The chiropractic community recently received the sad news of the passing of Dr. Joe Stucky, a true leader, mentor and visionary in the profession. Most of you probably know him from the Stucky Integrated Method or the Stucky Stack. For me, Dr. Stucky was much more than that; he was Joe, my good friend.
Joe loved Chiropractic, and he loved Life University. In fact, he was one of the very first people to step up and write a check when LIFE was founded back in 1974. He was a constant source of knowledge and leadership over the course of his more than 50 years in practice. It was through my friendship with Joe and his wife Kay that I met my first wife and the mother of our children.
Joe’s lasting legacy will be felt for years to come. Not only did he come from a family of chiropractors, but many of his sons, daughters, nieces and nephews are chiropractors as well. One of his granddaughters is currently in the D.C. program at Life University. Being a patriarch of a chiropractic family is quite a tribute, but even more so when you consider the countless number of students he sent to chiropractic schools across the country. The number of “Stucky students” could probably fill a large auditorium. For that alone, the profession is grateful.
After the death of such a great man, one can’t help but reflect on the number of the “old guard” who are reaching their golden years. In the early days, it was leaders such as Palmer, Williams, Gold, Flesia, Harris and Stucky who were not just the pioneers, but the leaders of the profession. They left some big shoes to fill, and the profession has done an excellent job filling them. But who will be the leaders of the next generation?
At Life University, it is our mission to create transformational leaders. We offer the environment, training and tools to become effective leaders. But within every class that comes through the door, there are always a couple of individuals who have that innate quality that sets them apart from everyone else. Such natural-born leaders can be found on every college campus. It is these individuals who will change the world and carry the torch for our profession in the next 20 years.
On page 38 of this issue, we profile 13 chiropractors who will be leading the next generation. Some will emerge as community leaders; some will be the voice of Chiropractic in the media; some will return to their alma maters and teach the next generation. One might even take over my role as president of Life University.
The time for effective leadership in the profession has never been more critical. We live in a time when health care is at a crossroads. As arguments in Washington, D.C., and within the halls of justice continue to rage, it is important to note that the reason the arguments are happening is because the “establishment” is threatened. Medical doctors, the pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists are all panicking at the unprecedented mood swing of the populace who demand a new paradigm.
Our time is now. We need effective leadership now, as well as in the future.
Make your life extraordinary!