National University of Health Sciences (NUHS’) doctor of chiropractic student Alli Totzke was appointed Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) National Chair at Engage 2020, the organization’s annual Washington, D.C. education, leadership and lobbying event. The program took place January 29-February 1, and marks Ms. Totzke’s second trip to the Capitol on behalf of SACA. She will serve a one-year term as national chair, followed by a one-year term as immediate past chair.
The National Chair position is an elected seat serving as the official spokesperson of SACA Nation to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) House of Delegates, effectively connecting student members to their professional counterparts. She will preside over and organize many of the events responsible for engaging students across the country through activities such as national calls and other social involvement.
Ms. Totzke acknowledged that the appointment is both an honor and a unique opportunity. “It enables me to let any student in the chiropractic profession have a voice that can be heard, and to help them to grow into the best leaders they can be,” she said. “Serving at the national level is an unmatched experience, in the sense that the profession as a whole is looking at everything you do. It’s inspiring that so many people are looking up to me, and I hope to be all that they envision.”
When nominated for the opportunity, Ms. Totzke was asked to present why she would be a strong advocate for the position. “I ran on a platform of mental health advocacy, a topic where I personally believe we, as a profession, lack understanding,” she said. “During my time as National Chair, I hope to use my voice to help expand knowledge to students who will very soon be the face of the profession. After all, knowledge is power.”
The annual event includes participation in what is affectionately known as “Hill Day.” Hill Day is a unique opportunity for students and established professionals to advocate directly to their state Representatives and Senators about current legislation. This year’s bill, H.R. 3654, aims to improve chiropractic coverage for Medicare patients. “Building that rapport at each meeting through openness and understanding is a vital step in earning their support of the bill,” she said. “It was incredible to see so many selfless doctors and students collaborating together for the common goal of improved patient care.”
Through Engage 2020, NUHS students from both Illinois and Florida also have a valuable opportunity to interact as colleagues–an excellent ground for professional networking.
Also recognized this year for their outstanding achievements in leadership are NUHS alumni and faculty: Dana Madigan, DC, MPH, ’13 who received the Academician of the Year Award; Claire Johnson, MSEd, DC, DACBSP, FICC and editor of NUHS’ professional journals who received a President’s Award and Eric Benson, DC, ’88 who received a Delegate of the Year award. Karen Konarski-Hart, DC, ’79 continues her service on the ACA board as vice president.
Engage 2020, previously known as the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC), changed this year to reflect the association’s ongoing efforts to bring members success through continuing education, networking and leadership-development.