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Chiropractical Podcast - Let's Talk Research

Research and Why it Matters

Episode 4: We dive into research. We talk with Dr. Heidi Haavik about her work in the time of COVID-19, and Dr. Brent Leininger explains the research process from idea to funding.

Let's Talk Research

Host Chick Herbert talks with Dr. Haavik about what she’s working on, where the opportunities are to use research to support the profession, and how COVID-19 has impacted her ongoing research efforts.


In our Ask NCMIC segment, Emily Wood addresses whether you should add your corporation to your malpractice insurance policy or does your individual policy cover both.  

Dr. Brent Leininger talks with host Melissa Knutson about how to determine whether a research idea is worth pursuing, where to look for funding, and how COVID-19 has challenged for researchers – but also created an opportunity for rural communities.  

Additional Material

Our Guests

Dr. Heidi Haavik

Dr Heidi Haavik is a chiropractor and a neurophysiologist who has worked in the area of human neuropsychology for over 15 years. Heidi has a PhD in human neurophysiology from the University of Auckland. She is also the founder of Haavik Research - a team dedicated to see a world full of people expressing their optimal potential. Haavik Research gives chiropractors clarity and confidence about what it is they do and the value they provide to their customers. Dr. Haavik is the Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic where she established the Centre for Chiropractic Research, the dedicated research arm of the college.

Dr Haavik has received numerous research awards and has published a number of papers in chiropractic and neurophysiology journals. She has presented her work to both chiropractic and neuroscience communities around Australasia, North America and Europe. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics and Journal of Chiropractic Education.  

  • Public friendly science-based marketing material for Chiropractors — The online Resource Library at contains popular whiteboard animations, plus lots of social media content and downloadable referenced written summaries on many practice-relevant topics you can give to your practice members.
  • Online classes:
  • Support the Centre for Chiropractic Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic at
  • To support a PhD student or a research project please contact 

Dr. Brent Leininger 

Dr. Leininger is an Assistant Professor in the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program at the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. He is a past recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellowship (F32) and is currently supported by a K01 career development award through the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). His research focuses on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of non-pharmacological approaches for the management of musculoskeletal pain. In addition to performing economic evaluations, he has been involved in the design, implementation, analysis, and reporting of numerous clinical trials and systematic reviews investigating the impact of integrative therapies on health among a variety of populations.  

Our Hosts

About Chick Herbert

Chick is Sr. Vice President of Enterprise Organizational Development. Chick has nearly 30 years of experience as an executive business leader, independent consultant, speaker and executive coach. He is the co-author of “It Begs the Question – Learn How the Best Managers Drive Performance Through Question-Centric Coaching.” Chick is a past board chair for Special Olympics Iowa and was recognized as the 2013 statewide volunteer of the year. He recently accepted a leadership role with Iowa Women Lead Change. Chick and his wife have three adult sons.

About Melissa Knutson

Melissa is Sr. Vice President – Insurance Operations. She’s been with NCMIC since January 2004. As an active part of the Greater Des Moines community, Melissa volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, United Way’s Grad Walk, and Meals from the Heartland, as well as serving on the Board of Trustees for EveryStep. She is the founder of Give Grace Give Hope, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to addressing period poverty in Central Iowa by providing menstrual products to local schools and nonprofits. Melissa and her husband have three daughters.

About Mike Whitmer

Mike Whitmer, Vice President of NCMIC's Chiropractic Insurance Programs, has more than 25 years' experience in the business world to share with D.C.s who are starting their chiropractic careers. By day, Mike leads the corporate relations team at NCMIC Group, Inc., teaching at chiropractic colleges about business practices and risk management, and attending trade shows and homecoming events. Mike is also the cofounder of a property management company and a restoration firm that have provided his "real world" experience on writing business plans and dealing with small business finance and operations. He is the board president of Children’s Cancer Connection, and on the board and executive committee of the National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter.

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