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MCA Members Provide Chiropractic Care at the World Games

Wednesday, October 4, 2017   (0 Comments)
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By Dr. Charles Sawyer, MCA Professional Officer of Legislative Affairs

When I was a young DC, I had the opportunity to work with the men’s hockey team from the College of St. Thomas. It’s now a big university, and I still fondly remember riding the team bus to such glamorous Minnesota winter destinations as Winona, St. Peter, Northfield and Moorhead. The rinks were cold, the vending machine coffee worse, but the memories and the friendships have endured to this day.

My how times have changed, because now there is a new generation of sports chiropractic physicians who provide care to elite athletes competing in a wide variety of sports across the United States and worldwide.

My office on campus is next door to one of them and I recently had a chance to visit with Dr. Tim Stark and two other Twin Cities doctors who were part of the Northwestern Health Sciences University alumni delegation to the 2017 World Games in Wrocław, Poland.

Dr. Stark is the Director of Northwestern’s Human Performance Center, and he has an impressive resume of international sports chiropractic experiences, including the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tim is also a very effective mentor to Northwestern students and young clinicians, and recently received the Academician of the Year Award by the American Chiropractic Association.

Dr. Craig Couillard practices in Lakeville, MN, and has treated athletes at the United States Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista, CA, and Colorado Springs, CO, as well as at the World Sport Games in Lignano, Italy, in 2015. Locally, he is a chiropractor and sports medicine consultant for the Hamline University Athletic Department and the team chiropractor for the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball club.

“At the World Games and other international events, a lot of athletes don’t get chiropractic care in their own countries so they are grateful for our help,” Dr. Couillard explained. “I still communicate on a regular basis with a few Italian athletes from two years ago. And having the opportunity to get to know and learn the treatment techniques of providers from other parts of the world was one of the most rewarding aspects of this experience.”

Dr. Scott Mooring practices in West Saint Paul, MN, and while this was his first World Games experience, he traveled with the University of Minnesota (U of M) football team during the 2014-15 season and has treated Olympic athletes in Colorado Springs. He is also beginning his fourth season as the Team Chiropractor in the Athletic Medicine Department at the U of M where he provides care to all student athletes on-campus. He currently travels with the men’s wrestling team and cares for the women’s hockey during their home games, and was with them when they won the 2015 NCAA championship.

In addition to the care they provided to athletes, all three talked about interacting with healthcare professionals from other disciplines. “When I worked at the in-line speed skating venue, we had providers from other teams bringing their athletes to us for treatment,” said Dr. Mooring. “It was a great opportunity to showcase what we do, our education and our clinical skills.”

Dr. Keith Schaller practices in Waterbury, VT, and served with 30 other multinational Chiropractic Sports Physicians in the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. He was a top amateur and professional cyclist until he decided to pursue a career in chiropractic in 1999.

Dr. Brian Nook is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the West Campus of Palmer College of Chiropractic and, since 1987, has been a member of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic / Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS). He is a past first-vice president of that organization, currently serves on the Education and International Federations Commissions, and is the FICS Liaison to the International World Games Association (IWGA). With FICS, he has been a team physician and Chef de Mission at many sporting events throughout the world, and has served at four Olympic Games, three All Africa Games and three World Games.

As chiropractic doctors care for athletes at all amateur and professional levels — and especially at major international events — awareness of the profession and new opportunities for a younger generation of doctors continues to expand. However, for me, I’m just grateful for the memories of riding the team bus and the unmistakable odor of wet hockey equipment!

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