Born in Rockville Centre, New York in 1956
In 2nd grade, Jeanne and Tom meet
1981 Jeanne and Tom graduate from chiropractic school
1983 Drs. Jeanne and Tom open a family practice in Media, Pennsylvania
2002 Dr. Jeanne steps up to help run the ICPA, becoming Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor of Pathways to Family Wellness magazine
2012 She joins the Life Chiropractic College West Board of Regents
n outpouring of emotion and gratitude has come from all corners of the chiropractic universe after the recent passing of Jeanne Ohm, DC. Dr. Ohm was a member of the Life Chiropractic College West Board of Regents, and a leader in the pediatric and Salutogenic health care movement.
Dr. Ohm, called an inspiration by many in social posts on her Facebook page, transitioned Sept. 26, 2019.
“Dr. Jeanne Ohm was a leader in the profession, and her contribution to the elevation of pediatric, pre- and post-natal chiropractic care has taken our profession to another level,” said Life West President Ron Oberstein, DC, in a Life West statement the next day. “Her commitment to the health and well-being of everyone from children to adults is unmatched.”
A longtime resident of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ohm was an instructor, author and innovator. In a recent Life West podcast, she talked about how she came to chiropractic.
“I grew up in a pretty medical household,” she said. “I had three major surgeries by the time I was 6 years of age.” Her family went to the doctor for everything. But at age 19, she fractured her spine while she was hang gliding. She ended up in the hospital, and after a year of treatment, asked why her back still hurt.
“Honey, you’re going to have a bad back for the rest of your life,” the doctor told her. “I remember telling him, ‘No, I’m not,’ and I left,” Dr. Ohm says in the podcast.
She walked into a chiropractor’s office shortly after that. He helped her understand the nervous system in a new way and created a health care plan for her. It didn’t take long for her and Tom, her partner, to start looking at chiropractic school.
The pair chose the brand-new ADIO Institute of Straight Chiropractic, which later became Pennsylvania College of Straight Chiropractic, started by Drs. Reggie and Irene Gold, and began their studies in the fall of 1978. The school was still trying to get certified, and Dr. Ohm laughed as she said they graduated with more of a receipt than a diploma, which made getting a license a bit difficult.
But they did get those licenses, and that wasn’t the only license they had when they walked away from chiropractic school.
When Tom and Jeanne applied for school, a discount for married couples was being offered. They told Dr. Reggie they were “like married,” Dr. Ohm said. They wanted that half-price discount. But he wanted the certificate, and he told them, “No certificate, no half-price!” They got married at the courthouse, and they got the discount. The two, who had known each other since attending Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School together in the second grade, were married for more than 40 years. They also attended high school together and completed their associate’s degrees at Nassau County Community College.
After chiropractic school, the pair started a family practice. They had 6 kids – “we wanted a big family,” she said – and integrated their practice with family time.
Her son, Dr. Justin Ohm, wrote a moving tribute that was reposted several times on his mother’s Facebook page. “Jeanne always had time for family,” he wrote. “Yes, she traveled often and was busy effecting a change in the world, but she always found time for us. She was the first call you would make when you needed advice. She was there in a minute when you needed help. Her certainty in life gave us all strength.”
In an email, Dr. Justin wrote: “The ICPA was Jeanne’s passion, and expanding the chiropractic family lifestyle was her mission.” She began to help run the ICPA in 2002, moving the daily operations into her home at first and then into “the barn” on her property. Under her leadership, the pediatric chiropractic group grew to one of the largest membership-based organizations in chiropractic. The ICPA now has 10 on-site employees, 19 instructors, 6,000 members, more than 150 seminars every year and a quarterly magazine with more than 7,400 subscriptions.
Peter Kevorkian, DC, Board President of the ICPA, noted in a statement that “Jeanne touched tens of thousands of people with her vision and passion. Her legacy will live on through the ICPA. No one can replace Jeanne Ohm. We can each take a piece of her that has impacted our soul and bring that into our circles.”
Dr. Oberstein said many people have reached out to him to find out what happened. “Jeanne lived her life through a Salutogenic lens, always seeing the ‘creation of health’ everywhere she turned and in her own life,” he wrote in a personal Facebook post. “Thus, I can safely say she would not want any of us putting a label, pathology or disease name to her passing. Simply put, her body was not able to adapt to its current environment. Knowing what I know about Jeanne, she clearly chose her new path of light and well-being.”
Dr. Ohm had been a member of the Life Chiropractic College West Board of Regents since July 2012 and served as the Chair of the Life West Board’s Academic Affairs Committee. “We will miss Dr. Ohm’s guidance and advice, not only at the Life West Board, but throughout the profession,” said Jimmy Nanda, DC, and Chair of the Life West Board of Regents.