Regardless of political persuasion, many people agree that in retirement Jimmy Carter, based on his service to his community, his state, his country and the world, has built on his time in office to become one of the finest former presidents who ever lived. He continues to build homes for those in needs, to serve as an elections official in emerging democracies, and even forsaking the branch of religion within which he practiced faith when that branch continued to deny women equitable standing as church leaders. In other words, Jimmy Carter is everything a former president should be. The same – and more – could be said for Dr. Gerry Clum and his “second act” as a former president following his retirement from his three decades-long tenure as president of Life Chiropractic College West.
One of the most respected chiropractors in the world – and perhaps in the history of the profession – Dr. Clum has been a guidepost for the chiropractic profession, continually defining its scope and potential with keen intelligence, flawless logic and great grace. As the longest serving chiropractic college president in history, Dr. Clum has driven a stake in the ground and kept the conversation centered on the Vitalistic nature of chiropractic. On the world stage, through his contributions to the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), his powerful intellect has lent the profession legitimacy that would not have been possible without his efforts. His ability to stay focused on his principles while being inclusive in his relationships and desire to connect across the spectrum of chiropractic viewpoints have elevated countless conversations. He is the truest statesman of chiropractic the profession has ever seen, a singular accomplishment for which TCL would be proud to honor him.
The list of accomplishments, however, is far longer. Dr. Clum’s statesmanship has also put him at the forefront of professional inclusivity, particularly through his activities as a founding member and officer of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC). Without the ACC, it’s likely our profession’s educational voice would have been long lost to a mechanistic narrative unfamiliar with chiropractic’s potential as a facilitative healthcare approach. His involvement as an office and member of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) serves as a ground for professional principles. Dr. Clum’s service as a test committee member and consultant of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has provided the profession with a proponent for maintaining high academic standards while moving our professional licensure testing into the information age.
Not content to rest on the laurels of past achievements, Dr. Clum also continues to keep the profession ahead of the curve by thoroughly understanding and educating fellow chiropractors on issues within the ever-changing healthcare landscape. His impressively extensive expertise regarding the impact of both ACA and HIPAA issues allows Dr. Clum to guide professional affairs in a way that is both responsive to current concerns and proactively considerate of opportunities.
One of his most enduring contributions to chiropractic has been debunking the myth of a connection between chiropractic cervical adjustment and stroke (or arterial dissection) – and providing practitioners with a solid set of guidelines for discerning patients who may be potentially in the process of arterial dissection. Additionally, Dr. Clum uses this expertise as an expert witness to further lend legitimacy to chiropractic as a safe, natural, low-cost option for restoring full, pain-free function of the head and neck.
Dr. Clum is also dedicated to healthcare reform at the most fundamental level – policy. Through his work in creating sensible, Vitalistic healthcare policy, Dr. Clum is helping to transform the current disease management system and lay the foundation on which a true healthcare system can be built.
Finally, nowhere is Dr. Clum’s vitalistic vision more evident than in his immediate grasp of the vitalistic connection between chiropractic philosophy, positive psychology and secular ethics. Each of these areas displays a trust, not only in nature’s design for innate health but also for human beings’ striving to fully express individual potential within a framework cooperation and compassion.
TCL is exceedingly pleased to honor this exceptional person who has been so instrumental to engendering the modern practice of chiropractic science, philosophy and art. Dr. Clum has stood on the shoulders of the giants who came before him and embodied their very best qualities to become a giant himself.
Read on to discover which of Dr. Clum’s lifetime of monumental achievements have meant the most to him.
TCL: For which professional achievements will you most want to be acknowledged?
Clum: Having served as one of the original faculty members of Life Chiropractic College, as the founding president of Life Chiropractic College West, as a founding member of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, as a founding member of the Council of the World Federation of Chiropractic and, as president of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges conceived and, having developed and implemented the ChiroLoan program with Educational Funding Services of Hyannis, Massachusetts.
TCL: What project sare you working on now (or have worked on recently) that you are most excited about and would like more people to know about?
Clum: At the moment, I serve as the Director of The Octagon at Life University as well as the Director of the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics at Life University. I also provide expert testimony on legal matters related to cervical spine adjusting and cervical artery issues. I serve as a member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and for the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium
Readers who would like to know more about the Octagon at Life University and its vitalistic orientation – and of the conversations it drives – may click on the image below:
TCL readers who would like to explore the Octagon through videos with Dr. Clum may find it here.
For an article about the Octagon by Dr. Clum, readers may find it here.
The Octagon’s first offshoot center, the Center for Compassion, Integrity and Secular Ethics (CCISE) is part of fulfilling a vision of Life University founding president, Dr. Sid Williams, for chiropractic and its philosophy to do its part in emptying prisons by improving the expression of prisoners’ potential. The Chillon Project was the first major initiative of the CCISE and has since graduated its first class of students at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Georgia.
Readers who are interested in learning more or engaging with Dr. Clum in matters regarding his expertise are invited to visit www.drgerryclum.com.