What key issues drive your commitment within the CCA?
Dr. Valade: The first objective that the chiropractic profession needs to pursue is for all Canadians to have full and equitable access to chiropractic care. To attain this objective, the CCA has adopted a three-pronged strategy: federal government relations, communications and the building of chiropractic research capacity.
In terms of communications, there is no doubt that we can do more, generally speaking, both in the profession’s internal communications between ourselves – among our members and partners – and in our external communications, with the general population and other health professionals. We must do more in terms of education, as no one will do it for us! Consequently, that is one of my key priorities.
The CCA is at the heart of our national strategies in partnership with its member organizations, the provincial associations. Also, our dialogue with the professional health corporations is of the utmost importance.
Our greatest challenge is that our various strategies need to be cohesive given that the activities of our various partners throughout Canada are developed independently.
I am particularly proud of the work performed by the Operational Boundaries Taskforce and the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee of which Dr. André-
Marie Gonthier, president of the Ordre des Chiropraticiens du Québec, is a member. Indeed, the members of this committee, well-known practitioners from all corners of this country, debate the issues that, in the medium to long term, will influence the future of chiropractic both in Canada and worldwide.
This April, the CCA will actively participate in the Canadian Chiropractic Summit. Has the Quebec summit influenced whether such an event can be held at the national level?
Dr. Valade: Yes, definitely. Since the Quebec Summit in November 2007, the Ordre des chiropraticiens du Québec has promoted, with all chiropractic associations, the importance of working together. I personally supported Dr. Gonthier in his initiatives to raise awareness among all professional corporations, associations, colleges and other chiropractic organizations throughout Canada, and the results have been positive. Now, a national chiropractic summit will be held just before the World Congress is hosted in Montreal!
What do you think of the Quebec Ordre’s push for new legislation for some time now?
Dr. Valade: This is simply the logical result of what has transpired over the past 25 years. The court decision confirming the chiropractic profession’s right and responsibility to render a diagnosis must now be established in the legislation that governs our profession. If chiropractors are allowed to make a diagnosis – which is not the case for many professionals – then that should be written in black and white.
With new legislation, chiropractic would certainly become better known and respected within Quebec’s health system. Also, such recognition could become a reference and a springboard for the amendment of legislation in other jurisdictions.
You have placed your presidency of the CCA under the theme of unity. Why?
Dr. Valade: Because, for so long and still today, there are those who have taken a mischievous delight in unfairly criticizing chiropractic. And we let them get away with it.
Also, too often, we have been divided rather than joining forces… And that must stop, because together, as a profession, we have so much more to gain if we stick together!
I am truly convinced of one thing: the future of chiropractic will only be built by working together in harmony. •
* Dr. Valade was interviewed for Quebec’s Diagnostic newsletter. Portions of this interview have been reproduced here, with permission.