Chiropractic Awareness through Community Causes Part 4

Thomas E. Cavanaugh, DC, MBA

Earlier in this series, I gave you a list of a dozen areas of possible activities that came to mind as I considered the topic of “chiropractic awareness through community causes.’  I then took two of those twelve areas, “grade schools’ and “high schools,’ and offered you some ideas on activities that would help build your reputation by volunteering your professional skills.  To help you get a truly good grasp of how easy this practice building procedure works, I have chosen to conclude this series by discussing one more activity area from the list.
Health Activity

When I was practicing in Folsom, California I was asked to participate on the Quality Assurance Committee for the second largest chiropractic HMO in the state. During that time, the person in charge of negotiating contracts asked me to accompany him to a meeting at the health care department of Intel Corporation in Santa Clara.  Wow, talk about a door of opportunity opening up.  On our way to the meeting, he handed me a complete list of all the chiropractors providing services to Intel employees.   This list also showed how many patients each D.C. was serving.  I was elated to learn that I was treating more Intel workers than any other chiropractor in the United States. What did I do to make that happen?
Some of you might think it was simply because I was practicing in Folsom, California where Intel had built several large plants.  You may think that, but what about the many other D.C.s who began practicing in Folsom before me?  Why weren´t they seeing as many patients as I was from Intel? These doctors had the ground floor in Folsom for  years before I ever showed up.  What did I do differently? Let´s talk.

Take Action

I knew that with companies as large as Intel, they had to have good programs to train and teach their employees safety in order to minimize the company´s costs associated with on the job injuries.   So, one of the things I did was to call Intel´s human resource department to make an appointment to visit those people in charge of employee health care and/or work injuries.  Our first meeting was a lunch appointment. The second time we met they came to my office for a brief tour. The third time I received a tour of their plant.  

During these meetings, I discussed my desire to participate in the education of their employees regarding ergonomics, back and neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. They told me that they were in the process of putting together their first health fair for the employees and enthusiastically invited me to participate. They told me that they were dedicating half of one of their floors for this fair – a huge area.  They had invited many types of health care professionals, including insurance companies, hospitals and every kind of medical specialist in the area.  When all was said and done, there were about 80 health care participants and I was the only chiropractic doctor
Intel asked me what I needed for the fair, i.e. space, tables, etc.  I only asked for plenty of room and some electricity.  What I wanted to do was put on a great exhibit. I wanted to do it right, do it professional, and do it so they would never forget it.

Do it … Do it big … and, Do it right

Prior to the health fair, I developed a plan of how I would work it.  I wanted as many “hands-on’ things as possible. I brought a couple of intersegmental traction tables with the infrared heat and massage. I also brought a dynatron for testing muscles. I brought things like ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation, diathermy, hydroculator packs, dynamometer, charts, neurospinalpatholator, plastic models, pictures, view boxes, brochures, newsletters, back exercise sheets, and a sample of every type of orthotic and support device I had in my inventory.  I also brought three pieces of Gonstead adjusting equipment and a Hi-Low table.
I had three other doctors from my practice participate and found some extra CAs to help in the show of “bigness.’  I think we had about 10 CAs to assist. All of us wore clinic jackets and name tags.  I left one doctor at the office to see some early morning patients and he came over to the fair afterwards to help.  I then closed the office and had one staff member stay behind to do office work and answer phones. I also hired a human robot through Visual Odyssey to fly in and stand in his silver make-up and outfit to draw people into the booth.

Everyone was trained to man a position. They were taught what to say and how to explain the use of the equipment, the benefits of it and a little about our office. The Intel employees could come and touch things and experience all of the therapy equipment. Every visitor left with an office brochure and my business card.

The Vote Came In ... We Were Number 1
In order for those in charge of the health department at Intel to make changes for the following year, they made every employee who came through the fair fill out a survey of what they thought of it. They also asked employees for their suggestions, and which exhibit impressed them the most.  My office was later notified that we were voted number one exhibit by a landslide.  We went on to achieve this honor five years in a row.
Good Things Happen When You Do Good Things
Sometimes we think that it takes very special credentials or a post graduate diplomat status to have doors of opportunity open for us. This is not the case. What it does take is a little courage to step out and “do.’  Having a little “guts’ to voluntarily extend yourself beyond your office and offering your professional services, goes a long way to building your practice.  This is exactly how I became the largest chiropractic health care provider for Intel while other more established D.C.s did not.

Be persistent.  If you fail at one company try another.  I failed at getting into Campbell Soup Company, but was able to get into Apple Computer Corporation and do some work for them. Like most everything else, it´s a numbers thing.  You won´t always succeed but every “no’ you get brings you one step closer to your next “yes.’  And your next “yes’ could lead to some “big’ practice building opportunities!

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