View the video version at https://youtu.be/MHAn9OZ85Z4
To Colorado Chiropractors,
We, at the Colorado Chiropractic Association, have had an intense few weeks since the announcement of vaccine mandates for all healthcare workers, both doctors and staff, in the City of Denver and Denver County. Denver is a ‘Home Rule’ city, which affords the mayor of Denver additional local powers in the case of a declared emergency (such as this declared pandemic,) separate from the State of Colorado.
We have made it clear that our position remains supportive of your choice to make your own healthcare decisions. You all have studied and trained long and hard to be able to make those decisions and you have our backing.
“We support Coloradoans in their right to choose and make informed decisions regarding patient care for both the individual and their family and children. No healthcare procedure, of any sort, is without potential risk. It is essential that patients educate themselves on both the benefits and the risks associated with any procedure to properly exercise their freedom of choice in making healthcare decisions.”
This mandate states that all personnel in all healthcare entities must complete full vaccination by September 30th. Please see the mandate language here. Recognize too, that while a mandate has been introduced, civil rights, by way of the Constitution of the United States and the Colorado State Constitution, still apply. For this reason, the language of the mandate states, “Employers shall provide reasonable accommodations for any personnel who have medical or religious exemptions from the COVID- 19 vaccination.”
If you have chosen to vaccinate this may not concern you, however, it is significantly concerning to those of your brothers and sisters in the profession who have chosen a different path for their families and themselves.
We, our Executive Director Andrea LaRew and I, have been daily contact with our state lobbyist, who is in ongoing communication with state lawmakers and other groups (public servant unions and health professional associations) affected by this decree. Without going into detail our information on other organizations and their response to this has been mixed – some in compliance, while others not. We are not alone. We have met with multiple attorneys who are advising us on actions moving forward. We have met with Bharon Hoag of the Chiropractic Defense Council, who has us informed on what is happening in other states that have implemented a vaccine mandate.
This past Monday (8/23/21,) the CCA Board met and unanimously ratified a motion to retain an attorney (a former Minority Leader of the House) to communicate with Governor Polis before further mandates are introduced. We have learned that two states, California and New Jersey, while implementing vaccine mandates for healthcare workers, have, for reasons at this stage unclear, not included chiropractors. We wish for that information, and the language in those state orders to be in place before the Governor or other health departments/boards make further rulings.
Many of you have hear about the emergency hearing the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is holding on Monday, August 30th. Our attorney has done an extensive legal review regarding the authority of the CDPHE, and by extension the State Board of Health (Board) and has determined, CDPHE and the Board have no governing authority over chiropractors or chiropractic facilities, to include chiropractic hospitals. This means rulemakings by CDPHE and the Board regarding COVID vaccine mandates have no impact on chiropractic facilities.
Colorado Revised Statute 25-1.5-103(1)(a)(1), lists healthcare facilities governed by CDPHE and the Board. Chiropractic facilities are not included in that list. In addition, the Colorado Code of Regulations governing healthcare facilities (6 CCR 1011-1) was amended in 2012, pursuant to legislation, to REMOVE chiropractic centers and chiropractic hospitals.
We ask, for the above reason, that NO chiropractors attend this meeting, so we DO NOT give them any reason to think that they have legitimacy to have authority over chiropractors OR that they introduce a motion that they should have authority in the future since we still give them that regard.
In the meantime, we will continue to seek information and a way forward for our chiropractors in Denver. I met with group of between 30 and 50 chiropractors in Denver last Friday evening to share where we are at this time. It was a great event and excellent to see chiros coming together with a sincere love for their community.
Our two full time staff at the CCA is overwhelmed at this time with the communication traffic from concerned chiropractors. For all the Denver chiropractors that have asked about a letter to the Mayor that I suggested at the outset – that letter has not been sent as yet. Legal counsel advised us not to do that until we had more information from other entities also included in the mandate.
The CCA will host a meeting at the Hampden office on Thursday, September 9th at 6:30pm, for a hard start at 7pm, to share everything we know at that time. Please register to attend in-person or via Zoom by clicking here.
We will continue to update you via email and on the homepage of our website as we have new information.
Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Craig Pearson
CCA Board President