FL. Governor Signs Legislation Creating Nation's First Public Chiropractic College

Florida Governor Jeb Bush today signed into law Senate Bill 2002, legislation creating a variety of new health care initiatives including the authorization and funding to establish the nation's first public chiropractic college at Florida State University. The bill was approved previously by both the Florida Senate and House of Representatives in the opening days of Florida's annual 60-day legislative session. Senate Majority Leader Dennis L. Jones, D.C. (R-Treasure Island) and House HealthCare Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Farkas, D.C. (R-St. Petersburg) were both on hand for the signing ceremony this morning. Jones and Farkas, both chiropractic physicians and former presidents of the Florida Chiropractic Association, were instrumental in helping steer the issue through its legislative course over the past five years. They were flanked at the signing by the bill's prime sponsors, Sen. Durell Peaden, (R-Crestview), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and Bruce Kyle(R-Ft. Myers), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, as well as Senate President Jim King (R-Jacksonville.) "This is certainly a momentous day for the chiropractic profession and for the citizens of our state," said Jones. "Today we are beginning a proud, new chapter in our history as we embark on an exciting new era of scientific-based education and research at one of the nation's pre-eminent research institutions." "Dream as we might, I'm not sure any of us realize how big this is going to be," added Farkas. "At a time when public demand for chiropractic care is growing, we will be training our newest generation of practitioners in a place rich with the kind of resources you can only find at a major public institution." Creation of the college has a been a twenty-year project of the Florida Chiropractic Association and a life-long dream of the association's long time CEO, now its CEO Emeritus, Ed Williams, D.C. "We always believed chiropractic students should have the same options those in other professions have always enjoyed. Finally, they now have the choice of a public education," Williams said. FCA leaders have been actively pursuing the creation of the college ever since they joined hands in the late 1990's with the Lincoln Chiropractic Education and Research Foundation (LCERF) to fund a super-endowed research chair at FSU. With seed money from LCERF, the FCA ran a two-year campaign successfully raising the million-dollar endowment, ultimately matched with another $750,000 by the state, to found the Lincoln Eminent Scholar Chair in Chiropractic and Biomechanics at the university. The university is currently in negotiations with its chosen eminent scholar, and will soon begin planning the new research facility. It is expected the research program will rely heavily on the new college and its faculty. Having established the chair, the FCA and its lobby team worked closely with legislative leadership, weathering both good and bad budget years, but never losing sight of the new college objective. "There were a few bumps along the way but we never gave up hope. Today we have a long list of legislators, staff, chiropractic leaders, educators and others to thank for helping to achieve this success," said FCA CEO Debbie Brown. "This has been one in credible group effort -- and it will be one incredible celebration heard around the world." Reprinted with permission from the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER). For further information on FCER, please click on the link below:

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