Newswise — Arlington, Va. – The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) presented its 2023 Annual Awards last week during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The awards recognize chiropractors and other individuals for their exceptional service, achievement and/or leadership within the chiropractic profession.

Richard Bruns, DC, of Bangor, Maine, received ACA’s highest honor, the Chiropractor of the Year Award. He is recognized as a steadfast advocate for the chiropractic profession and its patients, with a talent for diplomacy and bringing people to the table for discussions that move things forward. Dr. Bruns served in the ACA House of Delegates for 25 years, first as the alternate delegate for Maine, then delegate and later as chairman of the ACA Board of Governors. In Maine, he served as president of the state chiropractic association and was instrumental in legislative efforts to protect access to chiropractic care.

Anthony Lisi, DC, of West Haven, Conn., received ACA’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, acknowledging his tireless efforts to increase veterans’ access to chiropractic care. Since 2007, Dr. Lisi has served as the chiropractic program director for the Veterans Health Administration (VA). In this role, he oversees all national programmatic issues for chiropractic services in the largest integrated healthcare system in the U.S. Through his efforts, Dr. Lisi was also instrumental in the establishment and implementation of the first federally funded chiropractic residency training program in the VA. 

Elise Hewitt, DC, DICCP, of Portland, Ore., received the Academician of the Year Award, which recognizes individuals for their efforts to advance the profession through academic or educational excellence. Dr. Hewitt is an adjunct professor in the College of Chiropractic at the University of Western States in Portland, Ore. She is also the founding program director of a new Master of Science in Integrative Pediatrics program at Logan University in Chesterfield, Mo.

Martha Funabashi, DC, of Toronto, Canada, received the George B. McClelland Researcher of the Year Award, recognizing an individual for developing, refining and/or expanding the body of knowledge in chiropractic. Dr. Funabashi is a clinical research scientist and assistant professor in the division of research and innovation at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. She has both conducted and translated research for teaching and publication, serving as a principal investigator, co-investigator, and mentor on a variety of projects.

Robert Leach, DC, MS, of Starkville, Miss., received the Delegate of the Year Award, and William Foshee, DC, of Dallas, Texas, received the Alternate Delegate of the Year Award. Both awards recognize members of the ACA House of Delegates who have demonstrated exceptional service, achievement and/or leadership.

Maurice Pearl Jr., DC, of Rogers, Ark., received the Flynn-Lynch Award, which recognizes an outstanding member with no more than five years of experience serving in the House of Delegates.

Photos of award winners are available upon request by e-mailing [email protected].              


About the American Chiropractic Association

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways -- by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices. We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic. To learn more, visit


Register for reporter access to contact details