Research Team Studies Chiropractic in Federally Qualified Health Centers

The research team at Northwestern Health Sciences University was awarded funding from NCMIC for their project studying Chiropractic Care Delivery in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

The Project 

The project will last one year and aims to determine the extent of chiropractic services, practice environment, doctor characteristics, and experiences and perceptions of administrations within FQHCs. 

The role of Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) within FQHCs is largely unknown and the overall goal of the study is to perform a systematic assessment to determine the level of integration of DCs.  

It will also explore the skills necessary for successful collaboration and present barriers to incorporating chiropractic services into FQHCs. They hope that the study will provide background information for future research on the impact of chiropractic care within FQHCs that will guide policy and implementation practices. 

“We hope that this project will lead to greater access to the conservative, affordable care that chiropractic doctors provide, to low-income patient populations served by community health centers,” explained Chuck Sawyer, DC, who serves as co-investigator on the project. “One factor motivating us to pursue this study was NWHSU’s successful relationship with Minnesota Community Care, the largest Federally Qualified Community Health Center in the state.” 

Dr. Sawyer joins Michele Maiers, DC, PhD, MPH, who is principal investigator on the project, and Andrea Albertson, DC, who will serve as project manager. Two student research assistants will also join the team.  

The Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy  

The Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy (CHIP) aims to inform and influence policy decisions around chiropractic care within the realm of patient centered, evidence-based non-pharmacological interventions. Having a long-standing partnership with FQHCs, NWHSU is motivated to support this emerging market through research, advocacy and innovation initiatives.  

Story by Kit Harlow, Chiropractic Student