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Carter passes practice to a native son

By Rex L. Troute, The Hawk Eye, Burlington, Iowa
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

June 22--The passing of the torch of Sidney Carter's chiropractic practice to Andrew Minard seems only logical with so many commonalities in their backgrounds.

Carter is retiring June 30 after 40 years of serving the public at 903 N. Seventh St. in Burlington. Though separated by a couple of generations from his younger counterpart, Carter and Minard grew up in Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School 40 years apart, Carter in 1962 and Minard in 2002. They had positive experiences with chiropractic in their youth, and eventually chose it as a career. Both graduates of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Carter left with his degree in 1971 and Minard in 2008.

"My whole family worked for the railroad except for me," Carter said.

A grandfather, father, brother and two uncles worked for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. Carter studied business and economics at Burlington Junior College and wound up working two years for CB&Q in Chicago.

A friend studying chiropractic at Palmer invited Carter to the Quad Cities, and he attended a few classes out of curiosity.

"I found it interesting," Carter said.

He enrolled at the founding institution for chiropractic in 1966, and worked for the Rock Island Line to put himself through school.

"I wanted to be either a chiropractor, physical therapist, pastor or accountant," Minard said of his possible career choices.

Minard also attended Burlington's junior college, though it was called Southeastern Community College for the three years he was enrolled at the West Burlington campus.

"I was really good at science," Minard said, which led him in the direction of chiropractic.

Carter's youth experience with chiropractic began with a high school football injury as a Grayhound at Bracewell Stadium.

"I was jumping up in the air to catch a pass and a guy hit me in the back," Carter said. "Coach (Harold) Tackleson told me to walk it off."

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However, the hit created a lower back injury, which affected Carter's legs. He missed the last two games of the season, but a trip to a local chiropractor helped return him to good health.

"My experience was good," Carter said of chiropractic.

Minard's injury happened at a younger age -- during recess. A competitive type, he tried to see how many bars he could skip while swinging on the monkey bars. His grip slipped and he fell squarely on his back. The lower back injury kept him out of school for three months, but the good chiropractic care he received became ingrained on his mind.

After graduating from Palmer, circumstances eventually brought both men back to their hometown.

Carter went to the state of Washington to visit a friend, and was exploring the possibility of setting up his chiropractic shingle in an unserved town. His sister's wedding brought him back to Burlington before he could set up shop. While back in his hometown, Carter discovered Ray Hanks, the previous owner of the practice on North Seventh Street, was moving to Midwest City, Okla., and thus selling his Burlington practice. Carter took over in 1974, 40 years ago, and it became Carter Chiropractic.

Minard worked three years for a chiropractic firm in Missouri, first in Marshall and then Springfield. However, he did yearn to return to his hometown.

He returned to Burlington to work for Advance Chiropractic Center for two years, but started looking for an opportunity for his own practice.

"I always wanted to remain here, personally," Minard said.

He contacted Russell Cox, a chiropractor in Mount Pleasant, who referred Minard to Carter.

That connection to Burlington was the first selling point to Carter for turning his practice over to Minard.

"We adjust similarly," Carter added, which could make for an easy transition with his patients.

Minard has been in the Burlington office since early June getting acquainted with those patients.

A great deal has changed from the start to the finish in Carter's 40 years of chiropractic. He admits there was a stigma about chiropractic in the beginning.

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"There definitely was a problem," Carter said. "One of our main focuses was legislation for making it easier for patients to visit a chiropractor."

The chiropractic community also sought to develop a better relationship with the medical profession, while showing chiropractic in a positive light. Carter said advances and progress on those fronts were made in the '80s and '90s.

And just recently, legislation was passed in the Iowa legislature to make the co-pay at a chiropractic clinic the same as a medical doctor's office.

"If you do a procedure, the co-pay used to be higher," Carter said until the 2013 legislation.

Carter gave credit to local politicians Tom Courtney, Dennis Cohoon and Tom Sands for their support on the legislation.

Business used to be on a cash basis in the early days for Carter, but now his pay is largely through insurance.

Though his involvement with his patients is still hands on, modern technology has had a great impact on the practice.

"Technically, we have come a long way," Carter said.

These days, digital x-rays, impulse adjusting instruments, a cold laser and electrical muscle stimulator are among the tools commonly used on patients.

What hasn't changed for Carter is his personal relationship with his patients as he has operated a family practice. He has worked on several generations of the same family.

The concern of his patients hasn't changed either.

" 'I want to know what you are going to do to me? How long is it going to take? How much is it going to cost,' " Carter said of their concerns.

One of his most important traits is to listen to his patients, give them a diagnosis and go over their x-rays with them.

"One of the most important things we do is spend time with them," Carter said.

Carter has left his mark on the community and his profession. He was the first chiropractor allowed to join the local chapter of Rotary International in the '70s and eventually became the president. He was named the Iowa Chiropractor of the Year for 1982-83 and was nominated as a fellow to the International College of Chiropractic in the '80s.

One of Minard's goals for the practice is to add a doctor down the line as most chiropractics are trending toward multi-doctor offices.

"My long-term goal would be to become established in the community," Minard said.

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For now, the name of the practice will remain Carter Chiropractic, but Minard eventually will change the name to Minard Chiropractic.

Carter's retirement plans are two-fold -- cars and family.

"I'm an old car fan," Carter said. "Car shows are something I should do."

Carter's small but impressive car collection includes a '66 Ford Mustang, a '73 Ford Mustang convertible and a '31 Ford Roadster. Carter's father and older brother built the Roadster.

"I want to spend more time with my children and grandchildren," Carter said, as many trips to Kansas City are in his future.

With just a few more days on the job, Carter has received daily recognition of his accomplishments in chiropractic.

"I've got a lot of hugs from my patients," Carter said.


(c)2014 The Hawk Eye (Burlington, Iowa)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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