By John Stites, DC, Director of Community Clinics, Palmer Chiropractic Clinics
are wonderful things, particularly when it comes to serving patients in
the Quad Cities. One collaboration that appears to be paying big
dividends for underserved and under-insured patients in the Quad Cities
is between Community Health Care, Inc. (CHC) and Palmer College of
Palmer College has been a Davenport institution for
more than a century. For many decades, chiropractic care has been
provided on the campus. Service to patients was enhanced with the
opening of the Academic Health Center in 2007, which can be viewed on
the right just past the sky bridge as you drive up Brady Street. Palmer
has a second clinic in Moline on 52nd Avenue near SouthPark Mall. In
addition, through a partnership with The Salvation Army, Palmer provides
care to underserved populations in both Davenport and Moline.
Community Health Care, Inc., was originally founded in 1975 and has clinics in Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline.
collaboration process started through a federal grant obtained by
Palmer College to assess the potential for providing chiropractic care
in a Federally Qualified Health Care Center. A Federally Qualified
Health Center (FQHC) underwritten by the Department of Health Resources
and Services Administration provides care to underserved or vulnerable
populations. These health centers provide primary care as well as
support services such as translations, education, and other services to
improve access to care. Services are available to all with fees adjusted
according to income.
Community Health Care, Inc., is an FQHC
focused on underserved and underinsured populations. Services provided
include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and
gynecology, and dental services, along with education including
nutrition, smoking cessation, and substance abuse programs. The grant
allowed the exploration of adding chiropractic to these services.
one-year project began in February 2011 and took place in the CHC,
Inc., Davenport location on River Drive. At the conclusion of the
project, CHC, Inc., and Palmer both agreed that the collaboration was
worth continuing. At that time, the new facility on 11th street in Rock
Island was just opening. This provided enough space to move the
chiropractic program to Rock Island.
I provided care as part of
the initial grant project and continue to see patients at CHC, Inc.,
four mornings a week. My colleague, Ron Boesch, DC, Dean of Clinics at
Palmer, also is credentialed and sees patients when I’m unavailable.
According to Dr. Boesch, “The collaboration with CHC, Inc., creates many
positive connections for both organizations — from education for our
interns and other health care professions to providing a broad scope of
care for patients. Integration and team approaches to health care are
documented to improve overall delivery and this is an opportunity for
both organizations to lead and create a model for others to follow.”
are in place to add an additional chiropractor, expand the hours, and
start to see patients in the River Drive facility in addition to the
Rock Island facility.
The providers and staff at CHC have been
very open and welcoming to everyone from Palmer. They are enormously
helpful and have made the integration of chiropractic care into
Community Health Care seamless.
In most chiropractic offices,
patients are largely self-referred and communication between doctors of
chiropractic and other health care providers is through letters and
phone calls. Frequently, there is no communication at all. The intention
was to create something different with this partnership.
result is something that is unique in the Quad Cities. Medical and
chiropractic care are fully integrated in the management of patients.
All patients receiving chiropractic care are referred by a CHC provider.
The electronic health records contain all patient information. Medical
providers for the patient are fully aware what chiropractic providers
are doing and vice versa. Chiropractic care in this way is fully
integrated with the medical management of the patient.
Haque, MD, is the Medical Director of Community Health Care, Inc., and
has played a pivotal role in developing the process to incorporate
chiropractic care. “Collaboration with Palmer has given our patients
another avenue to work on and improve their health,” says Dr. Haque.
“Patients really feel that they are getting holistic care. We are very
excited about this and look forward to extending our relationship.”
Inc., provides the facility, nursing support, diagnostic equipment,
clerical support, computers, and the Electronic Health Records. Palmer
provides the doctor, chiropractic tables and equipment. Palmer has
agreed to honor the sliding fee schedule that CHC, Inc., uses,
dramatically reducing fees for those patients needing assistance.
Bowman, the chief executive officer for CHC, Inc., has been a champion
of the program. “Community Health Care, Inc., is very proud of the work
we have done with Palmer,” he says. “We believe patients should have
access to all types of care that help alleviate pain and improve overall
health. This partnership has given our patients another option that
they may not have otherwise been able to access on their own, and our
patients have responded very positively to it.”
together with Kurt Wood, DC, Vice Chancellor for Clinics at Palmer
College, paved the way for continuing collaboration after the grant
period. “Palmer is committed to preparing our students to be successful
in a changing health care environment,” says Dr. Wood. “This means
providing inter-professional training opportunities in multidisciplinary
environments with the ultimate goal of improving health care for
There are clinical opportunities for chiropractors
today that didn’t exist a decade or so ago. Chiropractors work in the
Veterans Administration, in the Department of Defense, in industry and
in hospitals as well as other FQHCs. This partnership with CHC, Inc.,
provides background and experience for students to help them take
advantage of these new opportunities.
Sanjay Pancholi, DO, is a
physician at the Rock Island CHC, Inc., facility who specializes in
internal medicine. According to Dr. Pancholi, “It’s very convenient to
have chiropractic at the Rock Island CHC for all musculoskeletal pain
referral. It just makes sense.”
Collaboration to improve health care for patients; it just makes sense.
Please visit our website at www.palmer.edu/clinics/qc to find out more.