When you think of emergency disaster relief, chiropractic doesn’t immediately come to mind. When we hear of the heroic things people do to help others in need, we often conjure up certain graphic images. On 9/11, for example, rescue workers were dispatched to help those who needed it the most. The images of firefighters, EMS crews, doctors and ambulances flood my mind. There were chiropractors at 5 respite centers for nine months in the ground zero locations. Dr. Ellen Coyne with the help of the Executive board and central office organized and scheduled chiropractors from all over our nation to help with this crisis.In Haiti, pictures of The National Guard and Red Cross are all etched in my brain like a permanent exhibition. One thing we don’t immediately think of is chiropractic doctors. But they are there, caring for the rescue workers just as much as they’re caring for the victims. Every professional sports team has a chiropractor on staff. They played a large role in the Olympics, caring for the athletes, and not just those who were injured. They were there on 9/11. They’re in Iraq. They’re at the United States Department of Defense. Chiropractors are pretty much everywhere. So, what is it that makes a chiropractor close down his or her office and
head to a disaster area, like Haiti to help those in need? I spoke to Dr. Peter Morgan, President of Mission Life International as he was preparing for his eighty fifth trip to Haiti since the earthquake in 2010. A chiropractor who has led over 100 missions to third world countries. He’s been a chiropractor for 37 years and has extensive emergency relief experience, including organizing efforts in New York with Dr. Ellen Coyne after 9/11. They organized chiropractors from all over the world to come to the site of 911 and work with the red cross. Nine years later in 2010, Dr. Morgan he and his volunteers had just returned from a regular chiropractic mission trip to Haiti On Monday January 11, 2010-one day before the earthquake destroyed much of the country and as many as 330,000 people died. Immediately, Dr. Morgan sprang back into action, sending out numerous e-mails to local and national chiropractic organizations, and more than 1,000 emails to individual chiropractors to assemble a team willing to help. Dr. Renee Statler (a NY council District President) and George Zimmerman (a NY Council member) were part of the 27 chiropractors on the team. As the trip began, the multiple objectives were to: offer chiropractic are to the injured and non-injured people, bring state-of-the-art water filtration systems to communities, distribute food and water, and offer hope and service to Humanity. After jumping on a flight to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, they rented three huge SUVs, picked up some clean drinking water, and headed off to Port-au-Prince to start helping. For the next week, this team of doctors gave food, water, and adjustments to everyone. They even helped deliver babies in the dark. “We adjusted a few thousand people in tent-city refugee camps around the corner from the Capitol building,” Dr. Morgan explained. “The next day, we ventured into the fields behind the US Embassy, where we offered low-tech bandaging and wound care. As the first group of people were treated, they rose with big smiles on their faces, the line started to grow, and the trust was built. We adjusted thousands of people who were living in makeshift tents constructed with sticks and bed sheets.” We took in hundreds of children and began our chiropractic orphanage.
12 years later we are still taking care of 70 children. The chiropractic mission trips are the life support system for these children and our administrative staff in Haiti. Chiropractors have been through serious schooling and have been given an incredible talent” says Dr. Morgan. “We have a unique gift that our office can be just our hands, we can travel all over the world and help people just by placing our hands on them,” he explains. The chiropractic team usually takes turns evaluating people and administering adjustments to the spine which tunes up the nervous system and allows people to function optimally. Dr. Morgan feels he has a duty to use his profession to aid others in a time of need, “even if we are just helping the people who are helping the people.” The response has been overwhelming according to Dr. Morgan, and is “usually followed by a hug, a look into their eyes and a big thank you for helping.” Many of the Haitians plead to Mission Life International, “please don’t forget us, please come back.” A passionate Dr. Morgan finished up by saying, “one of my missions is to alleviate the suffering of others especially the poor, sick and disabled. When I do this, I feel alive. It’s hard to say no, so the decision to return again and again is an easy one.” This is why we have built housing and a restaurant for our mission teams and for the Haitian people. In September of 2021 we opened up a birthing center to save woman and children’s lives. One in 80 women in Haiti die during childbirth. One in five children die before the age of 5. The women in our region of Haiti are living without electricity and running water. They do not even have bathrooms. So, we built 5 buildings on our property. All powered by solar energy. 40 chiropractors contributed to the solar project. Life University contributed $40,000 towards our birthing center. Over 100 chiropractors have contributed to our 5 buildings. It cost us $75 per birth. This includes all visits during pregnancy. Then the birth of the precious child at our beautiful birthing center. We have three midwives and a chiropractor on staff. Also included are follow up visits. The cost for these procedures and the pay for our staff come from the monthly donations from over 30 chiropractors. We have delivered over 50 children during these last 4 months. Please join us on a chiropractic mission trip. Dr. Morgan states that the missions are the life support system for many of the Haitian people including our 70 children. Register at chiromissions.com
(Ethan Zohn won international attention when he was chosen as the $1 million winner of the reality television series, “Survivor: Africa.” After winning Survivor, he co-founded Grassroot Soccer, an international, youth-led movement to raise money and build awareness for his foundation and mission to end HIV/AIDS in Africa. Zohn is also the national spokesperson for America Scores, an organization that helps inner-city kids participate in educational soccer programs. Other extensive charity work includes the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, KickAIDS, the Colon Cancer Alliance, and Autism Speaks. In recognition for his charitable work, Zohn has been awarded the Nkosi Johnson Community Spirit Award by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, the Heroes Among Us Award from the Boston Celtics and the Massachusetts State Health Department, and the Auxilia Chimusoro Award from the U.S. State Department in Zimbabwe)