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MCA In Touch: September 2017
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In this issue:

From the President

By Craig Couillard, DC

In our last newsletter, we discussed the new vision of the MCA surrounding the WHY. The board’s strategic planning session was spent defining our WHY and who we really are as an association. Do you know the mission or vision of the MCA? If we know who we are at our core, we can better communicate with our membership and be laser focused on growing the association — two of the most important initiatives that must be improved upon in order to grow the MCA.

We felt the need to spend some time better defining who we are and why we exist so we can move our association to better heights. Our mission statement should be one sentence capturing who we are serving and why we exist. Or better yet, if we ceased to exist, what would be missed and by whom? A vision statement is centered around what you are trying to accomplish — it’s aspirational and future-focused. Lastly, a why statement is the bottom line of what drives this organization, what motivates and inspires us to act. Why do you support, serve and/or volunteer for this great association? Why do we do what we do for the MCA?

There have been many hours spent analyzing the results of the ‘Why Are you a Member Survey’, reading books, researching mission and vision statements ,and talking to our membership. The result is a new mission statement, vision, and a WHY statement. The statements are updated to reflect a new generation and to create more unity and trust within our profession.

I present to you the new version of our mission and vision:


Through unity, strength and advocacy, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association creates a community for Doctors of Chiropractic in the state of Minnesota.


The Minnesota Chiropractic Association envisions a future of strong unity and community among Doctors of Chiropractic so that they may practice to the full extent of their education and training, are treated fairly in Minnesota’s healthcare system and their value fully known.


To create a meaningful difference in the lives of each Doctor of Chiropractic in the state of Minnesota.

This is a mission and vision that we can stand on and grow from here. Everything that the MCA does needs to be supported by our mission and vision. We desire to create better unity and community to become stronger — at the state level via the association, in our practices and at home.

We have many challenges ahead of us, but if we can inspire our fellow colleagues to take action — to join the MCA and get involved — we can be better together. We have some lofty goals, but we also have a great leadership team in place with the grit and motivation to grow this association into the next generation. However, many hands make light work and we can’t do this alone. Won’t you please join us?

Dr. Craig Couillard
MCA President

Continuing to Build Relationships with Third-Party Payers

For over a century the chiropractic profession has been serving the people of Minnesota. In 1927, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association became our voice for advocacy and respect as healthcare providers.

For much of our existence as a profession in Minnesota, there has been a lack of effective communications with third-party payers. However, due to the dedicated work of many in leadership within the MCA, positive communications have started to take place in recent years. With the help of industry leaders such as SecureCare of Nebraska, chiropractors began to have effective dialogue regarding our value and place in the market with third-party payers. We have been able to create positive and meaningful relationships with payers to change and enhance the playing field for the chiropractic profession in Minnesota. Building positive relationships in the third-party arena benefits all chiropractors regardless of whether you are a cash practice or bill insurance for payment.

The MCA was created for advocacy, and continues to do that work. We advocate on the legislative side and on the insurance side. Those in leadership within the MCA are all working chiropractors just like yourself, who want to better the profession for everyone in the state.

This positive momentum was achieved with less than 25% of the doctors in the state being members of the MCA. We have been able to convey our value and move the needle in a positive direction for the first time in decades. This is just the start of the tremendous changes we can accomplish, but we need your help too. Imagine how much more we can accomplish if we have 100% of Minnesota Chiropractors as members of the MCA. That would be one loud voice!

Sports Council in Action: MS 150

By Brian Levernier, DC

The MCA Sports Council has been successfully working with the Minnesota MS Society for many years at the MS 150 overnight event in Hinckley, MN. The MS 150 is a fundraising event where dozens of teams of all sizes, thousands of riders, ride bicycles from Duluth to the Twin Cities in a two day adventure that courses 150 miles, labeled as the best weekend ride in Minnesota. This event begins in Duluth and has an overnight stop in Hinckley, at the casino grounds.

The MCA Sports Council has worked with numerous teams throughout the recent years, and for the 2016 and 2017 events, I was the coordinator between the MCA Sports Council and the MS Society. In 2017 we had sports specific chiropractors stationed with four teams: Moving Violations, Land O’Lakes/3M, Polaris/Pentair and Stevie’s Wonders.

Our chiropractors treated hundreds of riders for various concerns, from general muscle strains and blisters to heat exhaustion. The 2017 event saw winds 20-40 mph and the riders were tired from the ride as they entered their team tents in Hinckley. The MCA Sports council doctors were able to keep the riders of the MS 150 on course to complete their journey as well as their goal to donate their time, money and effort for the greater goal of the Minnesota MS Society.

After years of working with the MCA Sports Council, numerous events ranging from 5K runs, marathons, crossfit competitions, youth hockey tournaments and a national handball tournament, I can honestly state that the MCA Sports Council has been one of the best professional groups that I have been involved with. I have met many great people throughout the years at these events, and I have been able to collaborate with some of the best doctors in the state. I strongly recommend getting involved with the MCA Sports Council to expand your abilities as a chiropractor — you will not regret it. It is a great opportunity to promote Minnesota chiropractors in a positive way that advances our profession, and to give back to the state and our communities at the same time.

Why are You a Member?

Membership is the life-blood of any professional organization — and that’s especially true for the Minnesota Chiropractic Association. Why? Because members provide the human and financial resources necessary to advance our profession — and protect the rights of chiropractic patients.

At our annual convention last March, we asked several current MCA doctors why they are members.

They had many reasons, and we captured some of them in a short video that’s available on our website at

Legislative advocacy, advancing the profession, community and a sense of personal obligation have motivated many doctors to join. Membership growth is important because there is strength in numbers — especially since most of us are in private practices.

As members, you can increase your impact by serving on a committee, attending district meetings or joining the MCA’s Key Doctor Program, which is an important way you can help advance our legislative agenda.

If you’re not currently a member, please join today and help shape the future of the chiropractic profession in Minnesota!

MCA Members Provide Chiropractic Care at the World Games

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!

Be sure to watch the video on the homepage of our website!

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