Stephanie Halloran, DC, MS, – A Lifelong Pursuit of Excellence
Stephanie Halloran, DC, MS, was named the University of Western States (UWS) 2020 Alumna of the Year. The distinction recognizes and honors the accomplishments of outstanding UWS graduates as they continue the university’s mission to advance the science and art of integrated health care.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have been nominated and to receive this award,” said Dr. Halloran. “I am so grateful for my time spent at UWS and for the opportunities it gave me to pursue integrated care. I look forward to continuing to work with students who are looking to go on the same career path that I have been so fortunate to have.”
Dr. Halloran hit the ground running upon graduation from the doctor of chiropractic (class of 2016) and human nutrition and functional medicine (class of 2019) programs and has carried a passion for lifelong learning from a young age. Having always been very active and athletic, she could not envision herself sitting at a desk for long hours. Her first experience with a chiropractic physician was in high school while racing on a youth triathlon team and experiencing chronic knee pain. Through the collective care of the chiropractic physicians and a physical therapist in the office she visited, she was back to running pain-free in just a few short weeks.
Upon graduation from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a degree in kinesiology, Dr. Halloran moved to the Chicago suburbs and began working as a personal trainer with specialties in weight loss and endurance athletes. A year into her work, she realized that she was limited in her abilities and needed to broaden her scope by seeking additional education and chose University of Western States and to become a chiropractic physician.
“UWS has a drive for excellence that starts from the top-down,” said Dr. Halloran. “Not only are our educators and administrators working to provide relevant, evidence-based education in their areas of expertise, they are also working with experts in their respective fields to enhance education and delivery of content overall. It is my personal opinion that UWS not only provides a base to be a competent clinician, but also gives students the opportunity to pursue less common careers, such as research, academics and health administration, if they so choose.”
Following graduation from UWS, Dr. Halloran moved to Indianapolis for a preceptorship at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic. She then had the opportunity to work with Dr. Anthony Lisi, chiropractic program director for the Veterans Health Administration. She moved to Connecticut for a residency as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University working on a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study under Dr. Lisi, Dr. Christine Goertz and Dr. Cindy Long.
“The opportunities I have had are very unique and a direct result of the hard work and drive from individuals like Drs. Lisi, Goertz, Long and many others. Understanding what goes into creating these training opportunities and positions for early-career clinicians, along with my positions in national organizations, allows me to continue the efforts of my mentors and expand the opportunities for current and future chiropractic students.”
In the last year, Dr. Halloran has accepted a full-time clinical position at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in North Carolina and splits her time between the Salisbury and Charlotte locations. Her current goals are to offer students the opportunities she had to train in a medically integrated setting during their preceptorship, as well as begin to integrate into the research department and further advance studies focused on chiropractic care.
“I am in a unique position at the VA, working on a whole health team that consists of health coaches, pain psychologists, integrated medicine practitioners (acupuncture, prolotherapy) and a registered dietician,” said Dr. Halloran. “I use my background in functional medicine, to review labs and discuss the role of inflammatory diets with the patient, mindfulness, sleep and other aspects of lifestyle and how it can impact their overall health and musculoskeletal conditions. My background in functional medicine allows me to easily communicate the goals and progress of the patient with other professionals working in similar capacities.”
Dr. Halloran showcases the power of integrative health care to positively make an impact on one’s life as well as demonstrates exemplary leadership serving in various professional organizations. In all her efforts, she has been noted by her colleagues to have represented her profession with grace and inclusivity.
“Dr. Stephanie Halloran exemplifies the characteristics and values that UWS endeavors to instill in its graduates—patient focus, best practices, curiosity, inclusiveness, professionalism and individualized whole-person health,” said Dr. Joseph Brimhall, UWS president. “Her integrity and leadership is an inspiration to everyone who has the privilege of working with her.”
Dr. Halloran has a passion for becoming the best physician she can be and ensuring that she grows not only personally, but helping to open doors for those who follow her lead.
“Experiencing and living with pain impacts one’s life greatly,” said Dr. Halloran. “And having the ability to provide some relief or to completely resolve a patient’s complaint is a great gift to offer the world.”