Aligned with family, 50 years
Father, son apply team approach to chiropractic practice
Evergreen Park Currier
Mike Nolan, Buisness News
Fresh out of college, Paul Stoxen collected $3 per treatment at the chiropractic office he bought near 79th and Halstead st. in Chicago, IL.
Paul Stoxen built a practice, which later included his son James, that treated thousands of area residents and billed more than $7 million dollars a year for services.
“I think I took in about $47 the first week,” said Paul Stoxen, who paid $1,000 for the practice soon after graduating from the National College of Chiropractic.
Now 74 and mostly retired, the Lockport resident looks forward to seeing his former classmates next month when the 1949 graduating class has it’s reunion in Oak Brook, IL.
“It went pretty fast,” Stoxen said reflecting on his nearly five decades in practice.
While he’s no longer treating patients, Stoxen does keep in touch with them. He sees them when he visit’s the offices of TeamDoctors, a chiropractic practice operated by his son, James Stoxen. Located in 1,000 square feet at 6432 S. Pulaski Road in Chicago. TeamDoctors had its grand opening in April, 1999.
James Stoxen said, “His practice has a greater focus on helping people recover from sports-related injuries in addition to offering general chiropractic care. Many of the patients his father saw are coming now to the new office.”
When father and son were working together, their practice, called First American Health Care, had offices at 6224 S. Pulaski Road in Chicago and 3347 W. 95th St. in Evergreen Park.
In 1964, Paul Stoxen moved the practice from 79th and Halsted street to Evergreen Park. In 1993, the second office on South Pulaski in Chicago was opened.
Last year, the Stoxens sold the office on Pulaski to another doctor. The Evergreen Park office was closed prior to the opening of the TeamDoctors office.
Another chiropractor, James Yiatras, will be joining James Stoxen in the practice. He said Yiatras also has a background in sports medicine. Stoxen said “plans call for adding rehabilitation equipment to supplement the chiropractic treatment offered at TeamDoctors.”
James Stoxen also attended National College of Chiropractic, graduating in September 1986 and immediately joined his father’s practice. The college, which was in Chicago when his father attended, is now in Lombard.
In 1991, First American added medical doctors to its practice and enlarged the Evergreen Park office to include a rehabilitation center called ‘The Athletic Rehabilitation Clinic.’
“We were the first chiropractic office in Illinois that I know of to employ both MDs and chiropractors in one facility,” James Stoxen said.
Eventually, First American’s roster grew to eight associates, two medical physicians, two athletic trainers and 64 full-time employees.
“I think we were treating somewhere between 700 and 800 people a week at each of the two locations,” Paul Stoxen said.
James Stoxen said First American had annual billings for service of about $7 million.
“Simplicity is the most important thing”, James Stoxen said, explaining the approach he and his father took in explaining chiropractic medicine.
They employed the analogy of a misaligned car to convey the long-term effects of spinal cord problems.
“If a car or machine is out of alignment, it will wear down faster,” he said.
The dinners not only generated new patients for the practice, he said, but also gave people a chance to meet and talk with a prospective doctor.
“Patients don’t come in (to a medical facility) for the state of the-art equipment, they come in for the doctor.” said James Stoxen, adding he’d like to revive Dinner with the Doctor at some point.
James Stoxen, a 1980 graduate of Sandburg High School in Palos Township, said he was encouraged to gear his practice toward sports medicine by his fiancee, Irina Vdovets, 1988 and 1992 Olympic team coach, rhythmic gymnastics.
Stoxen, who is on the editorial advisory board of Muscle & Fitness magazine, said he interviewed Vdovets last fall for an article he was writing for the magazine.
Stoxen, a 37-year-old Lincolnwood resident, has served as team physician for the American Powerlifting Federation and the American Armwrestling Association.
For now, Stoxen said his goal is to expand his TeamDoctors practice and move ahead with plans to add rehab equipment. Looking ahead, he wants to open as many as 10 additional TeamDoctors offices in the Chicago area.
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