VA Connecticut Healthcare System Chiropractic Residency - Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services
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Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services

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VA Connecticut Healthcare System Chiropractic Residency

Program: Integrated Clinical Practice

Established: 2014

Accreditation: VA Connecticut Healthcare System’s Chiropractic Residency Program (VACHS) received its initial accreditation status with The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) in July 2016. In its most recent decision, the Council granted reaffirmation (and/or renewal) of accreditation to VACHS in July 2019. The next currently scheduled site visit is Fall 2025.

Period: 12 months, July 1 to June 30 annually

Positions:
One

Director
  • Anthony J. Lisi, DC, Chiropractic Section Chief
Attending DC Faculty
  • Lauren Austin-McClellan, DC
  • Christopher M. Coulis, DC
  • Todd Kawecki, DC, Chief Health Informatics Officer
  • Nathaniel Majoris, DC

Mission Statement

The Mission of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency is to prepare chiropractic residents for clinical practice in hospitals or other medical settings, and/or academia, through hospital-based clinical training, interprofessional education, and scholarly activities

Brief Description

VACHS is a Level 1a tertiary care facility that provides a full spectrum of inpatient and ambulatory healthcare services to over 60,000 unique patients annually, and features robust research and educational programs. The VACHS chiropractic section is in the department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Chiropractic residents rotate in primary care, physiatry, pain medicine, neurology, rheumatology, neurosurgery, womens clinic, inpatient Community Living Center, and other clinics. Residents learn from or participate in chiropractic faculty’s ongoing research projects, and engage in scholarly activities at the facility. VACHS also features a number of chiropractors in postdoctoral training programs, providing opportunity for residents to collaborate and network with a cadre of high performing early career DCs.

Resident Goals/Objectives
  • Residents will acquire postgraduate clinical experience in hospital-based chiropractic care
    • Residents will provide supervised patient care at satisfactory levels of competence, to a broad population of musculoskeletal cases, most commonly spinal, in the context of collaborative team-based care
    • Residents will gain experience in managing a range of complex/multimorbidity cases
  • Residents will engage in interprofessional educational experiences with relevant medical, surgical and associated health specialties
    • Residents will complete clinical rotations in primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, other relevant medical or surgical specialties, behavioral medicine and other associated health disciplines
  • Residents will participate in scholarly activities to gain experience relevant to integrated practice and/or academia
    • Residents will complete scholarly assignments, online didactic courses, and collaborate with other chiropractic residents to complete group assignments
    • Residents will attend scholarly presentations among available hospital and/or academic affiliate offerings
    • Residents will engage in research activities, and/or present scholarly material, and/or clinical workshops to staff and/or trainees at VA and/or academic affiliate venues

Program DC Faculty

Lauren Austin-McClellan, DC
Dr. Austin-McClellan received a BA from Boston University, an MS from the University of Bridgeport, Nutrition Institute and a DC from the University of Bridgeport, College of Chiropractic (now UBSC). In 2013 she began serving as a research clinician at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, and later joined the medical staff full time in 2015. She additionally holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the UBSC.

Christopher M. Coulis, DC, MS
Dr. Coulis received a BS from Providence College, an MS from the University of Toronto, Canada and a DC from the UBSC. In 2009 Dr. Coulis joined the medical staff of the VACHS. He additionally holds a faculty appointment at the UBSC and has lectured extensively in both the US and Canada on evaluation and management of spinal conditions. He has also authored or co-authored several peer-review articles.

Todd Kawecki, DC
Dr. Kawecki received a BS from Seton Hall University and a DC degree from the University of Bridgeport. Dr. Kawecki also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Medical Informatics at the Veterans Health Administration and Yale Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine. In 2010, Dr. Kawecki was appointed as the Chief Health Informatics Officer for the VACHS, where is also serves as a staff chiropractor. Additionally, Dr. Kawecki serves on the faculty at both the UBSC and Yale Center for Medical Informatics.

Anthony J. Lisi, DC (Director)
Dr. Lisi received a BA from Fordham University and his DC degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. In 2004 he became the first chiropractor appointed to the medical staff of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, where he developed processes for integrating hospital-based clinical services and interprofessional clinical education. In 2007 Dr. Lisi was named National Director of Chiropractic Services for the Veterans Health Administration. He is also an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine, and has published numerous papers on topics including low back pain management, spinal manipulation, interprofessional education, and chiropractic services. Dr. Lisi received the American Chiropractic Association’s 2015 Academician of the Year award, and the 2017 Chiropractor of the Year award.

Nathaniel Majoris, DC
Dr. Majoris earned his BS in sports medicine from Mercyhurst University and his DC from Palmer College of Chiropractic. He has maintained a Diplomate with the American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board since 2012. He received his certification in acupuncture in 2010 and his certification with the National Athletic Training Association in 1999. In 2014, Dr. Majoris joined the medical staff of Bath VA Medical Center and transferred to the VA Connecticut Healthcare System in 2016. Dr. Majoris currently holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the UBSC.

Location

Training takes place at the VACHS West Haven (950 Campbell Avenue, West Haven, CT) and Newington (555 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT) campuses. VACHS is well-known for its excellence in healthcare provider training. VACHS has academic affiliations with the Yale University School of Medicine, the University of Connecticut Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, and over 100 other health professional schools. Through these academic affiliations VACHS trains more than 600 medical residents and more than 600 associated health trainees annually.

Clinical Facilities

The West Haven chiropractic clinic is composed of four exam/treatment rooms furnished with state-of-the-art exam/treatment tables, computers, and other necessary equipment. Two additional clinician rooms with computers and high-resolution imaging viewing stations are available. The Newington chiropractic clinic is composed of two exam/treatment rooms furnished with state-of-the-art exam/treatment tables, computers, and other necessary equipment. Library support through VACHS and the VISN 1 Online Library is available.

Compensation

The resident stipend is set annually, based on geographic location, by VA Office of Academic Affiliations. For Academic Year 2019-20 the stipend for a VACHS chiropractic resident was $41,027. The resident receives paid Federal holidays and accrues vacation and sick leave. The resident is also eligible for life and health insurance. The resident is protected from personal liability while providing professional services at a VA health care facility under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, 28 U.S.C. 2679 (b)-(d).

Certificate of Completion

Upon satisfactory completion of program requirements, the graduate will receive an official Certificate of Residency, and records will be maintained at the VACHS and the VHA Chiropractic National Program Office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must hold or be scheduled to receive a DC degree from a CCE-accredited school prior to the start of the residency program. Licensure is not required prior to the start of the program. Accepted residents, prior to program completion, must obtain a full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US, or in the District of Columbia. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements including US citizenship, and Selective Service registration when applicable.

Application Process

The program follows the VA Chiropractic Residency Match process. A call for applications is issued each year on the second Monday of January. Applications are only accepted during the open call. Applicant assessment is through a competitive process considering factors such as academic background, relevant experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and telephone, video, and/or in-person interviews. Applicant rankings are made by a review committee of the residency director, DC faculty, and current DC resident.

Additional Information

Further details are available in our Program Handbook. For additional information contact: Anthony.lisi@va.gov