Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Celebrates 20th Anniversary

ROANOKE, Va. (October 20, 2023) -- 

It was a landmark event for the profession when chiropractic leaders joined Kent Greenawalt, CEO of Foot Levelers, the world’s leading provider of custom-crafted, flexible orthotics, to sign proclamations pledging national public relations unity at the 2003 annual meeting of the Congress of State Chiropractic Associations (COCSA), now known as ChiroCongress. Their unanimous declaration was the genesis of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), which Greenawalt organized as a 501 (c)(6) organization and which now celebrates its 20th anniversary. For Greenwalt and those who joined him in this ambitious endeavor, F4CP was the ideal way to give back to the chiropractic profession.

The signatories all agreed that ‘Chiropractic in America’ was in critical condition. Chiropractic college enrollment was down, Americans were not turning to chiropractic care and typical press coverage for chiropractic was generally negative. This unification, emboldened by the F4CP, represented a significant turning point for the profession, bringing one unified voice, with one unified effort and one unified message. The result: mutual survival of doctors of chiropractic.

Importance of Financial Support

To jump-start the formation of the F4CP and get it up and running, initial funding came from Foot Levelers which donated $1 million, NCMIC which also contributed $1 million and Breakthrough Coaching which gave $500,000. Keeping this momentum going for the past 20 years, Foot Levelers has continued its monthly, ongoing support to cover all the administrative costs of F4CP.

In the beginning years, several groups also stepped up with financial support. Standard Process contributed $500,000 and Dr. Tom Klapp became the first individual supporter, pledging $100 per month -- an amount he continued to contribute uninterrupted until his passing. In 2011, the Michigan Association of Chiropractors pledged $18,000 annually. On the joyous 20-year anniversary celebration of F4CP, Foot Levelers is donating an additional $1M and will gift matching funds up to another $1M, with a goal to reach the optimal matching funds by December 31, 2023. All doctors of chiropractic (DCs) and other global stakeholders in F4CP, including companies and organizations serving the profession, are urged to make their contributions as soon as possible. Greenawalt also reminds everyone to reach out to colleagues for timely donations that enable F4CP to realize the full benefits of this endowment. Contributions to the F4CP Foot Levelers Matching Fund Campaign should be made here.

Looking Back – Looking Ahead

Today, thanks to Greenawalt’s continued leadership and generosity, as well as the support of organizations that have since rallied to provide additional donations and guidance, nearly 35,000 DCs nationwide and worldwide are members of this professional society. As the F4CP celebrates its 20th anniversary, it’s time to reflect upon the message and mission of the F4CP which remain consistent since its founding: effectively advocate for the esteemed chiropractic profession and advance its mission to educate the public about chiropractic care through positive press.

Early Wins

From the beginning, the F4CP retained a national public relations firm to develop the message, manage the plan and run the campaign. What initially seemed like an uphill battle transformed into an energized effort that continues to exceed all expectations for achieving the original goals.

The first 10-15 years were groundbreaking. Early on, F4CP conducted its first survey to gauge how the public feels about chiropractic care and performed a competitive analysis of the US healthcare marketplace. The organization kicked off its first campaign at Parker Seminars in Las Vegas, issuing press releases emphasizing major media outlets like The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) followed by FOX TV commercials featuring its first spokesperson Sarah Harding, an All-American gymnast and two-time winner of Mrs. Fitness USA title. Advertising reached multiple audiences with strong messaging supported by the creation of materials, content, consumer surveys and fundraising efforts. Living the mission was underway!

Within the next few years, notable achievements included commissioning a landmark report: “Study Finds the Availability of Chiropractic Care Improves the Value of Health Benefits Plans,” and securing Super Bowl superstar Jerry Rice as spokesperson who was featured in a national campaign, “Hall of Famer Shares Personal Success with Chiropractic Care.”

F4CP was making its mark as the positive press campaigns began to reach wide audience segments. Military healthcare and backpack safety public service announcements aired on TV and radio markets nationwide. High-profile media interviews with Brigadier General Becky Halstead (Ret.) highlighted her journey with fibromyalgia and how chiropractic care improved her life. Targeted campaigns, such as “Chiropractic Care Benefits Juvenile Arthritis Patients” resonated throughout the country. A commercial featuring Shilo Harris, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. (Ret.) described how chiropractic care saved his life, highlighting the role of chiropractic care in the military.

Employer outreach programs set in motion opportunities for DCs to connect with local, regional and national companies. DCs became champions of care for young patients when F4CP launched a commercial “How I Got My Wiggle Back.”

With many chiropractors emphasizing their role to improve sports performance, F4CP founded Athletic TIPS (Toward Injury Prevention in Sports) certification through a grant provided by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education. The Washington Redskin Cheerleaders produced a video, “Talk Chiropractic,” and a poster series featuring then Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his chiropractic Dad circulated nationwide.

