National alumnus Dr. Timothy P. Novelli (DC ’85) of North Canton, Ohio, was recently named Ohio Chiropractor of the Year. Dr. Novelli is also president and founder of The Patriot Project, which brings free chiropractic care to members of the military service, veterans and their families.
In his 25 years of practice in North Canton, Dr. Novelli earned diplomates in orthopedics and sports medicine, as well as certifications in applied kinesiology, motor vehicle accident biomechanics and more. He has treated many professional and Olympic athletes from around the world, including working as a chiropractor for the Cleveland Browns, and serving as team physician for the Ashland University elite track and field teams.
Despite his many career achievements, Dr. Novelli says his life changed after volunteering his services at an event for veterans in Texas back in 2012. The HALO For Freedom event allowed him to work on over 150 wounded veterans. In talking with them and seeing how much chiropractic care could ease their pain, he founded The Patriot Project, a grass-roots organizations of DCs who support the military and veterans with free access to chiropractic care and a partner in advocacy.
Today, The Patriot Project has over 800 chiropractic physicians spread across all 50 states who are offering free care to active military men and women, their families, veterans and gold star dependents (those who lost a spouse or parent in military service). “My goal is to add 6000 more so that we have a full 10% of all chiropractic physicians in our nation participating,” says Dr. Novelli.
“Although chiropractic care is covered under a veteran’s benefits, their claim often goes unpaid or is delayed. Our volunteers agree to provide free care regardless of claim status or payment,” he explains.
The Patriot Project also advocates for veteran and military access to chiropractic care, and works toward improving their medical access and claims process before Congressional committees, military bureaucracies and Veterans’ Administration boards. Dr. Novelli has been recognized for his work in this area, receiving the Vietnam veterans patriot award and advocate of the year award.
“We are also working to bring wider access to chiropractic care for active military. We know this will improve their readiness in battle situations, prevent injuries, and help them stay productive upon their return from service. Whether we are healing our active military or returning veterans, we believe we are helping build a stronger America.”
Reflecting on his years at National, Dr. Novelli says: “I definitely credit National for giving me the skills I needed to be successful in what I do. I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Joseph Janse as an inspiration. At National, giving back to the community was something we always tried to do, so that was deeply ingrained in me.”
“Dr. Novelli is another example of how National grads are leading the way in our chiropractic profession,” says NUHS President Joseph Stiefel. “In mobilizing DCs across the nation to provide care to our military, veterans and their families, he has truly set an example of both leadership and service. He has helped us give back to those men and women who have given so much for our country.”