An international career in chiropractic governance did not occur to Kristin (Hurtgen) Grace, ’89, DC, DACBR, when she entered National College of Chiropractic (NCC) in the 1980s. Upon returning to her alma mater on May 8, she reminisced about how former president Dr. Joseph Janse influenced her path.
“Dr. Janse was the first person I met on campus during my entrance interviews,” she recalled. “He was such a unique individual and had such great presence whenever he entered a room.” Dr. Grace returned to the Lombard campus following her presentation of the 29th Annual Joseph Janse Lecture at the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) 93rd Annual Educational Congress May 2 – 5 in Mission Bay, Calif.
Her lecture,”Are we missing the big opportunity?”presented a recommendation for universal chiropractic governance standards and issues where everyone would benefit. For example, with the rise in technology and globalization of the profession there are a number of common issues that would benefit, such as social media content and use. “These are “no longer ‘your problem’ or ‘my problem’ – but ‘our problem,'” she said.
“It was an absolute honor to present in the lecture series named for him,” Dr. Grace said. “I recall that day in Dr. Janse’s office, marveling at the artifacts he displayed from across the globe and realized then that the profession had such enormous potential and there were opportunities to serve on a global scale.”
Dr. Grace graduated from NCC in 1989 and achieved her Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (DACBR) qualification in 1993. Since then, she has held academic positions in the U.S., New Zealand, and the UK. Of late, her professional focus has been on education, accreditation, governance and regulation within the chiropractic profession. Today, she is Chair of the New Zealand Chiropractic Board, Chair of the Council on Chiropractic Education Australasia (CCEA), and Vice President of the International Chiropractic Regulatory Society (ICRS).
“As a student I never had designs on governance, or had an appreciation of the importance of educational standards,” she explained. Once practicing, she understood the quality of her National education and through her governance career, the importance of its accreditation status and learning from outstanding teachers. “National’s high standards for excellence are recognized around the world,” she added.
Dr. Grace recalls her particular enjoyment of phlebotomy and radiology classes, and has fond memories of how she and her classmate studied at the local McDonald’s-every night-until it closed. (The same study spot is still located just down the street).
“My first years at National were hard, but once I decided to focus, it changed – I changed,” she said. “I know how hard it is. For me it’s about the friends you make as a student who go on to become your colleagues, how hard we focused together to achieve graduation and the ultimate benefits and opportunities a career in Chiropractic provides. It was truly life changing.”