T HE " CH A EF FEC T"
etty Molitor began her award-winning career as a Chiropractic Health
Assistant (CHA) 62 years ago this summer. In that time she has witnessed
a great deal of change in the profession. What has not changed is the positive
impact of this dedicated staff member on the practice that has employed her for
over six decades.
When asked about the CHA role
and how it can benefit a practice, Betty
spoke about the importance of developing
deep connections between a practice
and its patients. Those relationships are
forged or broken at each moment of a
patient’s experience in your practice. Dr.
Jim Fogarty could not agree with Betty
more. He understands her value as an
ambassador for his practice. Betty has
been an asset to Dr. Fogarty in many ways,
most significantly by helping him to come
to fully understand how to build a team
that helps a practice not only succeed, but
thrive. This is what we have coined the
The CHA Effect refers to the way
your practice can run more efficiently
and provide truly exceptional patient
experiences when your staff is fully engaged
and committed to the success of your
practice. As Dr. Fogarty described his
own experience with CHAs in his Sarnia
practice, it became clear that his story
is not unique. Chiropractors across the
province experience the CHA Effect every
day. The purpose of this article is to outline
some of the necessary preconditions to
experiencing it in your office.
Choose Your CHAs Wisely
Betty Molitor has successfully trained
dozens of CHAs in her 62-year career.
In that time, Betty can only think of a
couple of individuals that were hired onto
her team that turned out not to be suited
to the role. That’s because Betty’s highly
sensitive radar is superb at identifying
candidates who will succeed in a busy
chiropractic office. What does Betty look
for? Loyalty and commitment to the
chiropractors in the office are first on her
list. Betty understands that the patients
who walk through her clinic’s doors are
there to receive important health care.
It’s her job to enhance that experience
and facilitate the chiropractors’ ability to
provide that care.
Betty spends a great deal of her time
at work interacting with patients and
ensuring that the time they spend in the
clinic before and after their treatments
is as beneficial and fulfilling as possible.
Dr. Fogarty echoed that value of finding
CHAs who can convey the tone of the
chiropractor and the clinic effectively.
In his practice that means a warm and
welcoming tone. Other chiropractors
may seek a CHA who can convey a
complementary tone to their own
Betty also looks for signs of a strong
work ethic. A CHA who is not completing
their share of the work or is not showing
up to work consistently is unlikely to be
successful. Work ethic can sometimes
be gauged in interviews and other
times reference checks provide the best
opportunity to ask those questions.
Invest in Your Staff’s Development
In many businesses, professional
development is becoming a highly selfguided endeavour. Organizations that take
the time to understand and encourage staff
professional development set themselves
apart from the rest of the pack. The
potential benefit of investing time and
resources into your team is enhanced by
the reality that no formal CHA training
program is currently being offered in the
college or university system in Canada.
Creating a professional development
plan for your CHAs does not have to be
onerous or costly. It can be as simple as
periodic meetings to talk about how you
and your team members would like to
develop their own capacity and track their
progress. You can also encourage your
CHAs to look for free, online resources.
The OCA’s online resource centre includes
a CHA Toolkit. Your staff can progress
through the Toolkit at their own pace
while learning about topics like new
patient procedures, the fundamentals
of chiropractic and time management.