of medical attention."
And, it is because of these opportunities that people in the community are grateful, catching the attention of civic leaders like Council-member Herrera. She nominated Palmer College for the Commendation award following a call that she received from a resident in her district, Evangeline Sangalang - who wanted to express her appreciation and praise of the care that she received at one of the Ecumenical Association Housing based outreach clinics, that Palmer serves.
It is in this form of positive outreach that DeMartini
and others like Dr. David Ressler of Ressler Chiropractic
in South San Francisco see as crucial. Helping people take care of their health can reduce more serious conditions later on if not checked regularly.
"I just believe people should avoid taking unnecessary drugs and having needless surgery," said Ressler. He is an alum of Palmer
and believes strongly in the basic principles of chiropractic care. "First seek natural and less invasive procedures." This is what all chiropractors aim for, to help the body heal itself, naturally.
"Less than 10 percent of all people in the United States receive chiropractic or acupuncture care, said Demartini. "And the evidence is clear, he pointed out, that if people did, overall healthcare costs would go down nationally primarily due to safer and more cost effective treatments for chronic conditions."
"Yet, also Demartini added, many lives would be saved due to less adverse drug reactions and surgical complications."
"At EAH Housing, said Kathy Isaksen, the resource coordinator for Senior services, we are firm believers that healthy neighborhoods are much more than a 'roof over your head'. We look for partners that share our vision to serve those that are often the most vulnerable," she said speaking on behalf of EAH.
"Palmer Chiropractic College and Dr. Andre serve as an incredible example of folks who really care; giving time, resources and their healing hands to hundreds of seniors." Isaksen noted "they volunteer with such regularity that our residents have come to depend on them for help with everyday aches and pains".
Isaksen also pointed out, that Palmer serves seniors "struggling to make ends meet and would not be able to receive the care they have come to expect from Palmer Chiropractic College any other way." "The caring approach of Dr. Andre and his staff has greatly enhanced their lives and I wish EAH Housing had partners like Dr, Andre in every one of the 50 municipalities that we serve," she said.
"We thank the Chiropractic College and Dr. Andre for being a stellar example of how we all can make a difference every day in the communities where we live and work," Isaksen said.