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The Women of Chiropractic

March 8, 2020: (Falls Church, VA) International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the achievements of women. The first celebration was in 1911. At the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), we need to look no further than our Board of Directors to find three amazing women in chiropractic who serve as examples of the achievements of women in chiropractic.

Selina Sigafoose-Jackson, DC, FICA, ICA Vice President. A second-generation chiropractor, Dr. Sigafoose-Jackson previously served as the ICA’s Secretary-Treasurer. She is one of the 14 founders of the League of Chiropractic Women. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Life University. On her second day at chiropractic college (Life), Selina met Kevin Jackson, who would become her husband and partner in chiropractic practice in York, Pennsylvania. Dr. Selina, as many call her, walks the talk of a healthy lifestyle. She eats a plant-based diet and works out often. She is in the gym every day, sometimes more than once. As Vice-President of ICA, she is a tremendous representative to the membership and profession; she promotes the ICA mission of protecting and promoting chiropractic throughout the world as a distinct health care profession predicated upon its unique philosophy, science, and art of subluxation detection and correction.

Claire M. Welsh, DC, FICA, Southern Regional Director, Board of Directors. Dr. Claire Welsh is a trailblazer in the chiropractic profession. Having visited a chiropractor while a young mom in Georgia, she asked so many questions, her chiropractor suggested she check out the school not far away. Pretty soon, Dr. Welsh was a student at Life Chiropractic College where in December 1988, she received her Doctor of Chiropractic, Magna Cum Laude and would become the first of at least three in her family. (husband, daughter, and sister). Dr. Claire Welsh opened her chiropractic practice in Georgia near the family’s home and was soon so busy, she would routinely adjust more than 500 patients a week. Proving that busy people get things done, she has been active on both the state and national levels in chiropractic organizations. Dr. Welsh served many terms as the ICA Assembly Representative from Georgia and as President of the Georgia Council of Chiropractic from 2007 to 2009. She has served as the ICA Delegate to the World Federation of Chiropractic numerous times. In 2006, Dr. Nell Williams nominated, and Dr. Claire was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the ICA. Dr. Welsh was honored by the Georgia Council of Chiropractic as the Chiropractor of the Year for 2001. In 2004, Dr. Claire was inducted as an Inaugural Fellow of Life University where she is also a member of the President’s Circle. Dr. Claire Welsh is a leader in bringing the message of spine health and chiropractic care to China through the ICA King Koil educational program. When she is not on the road, Dr. Claire enjoys her role as grandmother.

Amanda Apfelblat, DC, Board Member at Large. Dr. Amanda Apfelblat is a leader not just in the chiropractic profession, but also in her local community. Dr. Apfelblat, whose practice focuses on maternity, pediatric and family wellness, has served both on the Board of Directors of her local Chamber of Commerce, but also as a Chamber Ambassador and Chairman in 2006. Dr. Apfelblat served two years as Vice President of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors. She has served on multiple other Boards in Michigan as well. Additionally, Dr. Apfelblat is CEO of the Chiro Moguls Corporation which provides practice mentoring. In the fall of 2019, she tragically lost her husband Adam while they were traveling on vacation internationally. Her grace and grit showed us all what women are capable of under the most challenging of circumstances.

From beyond the shores of the United States, on this International Women’s Day, we find additional key women leaders in the chiropractic profession:

Professor Christina Cunliffe PhD DC CBiol FRSB FCC (Paeds) FMCA, Principal, of the McTimoney College of Chiropractic in Abingdon, UK. She has a track record as a leader in higher education. In 2010, Professor Cunliffe, when serving as a member of the General Chiropractic Council, on its Education Committee, and Chair of the Resource Management Committee, was awarded the first University of Wales Personal Chair in one of its Collaborative Centres. Professor Cunliffe is a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors, and has served as Treasurer on the College Council. She has been the Principal of the McTimoney Chiropractic College based in Abingdon, since 1998.

Dr Heidi Haavik, Founder of Haavik Research is a chiropractor and a neurophysiologist who has worked in the area of human neuropsychology for over 15 years. Heidi has a Ph.D. in human neurophysiology from the University of Auckland. She was named Chiropractor of the year in 2007 by both the New Zealand Chiropractic Association and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic Alumni Association. As a researcher, she has investigated the effects of chiropractic adjustments of dysfunctional spinal segments (vertebral subluxations) on somatosensory processing, sensorimotor integration, and motor cortical output. Dr. Haavik has received numerous research awards and has published a number of papers in chiropractic and neurophysiology journals. She has presented her work to both chiropractic and neuroscience communities around Australasia, North America, and Europe.

There are other amazing women in chiropractic whom we honor in memory. They include Dr. Cora Lee Van Egmond, ICA’s Professional Development Director who passed in 2017, Dr. Nell Williams who with her husband founded Life University, and Dr. Jeannie Ohm, a leader in the field of chiropractic pediatrics both of whom passed in 2019.

On March 8th and every day, the ICA celebrates the women of chiropractic.

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