Dr. Samantha Stolzel (UWS class of ’13) has been hired as the first full-time chiropractic physician in the Portland Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Medical Center
University of Western States (UWS) alumna Samantha Stolzel, DC (class of ’13) has been hired as the first full-time chiropractic physician within the Portland VA Medical Center.
“Being hired on as the first full-time chiropractic physician within the Portland VA Medical Center is an extreme honor,” said Dr. Stolzel. “Offering expanded integrated health care services in the VA will not only help our veterans, it will increase the visibility and strengthen the profession for future chiropractic physicians. I feel privileged to be able to treat our honored veterans.”
“I believe University of Western States provided me the integrated education that will allow me to be successful in this position,” Dr. Stolzel added.
(Pictured L-R): Vern Saboe, DC, (OCA Director of Governmental Affairs), Joseph Pfeifer, DC (UWS Chief Clinical Excellence Officer), Congressman Kurt Schrader (U.S. House of Representatives, Oregon’s 5th District), Samantha Stolzel, DC (Portland VA Medical Center), John Kitzhaber (former Governor of Oregon), Joseph Brimhall, DC (UWS President)
“Dr. Stozel was selected from a large pool of applicants and we are thrilled to have her representing the chiropractic profession in the Portland VA Medical Center,” said UWS President Joseph Brimhall, DC. “She will advance integrated care to the benefit of veterans that need chiropractic services.”
With a chiropractic physician serving as part of the health care team at the Portland VA Medical Center, veterans will experience a higher degree of integrated services.
“It’s great to finally see chiropractic services available to veterans in the Portland VA medical center,” said UWS Chief Clinical Excellence Officer Joseph Pfeifer, DC. “We’re pleased and proud that Dr. Stolzel was selected to fill this position from what was, no doubt, a large field of qualified applicants. We’re sure she will bring valuable perspectives and services to the integrative care of veterans and we look forward to opportunities to collaborate with her and the hospital.”
Chiropractic care was first offered in a small number of VA medical centers in 2004. The initiation of this service was authorized by federal legislation in 2001 (section 204 of Public Law 107-135, Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001).
Due to the successful integration of chiropractic services, beneficial clinical outcomes, increased demand by veterans and ongoing support of the VA, the profession’s involvement in the VA has continued to expand. The VA now employs more than 100 chiropractic physicians in more than 70 facilities around the country. UWS maintains academic affiliation agreements with eight VA facilities. Those agreements support the university’s ability to have select chiropractic students engage in the delivery of clinical services to veterans under the supervision and guidance of VA staff chiropractic physicians.
Until recently, the closest VA chiropractic department to UWS was in the American Lake facility of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Tacoma, Wash. For many years, representatives of UWS and the Oregon Chiropractic Association (OCA), along with local legislators, have actively engaged with leaders in the VA Portland Health Care System to foster the implementation of a chiropractic department in Portland. In November 2018, chiropractic services were added to the Portland VA facility as part of the VA’s Whole Health initiative.
“Dr. Stolzel’s hiring represents another step forward toward cultural authority for the profession as well as an opportunity to work in an integrative medical environment and by so doing allow Dr. Stolzel to showcase chiropractor’s excellent training and clinical skill sets,” said Oregon Chiropractic Association (OCA) Director of Governmental Affairs Vern Saboe, DC.