The Chanda Plan Foundation
When you sustain a spinal cord injury, it is common to get the standard medical care that is given to all people with paralysis, but not everybody responds to this care the same way. For Chanda Leichtle, a C5 quadriplegic injured at 9 years old from an accidental shooting, this standard of care was killing her. Suffering from chronic pain, no longer able to eat or do any of her everyday activities, Chanda had dropped to a dangerous 59 pounds.
Desperate, she and her sister went to her doctor for a solution and he recommended they try alternative health practices such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Chanda's sister was a licensed massage therapist and yoga instructor and swiftly put the doctors' advice into action. Soon, they began to see a change in Chanda's health and knew they were on the right track.
Within months, Chanda's health was transformed and she and her sister felt driven to share their amazing discovery with others with paralysis, which is how The Chanda Plan Foundation and the Chanda Center for Health were born. Read on to learn about the exciting therapies offered by this foundation and more below.
In 2006, Chanda and her sister officially founded The Chanda Plan Foundation after discovering the exciting health benefits of alternative health practices. Headquartered in Colorado, the mission of the foundation is to provide integrated health therapies such as massage therapy and acupuncture to people with disabilities, as well as primary care and complimentary services. The Chanda Center for Health is the only integrated medical center for people with disabilities in the country.
After the integrated therapies were rolled out at their first facility in 2006, and the SCI/disability community was abuzz with excitement. And even more exciting, they provide these therapies at a reduced cost to people with physical disabilities thanks to money raised through The Chanda Plan Foundation. Providing reduced healthcare costs to their patients with disabilities is another important component of their mission, which they’ve been doing from the start.
Accessing the Chanda Plan’s services at a reduced cost is easy. For people with disabilities who live in Colorado and are already on Colorado's Medicaid program, all they have to do is call their caseworker to start the SCI waiver application process, which pays for these services. If you are on Medicaid in another state, it will likely be covered as well. And for those not on Medicaid, you can pay for the services out of pocket. Discounted prices are also available, as well as aid for veterans.
And going directly to the Chanda Center for Health in Colorado for the services is not necessary. They have a network of providers across the country that may be able to treat you close to home, which can greatly save on travel costs. For many people with SCI across the country, however, they have opted to visit the Chanda Center for Health in person.
What They Offer
In 2017, 11 years after opening its doors, the Chanda Center for Health moved into a new 6,000 square foot facility located in Lakeland, Colorado. This facility is able to provide all of the same health therapies that helped Chanda heal, and many more as well. First and foremost, they offer care coordination, which is a service that is typically provided through the state. They also offer services related to behavioral health, such as counseling. They also offer classes in clinics throughout the year on important topics related people spinal cord injuries, like monthly wheelchair repair clinics, classes on wound care, cannabis, and Medicaid estate recovery information.
As for helping the physical form, they offer a wide variety of amazing integrative health therapies such as adaptive and aerial yoga, acupuncture, nutrition assistance, massage, and chiropractic care. These therapies are the cornerstone of the Chanda Center for Health and have changed many people's lives. And for those looking for more traditional care, the Chanda Center for Health offers this as well. You can access primary care physicians, as well as physical therapy and dental care. If you live near this facility and have a spinal cord injury, the Chanda Center for Health can be a great one-stop-shop healthcare facility.
The Chanda Plan Foundation and the Chanda Center for Health together have made the healthcare landscape for people with disabilities/SCI a much better place. Thanks to donations received throughout the year, helping make these integrated health therapies a reality for thousands, The Chanda Plan and the Chanda Center for Health is able to meet their goal of providing collaborative care where the person comes first.
- Learn more: https://chandacenter.org/
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About the Author
Spinal Cord Team