Faculty Serves as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Lead Clinician

news-and-events / SCU Admin / 01.19.17
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Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) is proud to announce a ground-breaking spine care partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. The Spine Care Project is an innovative approach to the treatment of spine-related injuries which promises higher value, more cost-effective, patient-centered outcomes.

Recognizing that a significant percentage of patients seen by primary care physicians are seeking treatment for back pain, there is a great opportunity for a partnership between primary care and primary spine practitioners. While primary care physicians do not generally specialize in the treatment of back pain, chiropractors are highly trained in this area. The Spine Care Project seeks to bridge the gap in patient care by involving the services of a primary spine care clinician. The clinician’s training enables him or her to function as the leader of the spine team in a primary care setting. DHMC’s partnership with SCU offers a glimpse into the future of integrative healthcare.

As a leader in evidence-based integrative healthcare education, SCU’s mission is to train students to be competent, caring, and successful healthcare practitioners. While at SCU, students from all programs join together for core science classes, giving them an appreciation for various medical professions. Once students leave SCU, they are thoroughly prepared to thrive in an ever-changing interprofessional healthcare delivery system through training in SCU’s Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, College of Eastern Medicine, College of Science and Integrative Health, and SCU Health System. In addition to its core programs, SCU offers a residency program for training primary spine care clinicians.

Research on outcomes of the Spine Care Project will be led by SCU Professor of Research and Director of Health Services Research, Dr. James Whedon. Dr. Whedon serves as adjunct instructor at Dartmouth Medical School and worked with Dartmouth physicians to establish a center for integrative healthcare with ties to SCU. The collaborative efforts at Dartmouth led to a commitment by a private donor to support the Spine Care Project by providing salary, benefits, and startup costs for a Doctor of Chiropractic to serve as the lead clinician for the Spine Care Project. Research costs for the project are funded by a grant from the NCMIC foundation.

Former SCU faculty member, Justin Goehl, DC MS is the lead clinician for the Spine Care Project. Dr. Goehl underwent advanced training in the Primary Spine Care model, and recently completed his residency at the Veterans Affairs Hospital (VA) in Los Angeles. Dr. Goehl received a high recommendation for the lead clinician role from Associate Vice President for SCU Health System Dr. Robb Russell, who served as Dr. Goehl’s clinical supervisor at the VA. Once completing his VA residency, Dr. Goehl served at the SCU Health Center as a Clinical Fellow in Primary Spine Care. With recommendations from Drs. Whedon and Russel, Dr. Goehl successfully applied for the position at Dartmouth and received an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine. He is responsible for seeing patients with spine-related disorders seen at DHMC’s flagship Primary Care Center at Heater Road in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

“The hiring of a chiropractor as a clinician at Dartmouth is unprecedented, and we are excited about the possibilities this opens up for further inter-institutional collaboration in clinical training and research. In particular, we feel that the SCU/Dartmouth collaboration will strengthen our research on the Primary Spine Care Model through access to the many human and technical resources that Dartmouth has to offer as a major center of spine research, “said Dr. Whedon.


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