WSSU might be getting school of Chiropractic

WSSU might be getting school of Chiropractic
April 12
12:00 2018

N.C. Rep. Ed Hanes Jr. announced that a study detailing information for a School of Chiropractic at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is headed to the General Assembly after being approved last week by the UNC Board of Governors.  Studies regarding a four year Police Cadet Academy and a Physicians Assistants program proposed for WSSU were also released.

The current state budget provided up to $100,000 to perform a study on the feasibility of establishing a School of Chiropractic at WSSU. The legislatively directed study charged the board with considering the health care needs of the region as well as the economic benefits.  If established the school would be the first publically supported chiropractic program in the nation.

“We are appreciative of the General Assembly’s passion for improving the health outcomes of our State, and in the implied confidence in Winston-Salem State’s ability to be the driving force to address these needs by forming a School of Chiropractic,” Hanes, author of the chiropractic study bill, told the Board of Governor’s Educational Planning, Policies and Programs Committee. 

“That national opioid crisis has demonstrated the need for alternative medical treatment and training to take place.  Winston-Salem State University is uniquely positioned to take on this important mission.  I’m happy to support those efforts.”

The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC evaluated options and concluded a School of Chiropractic at WSSU could be beneficial and transformative as the first public school entry.   

“The potential for its impact on our state is enormous, for our students, the community, and the university alike,” said Dr. Ricky R.Sides, chiropractic physician and member of the WSSU Board of Trustees. “I cannot imagine a better locus for the creation of a community to focus on the practice, pedagogy, and promotion of whole health outcomes, especially in the face of an opioid epidemic that is devastating this state and nation.”

An urban center in the second most rural state in the country, the counties in proximity to WSSU still face staggering conditions of high obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, infant mortality, and poverty rates for minors.  Opioid addiction has slowly entered this toxic mixture and crosses racial and economic lines.

Fast-growing professions like nursing, nurse practitioner, occupational therapy, and physical therapy are in high demand and the core expertise at WSSU, a university that was once primarily known for producing teachers. 

“This School of Chiropractic would provide an opportunity to continue growing a stronger, highly educated, more diverse and qualified health care focused workforce in North Carolina,” said Sides.  “The ability to educate and train young people from across the country will increase the likelihood they will remain in North Carolina after completion of the program.  As a public school we will have an immediate opportunity to dominate this area of training.”

The study now heads to General Assembly for approval during the upcoming short session next month.

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