The TCA consistently seeks opportunities to engage with legislators, insurers, employers and others as an advocate for better utilization of chiropractic care in addressing the opioid epidemic. On Thursday May 3rd, TCA Vice President Dr. Brock Martin and TCA Insurance Committee member Dr. Krista Martin were invited by U.S. Representative David Kustoff to participate in his “Opioid Roundtable” hosted in his West Tennessee congressional district.
The objective of this meeting was to gather law enforcement, community leaders, physicians, social workers, pharmacists and hospital administrators to discuss what they are seeing on the front lines in the fight against opioid addiction.
Dr. Brock Martin spoke on the preventative aspect that is needed to truly combat this epidemic. He presented to the group that it will take a collaborative approach by physical and mental health care providers and pharmacists, law makers and law enforcement, communities of faith, and social workers to keep the best interest of the patient as the central focus.
He spoke to the fact, that currently in Tennessee the TennCare adult population doesn’t even have access to services such as chiropractic and acupuncture. He presented to Congressman Kustoff and the other participants several of the latest endorsements from the American College of Physicians as well as the Joint Commission which both listed spinal manipulation, such as that performed by a chiropractor, as a first line of defense for back pain instead of pharmacological options like an opioid.
“Numerous individuals came up to us afterward and were shocked that a concept of preventative measures, especially ones like chiropractic which has tons of research backing its efficiency, is not even being promoted as a way to help combat the problem,” stated Dr. Krista Martin.
Other leaders within the community asked to take part included: Dr. Bryan Merrick, CEO of McKenzie Medical Center and a treating physician; Dr. Jason Kizer, Pharmacist at Kizer Pharmacy; David Johnson, LCSW at McKenzie Medical Center; Dr. Norma Gerrell, Director of Education for Paris Special Schools. Also represented were the Chief Director of Nursing and the Chief Director of Pharmacy at Henry County Medical Center, as well as two Directors of the West TN Drug Coalition, the Henry County Chief Drug Investigator and others with a vested interest in finding solutions to this plaguing problem.
“It was a great honor to be in that room with so many individuals that are working on the front lines to combat this epidemic,” Dr. Brock Martin noted. “It’s encouraging to see and speak with others that see that chiropractic certainly has its place as part of the solution. It’s our job in this state to make sure we have a seat at the table for these conversations to occur. Today was a prime example of how that can happen by getting involved in your community and with local legislators. We must continue to share our story across the state.”