In my role with World Spine Care I have the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. Some are obvious such as Scott Haldeman who has taken an idea like World Spine Care, developed it and convinced others to join him; our clinical supervisors who invest one year or more of their life in helping to provide chiropractic care in under-serviced areas of the world; and Geoff Outerbridge who has been a driving force behind World Spine Care. But none of this works if we can’t raise the money to fund the clinics.
Raising money at this time is difficult as there are many worthy charities. There is a great deal of negativity and uncertainty in the world at the moment, but I would like to focus on some positive aspects within the chiropractic profession. We often hear about the difficulty new graduates face as they enter the profession – high student loans, high rents, high prices for equipment, many chiropractors and a limited number of patients, all make for a difficult start to a new career. Despite this there are many new graduates who manage the challenges and shine.
I recently had the opportunity to meet someone who has been very successful in his own right but has also shared that success with a number of new graduates, giving them the chance to start in practice and to own their own practice.
Dr. Arif Alarakhia, 1999 graduate of National University of Health Sciences, returned to Toronto after his graduation and was mentored by a prominent Toronto chiropractor who is well known for his sports injury and rehabilitation clinic. Arif opened his clinic Physical Therapy One and quickly became successful such that he expanded to include an associate. He continued to expand and over the years needed more associates – 20 in all.
He now has 14 clinics, many in an interesting new endeavour where the clinic is included in a multidisciplinary health care center in a local supermarket chain. Administering 14 clinics requires a great deal of work and he found he was diverted from patient care into an administrative role. One day he looked at himself and said “this is not what I want to do with my life. I want to get back to treating patients”. He decided to offer his associates the opportunity to purchase their practices, but remain in a marketing/brand license relationship where they work together to execute best practices in marketing and branding to increase patient traffic, provide excellent patient care and also give back in a positive way.
Over the years they have donated more than $50,000 to charities such as Princess Margaret Hospital, Daily Food Bank, and the Red Cross. This year they decided to divide their donations between World Spine Care and another worthy charity. World Spine Care is honored to be the recipient of such largess.
This example of helping new graduates get established and giving back to society is only one of many that exist within our profession. It inspires us to look at our own giving. There are many worthy charities and we all only have so much money to give. But we all want to legitimately pay as little tax as we can. Why give your money to the government when it is possible to send it to World Spine Care and have it contribute to the growth of chiropractic while helping to provide evidenced based care to the people living in under-serviced areas who need it most?
Dr Jean Moss is the Chief Executive Officer for World Spine Care.