Over the years, F4CP produced multiple videos to fuel positive media, including U.S. Olympic Gymnast, Nastia Liukin demonstrating how chiropractic kept her body in balance; Mark Collins, NY Giants, describing how a champion “Tackles Pain with Chiropractic Care”; and Olympic Gold Medalist, Picabo Street sharing her positive experience. Another Super Bowl Champion, Dwight Clark, joined F4CP as spokesperson at a Parker University Seminar. The role of DCs to optimize athletic performance and endurance continues to this day with new videos continually under production, including “Dr. Sean Drake Highlights Value of Chiropractic Care for Athletes.”

These remarkable activities, including ad campaigns in WSJ, Roll Call and POLITICO -- "Moments Made Possible by A Doctor of Chiropractic” -- built credibility for the profession and promoted the education and safety of chiropractic care. Responding to the alarming issues of opioid abuse throughout the country, F4CP held a national press conference “Save Lives, Stop Opioid Abuse, Choose Chiropractic” at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Institute of Health and Dr. Marc Siegel, medical advisor for FOX News, presented the benefits of chiropractic care and soon thereafter, the F4CP designated September as Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month.

Go-Forward Momentum

In the last five years, the F4CP has continued to expand upon this track record with incredible advertising underwritten by the F4CP. Earned media coverage in Forbes, Becker’s Spine Review and BOSS Magazine generated top tier recognition for the profession. The campaign “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” honored chiropractic’s 123rd birthday with placements in major airline publications, billboards and train wraps. A :30 second commercial titled, “I Know Pain” was placed during the 2020 Summer Olympics and aired 25 times on NBC Networks. F4CP also collaborated with ChiroCongress to launch National ChiroCares Giving Back Day.

Advertisements in Prevention Magazine, Runners World, Employee Benefit Adviser, Sacramento Bee and more fueled ongoing respect for chiropractic. A highly credible three-part series in The Lancet – a world-leading medical journal -- brought attention to the value of chiropractic for low back pain.

F4CP also boosts recognition for State Associations. A ‘first’ was the billboard campaign supporting the Montana Chiropractic Association followed by a “Train Wrap” in Sacramento to support the California Chiropractic Association. In 2022, the F4CP placed 60 billboards to support state associations nationwide. The organization also extended global membership to international associations, with the Chiropractic Association of South Africa becoming the first to join.

Over the years, the F4CP has garnered a trove of prestigious awards. These accolades underscore F4CP's commitment to excellence and its relentless pursuit of advancing chiropractic care on multiple fronts.

Gold Winner: 40th Annual Healthcare AD Awards, 2023 Hermes Creative Awards, 2023 AVA Digital Awards, Healthcare Digital Marketing Awards, 2022 MarCom Awards, 2021 Viddy Awards, 41st Annual Telly Awards, and recipient of Ragan's Health Care PR and Marketing Awards (Best 2019 Gold).

Winner: Fall 2021 Digital Health Awards, Spring 2021 Digital Health Awards, Spring 2020 Digital Health Awards

Just last year in 2022, the F4CP piloted an in-app mobile project with Cleveland University, Keiser University and Texas Chiropractic College which led to a 12-month in-app mobile marketing program with Campbellsville University: School of Chiropractic, Cleveland University-Kansas City, Life University, Logan University and Parker University. F4CP also hosted the first-ever ChiroThon, a “Naturally Chiropractic” Campaign that showcased :30 second older adults and pregnancy commercials, garnered 85k livestream views, and raised over $175k. In fact, in 2023 the F4CP aired these commercials during CNN’s Prime Time “American Pain,” a documentary reaching 1.3 million viewers. To leverage this campaign further, the pregnancy commercials aired on Connected TV such as Roku and Hulu.

2022 was a banner year for recognition with the F4CP and World Federation of Chiropractic establishing a joint resolution designating October as Global Chiropractic Health Month. The organization also announced a new Adjusted Reality Podcast Episode, “Contain and Eliminate: Chiropractic’s Scary Past and Promising Future” with Dr. Louis Sportelli. Supporting the chiropractic career pathway, F4CP produced four commercials showing the lifestyle of a chiropractor, flexibility of a career in chiropractic, the difference a person makes as a chiropractor, and a “Did You Know” segment about chiropractic care.

2023 isn’t over and there have already been notable achievements for the profession including: a brand-new commercial featuring Professional Soccer Player, Olivia Athens and her chiropractic story, which aired during the FIFA Women’s World Cup on ESPN and Fox Sports; launching a 12-month in-app program with five chiropractic colleges featuring five new career in chiropractic commercials F4CP produced; first National ChiroThon awarded a Gold Healthcare Digital Marketing Award; and finally, the first Regional ChiroThon with the Michigan Association of Chiropractors garnered over 73k viewers and raised $31k.

“The Best is Yet to Come”

F4CP founder Kent Greenawalt, chairman and CEO of Foot Levelers, uses this saying to capture the spirit and achievements of the F4CP. He recognizes the stellar leadership of Sherry McAllister, DC, president, F4CP and expanded support from chiropractic colleges, sister organizations worldwide and numerous companies that also support the organization. On behalf of the Foot Levelers team, Greenawalt congratulates the F4CP Board of Directors and all those who have given tirelessly to advance this incredible growth trajectory.

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