I have the pleasure of preparing for our family to go on vacation this year to Washington DC. During my research, I came across a speech given by President Abraham Lincoln in 1838 here in Springfield. It caught my eye because of many of the recent events within the chiropractic profession.
In the speech, Lincoln discusses the “ill-omen, amongst us” and “the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions.” He then continues to say, “This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny.” The worries, confusion, and frustration that our profession faces can be fearful at times – that, we cannot deny.
The Illinois Chiropractic Society is well aware of the issues that many of our members and other chiropractic physicians are facing: insurance problems, post-payment audits, court rulings which support the profession in one breath and limit payment in the next, problems with difficult patients, declines in the patient base, and I could go on and on. My point is not to belabor the obvious, but instead to let each of you know that the ICS pays close attention to the current environment, and we continue to step out. We continue to be YOUR lifeline in Illinois.
Over the last couple of months, the ICS has taken on some very serious challenges for the profession:
- We filed a lawsuit against Aetna on your behalf,
- We filed a brief to the Illinois Supreme Court on your behalf,
- We met with insurance companies, other associations, and unions for the profession,
- We launched a new information center for our members on our website (www.ilchiro.org),
- We initiated pro-chiropractic legislation that the governor recently signed
- We have worked with IDFPR and the FDA to clarify their positions regarding use of oxygen, and
- The list could go on for pages.
This list of serious challenges could extend to the ICS as an association. We have been brought into a labor dispute between a hotel and a union, because recently a union made the determination to boycott the hotel site for our 2010 ICS Chicago National Convention & Expo. In fact, some of you have been contacted by the union and asked to boycott our convention. We held many discussions with both the union and the hotel property, and in the end, we informed the union that we were willing to move the convention if they compensated the ICS for the high costs of moving the convention. To date, the union has told us they are unwilling to cover those expenses, and therefore the 2010 convention will be held at the Chicago Westin Northwest.
I mention this to remind us all that challenges exist everywhere and for nearly everyone, and if there were ever a time for the profession to be unified – now is that time. Now is the time for all chiropractic physicians in Illinois to make the decision to join with their colleagues to work on these difficult issues. Now is the time to stand unified as a profession, a collective unit, an association of doctors.
Lincoln went on to say in his speech that day, “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” The question I pose is this, “Do we sit idly by and allow outside forces to dictate our future, or do we set a more risky course to change our paradigm?”
It is time that we all took action on the behalf of the profession for our own sake as well. We must make some difficult decisions as a profession and as we have shown we can do as evidenced in the list above, and allow the future to “spring up amongst us.”
Join us and your colleagues as we collectively make a difference for the chiropractic profession for now and in the future.