ON Chiropractic Winter 2014 - Page 24

Community ON Chiropractic B REA KIN G DO W N BAR RIE RS T O CHI ROPRACT I C CARE A hallmark of this profession is the desire of chiropractors to deliver the value and benefits of chiropractic care to an ever wider circle of patients. Reaching some communities, though, is more challenging than simply “getting the word out”. The chiropractors featured in this story represent a growing segment of the profession that is breaking down barriers to chiropractic care. Health care practitioners across Ontario and around the world are coming to understand how best to treat patients who are at risk of developing or experiencing comorbid conditions. This has led to an increased effort to provide chronic disease prevention and treatment programs in at-risk communities. Communities that include under housed, low income, aboriginal, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and newcomer populations are believed to have the most to gain from such programs. Chiropractors are joining efforts to serve these communities across the province and the results are stunning. They are reaching a diverse array of new patients, contributing to the success of multidisciplinary teams and presenting the chiropractic profession in a very positive light to new audiences. What follows are the stories of three chiropractors who, with their sleeves rolled up, are contributing to those results. D r. Zeinin Haji has found a number of ways to give back to the community that she loves, but her work with London’s Salvation Army Centre of Hope Chiropractic Clinic is closest to her heart. “I was privileged to be asked by the chiropractor that began this program to be part of the initial pilot group to launch this project,” Dr. Haji Left: A patient gives the thumbs up after receiving treatment at the Salvation Army Centre of Hope Chiropractic Clinic in London. Right: Dr. Jacobs confers with a staff member at the CMCC Clinic at Sherbourne Health Centre. 24 WINTER 2014 said. “It has been a tremendous success and I am so pleased to be part of that continued success.” The Salvation Army clinic’s doors are open for just two hours on Friday afternoons. Despite such a limited window of time, the team works efficiently to provide chiropractic care to approximately 80 patients each week. “We are all working together to aid in the individual’s progress,” Dr. Haji reports, referring to the team of around 20 chiropractors who build upon each other’s treatments from week to week to generate positive outcomes for patients. “The education we provide allows them to make more informed decisions about their health care needs and incorporate the benefits of chiropractic care into their health regimes.” A key to this clinic’s success is its accessibility. Chiropractors see low income patients free of charge. This practice removes a major barrier to care, particularly long term care. In addition to removing the cost barrier, the clinic is highly physically accessible as it is situated in a central location on the local bus route. When the chiropractic team arrives each Friday, they often find a lineup around the block. I n Ottawa, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health is making similar progress. Dr. Paul Taillefer, who practices at Wabano as part of a Dr. Zeinin Haji Dr. Paul Taillefer Dr. Craig Jacobs COLLEGE: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) 1999 COLLEGE: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) 2004 COLLEGE: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) 2005 PRACTICE location: Lambeth PRACTICE location: Ottawa PRACTICE location: Toronto multidisciplinary team of health care practitioners, believes that his work is making a significant difference in the lives of his patients. “There are unique health and socio-economic concerns that affect this community,” Dr. Taillefer said. The challenges the clinic’s patients face are often the result of limited educational and employment opportunities, addiction and chronic illness. “Many of the cases I manage are chronic in nature, most likely due to delayed treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, in favour of more life-threatening health concerns.” One component of Dr. Taillefer’s work is to educate his colleagues on musculoskeletal health and chiropractic care. One of the ways this is accomplished is by maintaining a binder containing information on chiropractic education, the chiropractic scope of practice, chiropractic techniques, media reports and the current research published in peer-reviewed journals. “My goal is to contribute to reducing barriers to chiropractic care for the Aboriginal community and to all those in need,” Dr. Taillefer said. A t the Sherbourne Health Centre in Toronto, chiropractors are an integral part of the team working to improve the health of a community that contains significant LGBT, under housed and newcomer populations. This is complex and rewarding work according to Dr. Craig Jacobs, Primary Clinician at CMCC’s clinic within Sherbourne. “We specifically train our interns to be aware of the issues that members of these communities deal with both from a healthcare and musculoskeletal point of view and an emotional and psychological standpoint,” he said. Many of the patients who visit the Sherbourne clinic have not had previous access to chiropractic care. This is due to cost, a lack of awareness and, often, discomfort in a traditional health care setting. Along with these barriers, many are coping with multiple health issues such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, diabetes and mental health conditions. “Often times we have patients who have felt they were unable to trust their healthcare providers,” Dr. Jacobs said. “It can take time to get someone who has faced discrimination or flat out rejection from a healthcare provider in the past to come to trust you. I’m pleased to say we succeed.” Co-managing challenging cases with other practitioners is an essential part of provi [