Health Care and Wellness

Trucking Drives Business Expansion for Chiropractor

GIRARD, Ohio – Getting clients through the door is key to any successful business. And with an office just a stone’s throw away from Interstate 80, chiropractor Dr. Gordon Byrne is well positioned to have Accord Occupational Health Services attract as many truck drivers as possible.

More than 43,000 vehicles, a healthy portion of them semi-trucks carrying cargo, pass through the Interstate 80-Salt Springs Road interchange daily, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation. 

“The trucking industry is a good fit for the chiropractic field. The bouncing around they do in the trucks and being in a seated posture for hours can lead to spinal issue or joint pain,” he says. “If there’s a medical problem that’s a chiropractic issue, I can take care of that right here. If it’s not, I can make a referral just like any other practice.”

In January, Byrne purchased Accord, adding to his repertoire of offerings, which also includes his chiropractic office in Howland and sports medicine for area high school teams. 

“I’ve always been more of a diversified doctor,” he says. “Occupational health is something we’re allowed to do as chiropractors and I wanted to get my foot in the door and fill that niche. There’s not a lot of people doing DOT physicals, so it seemed like a good opportunity to expand my business.”

The addition brought with it drug-testing, workplace physicals, hearing tests and respirator testing. But one of the largest areas of business, Byrne says, is the physicals required for truck drivers by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which must be renewed at least every two years.

“It tapers down from there based on any medical problems they may have, as long as it’s under control, they’re seeing a physician and any medication is monitored,” he says. “Diabetes is a common one, but as long as they’re monitored, then we usually give them a one-year certificate to keep their CDL license.”

Byrne also expanded the Accord office in Girard to include space for chiropractic work, which can help drivers deal with short-term, acute pain issues.

“If people come in once or twice, I can help them out if it’s a short-term issue,” he says. “If there’s a bigger issue, we refer them out and they take care of it through their medical provider.”

Accord Occupational Health Services’ office in Girard is just off Interstate 80, one of the busiest commercial corridors in the state.

Among the more common health issues for truck drivers, adds office manager Mellisa Henry, are high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea.

“Sleep apnea is a big one. Many already know they have it, but some may also have those symptoms of snoring and being overweight and getting shortness of breath. Those are the warning signs and we’ll refer them out,” she says.

Accord has sites in Girard just off the Interstate 80-Salt Springs Road interchange and Elm Road in Warren, as well as an office that’s being relocated closer to the Ohio Turnpike in North Lima.

While Accord does see truckers from across the country who stop in when they need physicals, three-quarters of the practice’s business comes from locals, either companies or drivers, Byrne and Henry say. 

“There are frequent fliers we get in,” Byrne says. “Companies, when they get new hires in, usually like to have their facilities, so if we’re contracted, they send them over to make sure they’re OK to drive.”

For truck drivers, time is of the essence. Long layovers mean less time driving, which can directly affect pay. It’s why the office next door to the Petro gas station off Salt Springs Road is well-positioned, Henry says.

“The big hit for us is truckers parking. They can park and just walk over. They’re from all over the United States, so this is just a place where they can rest, get their physical and be back on their way,” she says, adding that the office staff works to keep the waiting room empty and get drivers in and out as fast as possible. 

“We get a lot of compliments because they’re not sitting out there for an hour,” she says. “This is their livelihood.”

Pictured: Dr. Gordon Byrne, office manager Melissa Henry and assistant office manager Kirstin Miller run Accord’s Girard office.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.