(From Dynamic Chiropractic Newspaper)
Dynamic Chiropractic's Doctors of the Year
Our 2000 "Doctor of the Year" award goes to two DCs who have brought reform to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), a stagnating organization whose leadership hadn't significantly changed in almost 20 years. Their vision and persistence brought awareness to their fellow state board members and motivated delegates of the NBCE to vote in new leadership with a mission to better serve the chiropractic profession.
Drs. Temple and Edwards did not aspire to be leaders of a movement to reform the NBCE. They were among many state chiropractic board members asking pointed questions of the directors at the NBCE's 1999 annual meeting. And like most of the state board members present, they were unhappy with the answers.
The frustration of the state board members led to the passage of a motion that was not on the meeting's agenda: "To have the five district directors review the bylaws and report to the delegates at next year's annual meeting."
To assist in the review of the NBCE bylaws, Drs. Edwards and Temple stepped forward to volunteer their time and expertise. To their surprise, their offers to help were rebuffed.
Not easily dissuaded, Drs. Temple, Edwards, and several other state board members began studying the NBCE bylaws and developing suggestions for revisions. These were presented to the ad hoc bylaws review committee of the NBCE in August 1999.
Drs. Temple and Edwards had the impression that their suggestions weren't well received by the directors, but continued to work on the proposed revisions. Dr. Temple then took a more assertive step: He committed to run as a candidate for the board seat for District III (northeast).
The NBCE finally did make some changes to the bylaws, and notified the state board members by mail of the changes. Drs. Edwards and Temple, however, deemed that the changes to the bylaws were mostly cosmetic.2 In a letter to the NBCE state delegates and alternates, Drs. Edwards and Temple addressed the revisions offered by the NBCE:
"Unfortunately, almost all the changes are grammatical in nature and do not address the concerns expressed by the state licensing board representatives at last year's meeting.
"But of greater concern and cause for apprehension, is that when presented with an opportunity to expand state board involvement, the NBCE went the exact opposite direction by crafting a document which intentionally attempts to strip state delegates of most powers.
"The NBCE revision would strip state delegates of "duties defined by law," even though it's evident the authors of the NBCE bylaws intended state delegates to have those duties. (Article II, Section 2.)
"It is very disturbing that the NBCE bylaw revisions were formulated and approved by the board without state delegates having any opportunity to comment or offer changes. Even more concerning, the NBCE has stated that the bylaw revision will be submitted for approval as a 'take it or leave it' offer with no opportunity for the state delegates to offer changes from the floor. The board went even further by saying any suggested changes would not be considered until the 2001 annual meeting.
"To truly strengthen the NBCE, the organization will hopefully allow a critical discussion of the issues so a democratic process can reach a successful consensus. The end result will hopefully be a document we can all support and stand behind. As representatives of state agencies that endorse the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, we hope you will review the enclosed amendments and bring your ideas to the meeting for discussion and consideration. Should you have questions or comments, please contact either one of us."
Throughout 2000, Drs. Temple and Edwards continued to keep their concerns active in the minds of the state licensing board members. Their persistence for change paid off. At the NBCE's 2000 annual meeting, NBCE board members John Tierney,DC, and Vincent Grecko,DC, lost their positions to the reform candidates: Vernon Temple,DC, and Rick Murphree,DC. New officers were also elected, signaling a dramatic change in the NBCE leadership.
The bylaw changes Drs. Edwards and Temple had worked so hard to procure came after the elections on the meeting agenda. As the elections provided new leadership, the NBCE delegates were content to let the proposed bylaws changes go through the bylaws committee for further consideration in 2001. Our congratulations go to both doctors for their unselfish commitment and extraordinary persistence.