Chiropractic in the United States Military Health System: A 25th-Anniversary Celebration of the Early Years

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SOURCE:   J Chiropractic Humanities 2020 (Dec); 27: 37-58

Bart N.Green DC, MSEd, PhD, Scott R.Gilford DC, Richard F.Beacham DC

Employer Based Integrated Primary Care Health Centers,
Stanford Health Care,
San Diego, California

Objective   The purpose of this report is to record noteworthy events that occurred during the early years of chiropractic in the United States Military Health System (MHS).

Methods   We used mixed methods to create this historical account, including documents, artifacts, research papers, and reports from personal experiences.

Results   Chiropractic care was first included in the MHS in 1995, after years of legislative activity. The initial program was a 3-year study of the feasibility and advisability of integrating chiropractic in the MHS. This period was called the Chiropractic Health Care Demonstration Project; 20 pioneering chiropractors began their MHS journeys at 10 military bases in fiscal year 1995. The Demonstration Project was extended for 2 more years to gather research data, and 3 additional military facilities were added during those years to accomplish that purpose. The Demonstration Project concluded in 1999. In 2000, Congress approved the development of permanent chiropractic services and benefits for members of the uniformed services. These new clinics opened in 2002.

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Conclusion   This is the first article to chronicle the history of chiropractic in the MHS, and highlights some of the important events in the early years of chiropractors working within the MHS. Because of the efforts of the early MHS chiropractors to pave the way for a permanent chiropractic benefit for the deserving members of the United States uniformed services, chiropractic care is now offered at more than 60 United States military facilities.

Key Indexing Terms   Chiropractic, Military Health Services, History, Hospitals, Military

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