Helping Hands For Heroes

Helping Hands For Heroes

It has already been a busy year for Illinois chiropractic physicians in a variety of ways, not the least of which is the passage of two major pieces of legislation.  This August 2011 edition of the ICS Journal is appropriately titled “A Breath of Fresh Air.” As an idiom, this phrase indicates a new, fresh, and imaginative approach.  The ICS has taken a new approach to legislative issues, oxygen therapies, scope of practice, education and now soldiers – our heroes.

As background, just as some of you are members of the Illinois Chiropractic Society, the ICS is a member of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). Recently, COCSA began working with Army OneSource (AOS) to develop a program supporting our recently deployed troops and their dependents called Helping Hands for Heroes.  It is a historic program and one with which the ICS and Illinois chiropractic physicians are now a part.

Army OneSource

First, let me clue you in on Army OneSource:  Their mission is to standardize the services and delivery of support to soldiers and their families regardless of their branch or location.  Basically, they are the support mechanism for the deployed, recently returned, and their families. One of the ways they fulfill their mission is “through partnerships with local community and government organizations” called “Community Covenants.” These community covenants are, in essence, a formal commitment of support by a group (typically communities, etc.) to soldiers and their families.  Their purpose is to foster and sustain effective state and community relationships to improve the quality of life for soldiers and their families.  In other words, communities formally commit their support to those who are otherwise sometimes forgotten.

This is where the ICS, COCSA and you come in.  The ICS has now signed a Community Covenant on behalf of the chiropractic community in Illinois pledging to “educate, support and provide resources” to our Armed Forces, Veterans, and families.  In fact, the chiropractic profession is the first (and I believe only) health care profession to sign an Army Community Covenant.  The covenant can be found online on our HelpingHands for Heroes dedicated page at www.ilchiro.org.  As an Illinois physician, you will be able to personally sign and commit to the Community Covenant at the ICS Chicago National Convention in Lisle.

Common Issues Reported by Veterans

We recognize the three most common health issues reported by veterans are: musculoskeletal; mental health; and symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions.  As a result, we are working with COCSA and other national leaders to provide you with the necessary education to address these specific issues.  Currently, there are two courses designed and available online for chiropractic physicians in Illinois at no charge (free).  The courses have been developed by the Army working with the chiropractic community, and the courses have been approved in Illinois for CME.

The courses deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury AND Issues of Women Returning from Combat.  The two courses are currently 7 hours total and are designed to provide our doctors with the tools to better assist our troops and their dependents.  This education is the crux of our commitment, as it is a tangible way you can prepare to “give back.” You can find more information about these two courses on our Helping Hands for Heroes dedicated page at www.ilchiro.org.

In short, this is a program that is: 

  1. good for the 112,000+ heroes and their dependents that fit into the Army OneSource mission,
  2. good for the chiropractic profession in Illinois,
  3. good for our doctors individually,
  4. elevating the entire profession by doing something bigger than just us,
  5. and much more.

We are excited to announce and roll out this support for our heroes and their families here in Illinois.  The ICS will provide more information to all our doctors (members or not) in the coming weeks, announce the program to media outlets across the state, provide chiropractic physicians with press releases for their community, provide additional education in the coming months and years, and more.  Additionally, we are encouraging everyone to join us in signing the Community Covenant at the ICS Chicago National Convention & Expo.  Thank you in advance for participating in Helping Hands for Heroes and for committing to this new, imaginative approach.

About Author

Marc Abla, CAE

Marc Abla began working at the Illinois Chiropractic Society in 2002 and became the Executive Director in 2008. He brings his extensive financial, administrative and association experience to the ICS. He is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the Certified Leadership Series through the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and the American Chiropractic Association.


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