Remembering Dr. Joseph J. Sweere

Dr. Joseph J. Sweere passed away on Sunday, November 21, leaving behind an incredible legacy here at Northwestern Health Sciences University, and more broadly in the field of chiropractic. 

Dr. Joe SweereDr. Sweere has been a mentor, colleague, and friend to so many at NWHSU, and will be dearly missed. He was a pillar at the university and nationally within the field of chiropractic, advancing the profession and impacting many students and colleagues along the way. His impact may be best defined by a quote he used often, and lived by: “We are on the earth to help each other, and therein lies our joy.”

After graduating from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in 1961, Dr. Sweere practiced in Owatonna for 25 years before joining the faculty at NWHSU. In the early part of his career with NWHSU Dr. Sweere taught many up and coming chiropractors and guided their careers beyond the walls of the University. He was a professor in the Department of Diagnostic and Clinical Sciences in the College of Chiropractic; coordinator of the continuing education programs in occupational health; and coordinator and principal instructor of postgraduate orthopedics. 

Beyond his chiropractic degree, Dr. Sweere was a diplomate with both the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists and the American Chiropractic Board of Occupational Health.

Dr. Sweere was a pillar of the chiropractic community, specifically with regards to occupational health. He was instrumental in initiating continuing education in the occupational health and ergonomics specialty for the Chiropractic profession on a national level, having served on the post-graduate faculty of ten chiropractic colleges. 

Dr. Sweere received many awards for his teaching and contributions to the profession. At NWHSU, he was voted teacher of the year in both 1990 and 2006, was awarded the University Brilliant Star Award in 2007, and was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Minnesota Chiropractic Association  awarded him Chiropractor of the Year in 1997, the John Allenburg Meritorious Award in 2002, Outstanding Educator in 2009, and the Lifetime Achievement Distinguished Service Award in 2019. 

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This video was produced when Dr. Sweere won the MCA Lifetime Achievement Distinguished Service Award in 2019, which has only been awarded three times in the history of the MCA.

Dr. Sweere founded the Sweere Clinic here on campus, a premier evidence-based integrative health learning center. “The opening of the Sweere Clinic is the fulfillment of a dream my late wife Mary and I conceptualized many years ago,” he said. “Our mission is to empower our patients as active participants in their own health care, with the goal of providing relief from suffering and pain.”

We look back at Dr. Sweere’s many years of contributions to NWHSU with incredible gratitude, and our hearts are with the Sweere family during this difficult time. 

For those interested in celebrating Dr. Sweere’s life, funeral information can be found in his obituary.

Make a gift to NWHSU in honor of Joe Sweere

Thank you for Sharing Your Stories, Memories, and Messages 

Dr. Sweere has had such an impact on our NWHSU community, and we know that so many of us have stories to share as we remember and honor him. Many of you submitted your memories and we’ve compiled them to present to the family and keep in our archives.