by Kristi Hudson, CPCO
Director of Business Relations, ChiroHealthUSA
What was so compelling about Jared Ollis’ application? For starters, he served nearly ten years in the military, four of those years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He is a father with a family, attending chiropractic college, and managing all of those responsibilities. He was very candid about the challenges. They truly resonated with Dr. Betty Rose Mathews who started chiropractic school as a single mom with young children. For Reagan, his story reminded her of her father, Dr. Ray Foxworth, who started chiropractic school with a young family, and her grandfather, Dr. Charles Mathews, who also served in 3 branches of the military before entering chiropractic school.
But perhaps for all of us, we were moved by reading about his desire to help make chiropractic care readily available to active duty service members on their respective military installations. This has also been a desire of Dr. Ray Foxworth since starting the Chiropractic Services Department for the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson. Dr. Foxworth served four years as the VA Staff Chiropractor. He cherishes those days and has always had great respect for our military.
Jared outlined a plan of action to get chiropractic fully integrated into the military and he has absolute passion, which made him stand out from the hundreds of applications that we received. “I saw many paratroopers incur nagging injuries and deal with chronic pain as a result of ruck marching, consistent distance running, and hard landings during jumps,” stated Ollis. “Seeing so many men and women I served with discharged for musculoskeletal complaints that could have been managed with chiropractic care, further developed my desire to help service members have better access to chiropractic.”
He went further stating, “The Department of Defense (DoD) only hires a very limited number of DoD civilian chiropractors to provide care to service members in a very limited number of locations. This makes it very difficult for service members to get the care that they need. For instance, Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, is the largest military installation in the world with over 50,000 soldiers currently on assignment. There are only four DoD chiropractors at Fort Bragg. Considering the fact that being a soldier is the most demanding neuromusculoskeletal job a person can have, this is unacceptable. Many of our service members struggle with chronic pain that could be well addressed with chiropractic care. I plan to fight to get chiropractors commissioned and integrated into the armed forces as officers.” Jared doesn’t just talk the talk. By the time I met him in person and stepped on campus, he was already well on his way, working with Bharon Hoag, Executive Director for One Chiropractic and the Patriot Project, to accomplish his goal.
Like most everything in 2020, the announcement of this year’s Foxworth Family Scholarship recipient looked a little different. Each year, with the help of the Florida Chiropractic Association, we announce and present our scholarship winner to the chiropractic profession at the FCA National Convention in Orlando, Florida. With the postponement of this year’s convention until November, Dr. Ray Foxworth, President of ChiroHealthUSA, put me on a plane to Iowa where I would surprise Jared Ollis and present him with a check for $5,000 to help offset his living expenses, $10,000 for tuition, and a donation of $10,000 for Palmer College of Chiropractic. You can watch the video of my surprise visit here, courtesy of the amazing production team at Palmer College.
The scholarship is incredibly special to each of us at ChiroHealthUSA. This year will be memorable for so many reasons. On the morning that I left for Iowa, I awoke to a text letting me know that Dr. Betty Rose Mathews had passed away making Jared the last recipient that Dr. Betty Rose would help to select. Knowing that she was so moved by his application and seeing just how much he has accomplished before graduating, means so much to all of us. My only regret is that Jared and I didn’t get to spend more time together. His heart, passion, persistence, excitement, and love for this profession, remind me so much of Dr. Betty. She knew him without even having the opportunity to meet him. Jared is creating waves of change for chiropractic as a student. I, for one, can’t wait to see the impact he has on this profession in the years to come. Thank you, Jared, not only for your service to our country but for your service to this profession.
The Foxworth Family Scholarship would like to thank the many organizations that helped in the evaluation process of this year’s applicants. 400 applications were narrowed down to 25 finalists thanks to the help of the Chiropractic Congress, Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, Chiropractic Summit, Clinical Compass, American Chiropractic Association, American Black Chiropractic Association, Women Chiropractors, National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Students interested in applying for the 2021 scholarship may apply at www.chusascholar.com.
Kristi Hudson is a Certified Professional Compliance Officer and host of one of the largest chiropractic webinar series in the country. She is the Director of Business Relations at ChiroHealthUSA, Administrator of the Foxworth Family Chiropractic Scholarship, a speaker, mom, and writer.