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  • Chiropractic Founder’s Day: Celebrating 128 Years of Chiropractic

Chiropractic Founder’s Day: Celebrating 128 Years of Chiropractic

The first Los Angeles College of Chiropractic graduating class of 1912.

On this day in 1895, the chiropractic profession began when Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment. With its historic foundations in the U.S. and continued importance to Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), today is an important time to celebrate and honor the lasting and sustained impact chiropractic has on integrated, whole-person healthcare.

History of Chiropractic in the U.S.

Manual healing methods can be traced back to parallel developments in many parts of the world, including ancient China and Greece. In fact, the Greek physician Hippocrates, who is often referred to as the father of medicine, wrote about the relationship between spinal manipulation and health.

In the late 19th century, the chiropractic profession began to take shape in the U.S. Two years after D.D. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, he founded the first chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, and began to teach this new approach to healthcare that focuses on the spine and nervous system.

In 1094, Dr. Minora Paxton became the first licensed chiropractor in the U.S. By 1913, legislators passed the first chiropractic statute in Kansas. Today, all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories license chiropractors, along with more than 40 countries worldwide.

From Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC) to SCU

SCU began as a chiropractic school, founded by Dr. Charles and Linnie Cale. In 1911, when modern chiropractic was only 16 years into its history, Dr. Cale applied for and received a charter LACC. The Cales began the first classes in their home, a nine-month course of study that included anatomy, chiropractic principles and technique.

On Nov. 7, 1922, the Chiropractic Initiative Act of California was passed by ballot measure with significant efforts led by LACC students and faculty. The Act established legal requirements for chiropractic education, California licensure guidelines and the first board of chiropractic examiners, serving as the catalyst for enhanced academic programs and accelerated growth at LACC.

Over a century after LACC, California’s first chiropractic school, was established, it grew into SCU, an expanded, multi-program university that is transforming and redefining health and healthcare education. Now, SCU is one of almost 20 chiropractic programs the U.S. accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.

SCU’s current President & CEO, John Scaringe, DC, EdD, is a chiropractor himself. Dr. Scaringe was appointed President of SCU in May 2010 after serving as Interim President. He began his career at LACC as faculty in 1991. Dr. Scaringe served as Chair of the Chiropractic Procedures Department and the Department of Diagnosis for LACC before directing the University Health Center in Whittier, the largest outpatient care facility at SCU. In 2001, he became Dean of Clinical Education and in 2005 was named Dean of LACC and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2007.

SCU’s current Dean of LACC is Ana Facchinato, DC, MHS, Bachelor’s in Chiropractic (Brazil). “LACC is proud to continuously educate compassionate, evidence-informed, integrative, person-centered, outcome-focused students into the wonderful Chiropractic profession,” Dr. Facchinato said. “Happy Birthday, Chiropractic! And cheers to you, future professionals!”

This year marks Dr. Facchinato’s seventh SCU anniversary, and she celebrated her fourth anniversary as Dean in May 2023. Prior to SCU, Dr. Facchinato served as Dean of a Chiropractic college in Brazil for five years.

What Sets SCU’s Doctor of Chiropractic Program Apart

The LACC Doctor of Chiropractic program at SCU offers an evidence-based, whole-person approach to practice and a University-wide commitment to interprofessional education. SCU’s model of experiential learning in interprofessional settings combines learning alongside other healthcare disciplines, coursework, clinical experiences, community engagement, and campus clubs to expose students to a variety of philosophies, practices and treatment options; help students develop a broad base of knowledge; and prepare future healthcare professionals with a deep understanding of integrative, evidence and team-based, whole-person healthcare.

Located in one of the most vibrant areas of the country, SCU gives students the benefits of learning and practicing in culturally and clinically diverse settings. In addition, SCU offers multiple paths for students to customize their academic experience with 22 credits of electives, including courses in Sports Medicine, Eastern Medicine, Functional Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, and more.

Over the past 128 years, chiropractic has grown and evolved into a respected and effective form of healthcare. Today, more than 70,000 chiropractors are licensed in the U.S., and millions of people visit a chiropractor each year for relief from pain, headaches, and other health problems.

On this Chiropractic Founder’s Day, SCU is proud to celebrate the achievements of our chiropractic students, faculty, graduates, and the many people who have benefited from chiropractic care. To learn more about pursuing a career in chiropractic and becoming a transformational leader in healthcare, visit SCU’s Doctor of Chiropractic program pages. 

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