Award-Winning Researcher Credits Northeast with Helping Find his Voice, and So Much More
Meet Steven Passmore (D.C. '06)
Hometown: Dunnville, Ontario
Undergrad degree: bachelor's degree in kinesiology, McMaster University
NYCC, now Northeast College, alumnus Dr. Steven Passmore (D.C. '06), also an adjunct assistant professor and research affiliate of the College, was named Researcher of the Year by the Canadian Chiropractic Association in 2020. He lives in Manitoba, Canada with his wife and their three boys (11, 8 and 6) and is also a writer/producer of three short films. In his spare time, he makes his own maple syrup.
During his teen years, in Dunnville, Ontario, Dr. Passmore was a lifeguard, a martial arts enthusiast, and a camp counselor. It was at camp that he first heard about chiropractic. "I found it really aligned with my philosophical outlook on healthcare," he said.
Knowing that it would be excellent preparation for chiropractic school, Dr. Passmore received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from McMaster University, where he became involved in research. Here, he also received the opportunity to pursue this interest further and receive a master's degree, through a research scholarship to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
"I knew the opportunity was unique, so I did it, but always with the intention to pursue chiropractic after," Passmore said. Now, associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba, Passmore is both a prominent chiropractor and researcher.
At the Canadian U15 school, the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Passmore supervises undergraduate, master's, and Ph.D. level trainees in the research program and has overseen two doctor of chiropractic students who have pursued research graduate degrees at the medical/doctoral research-intensive university.
NYCC (now Northeast College ) is full of open doors. You simply have to walk through them.
Support -- 'every step of the way'
He has fond memories of his alma mater, its community, and its ability to inspire success. "I chose the College for its research reputation, evidence-based curriculum, and beautiful campus," Passmore said.
He found even more -- important relationships, remarkable opportunities and the encouragement needed for success. Passmore made life-long friends and mentors, including then professor and 'champion for research' Northeast College President Dr. Michael Mestan.
Passmore also found possibilities, "NYCC provided hospital-based chiropractic opportunities when there were very few," he said. "My research interest was also supported every step of the way from elective credits in research to a post-graduate Fellowship."
Among the many important things he found at the College, Passmore said, was his voice. The encouragement combined with the academic excellence at NYCC allowed him to find significant ways to contribute and give back to the chiropractic and research profession.
Passmore's many healthcare accomplishments include helping establish chiropractic clinical practice guidelines, participating on research teams, attending conferences and serving on committees on a global level (World Spine Care, The Global Spine Care Initiative, and the World Federation of Chiropractic) and working with the federal government, both in the United States, initially at the VA Western New York Healthcare System in Buffalo, and most recently in Canada, through the Canadian Pain Task Force, External Advisory Panel..
As for the maple syrup, it's also award-winning, taking 2nd place in a maple syrup-making contest at a local town fair in Carman, Manitoba, Canada. He even recognizes one of NYCC's professors for this pastime. Dr. Paul Dougherty, who farms honey, keeps bees, and takes care of horses, showed Passmore, through example, the importance of taking time to really enjoy life and family.
Passmore credits his career with allowing him to find the work/life balance to be able to make both an impact on his students and in healthcare while still enjoying the sweeter things in life.
Dr. Steven Passmore on the #NortheastBlue community
The Northeast staff are a team, all important to creating a wonderful campus experience. I found a clinical mentor in Associate Professor Andrew Dunn. I remember friendly emails and support from Academic Affairs manager Laura Feligno and I would not be where I am today without the support and guidance of Northeast's Dean of Faculty and Research Jeanmarie Burke. She nurtured my research career and encouraged me to generate unique research ideas for us to collaborate on.
I would happily be a chiropractic patient of any of my classmates. My classmates became my colleagues -- we were there for each other academically and socially, which made the journey together enjoyable. As students, we had a cooperative, not competitive, spirit. We practiced together, shared notes and study strategies. There were lots of great social events where we got to know each other.
We spent so much time together as a cohort, literally hundreds of hours. Whenever I see an article that highlights one of my former classmates, they send me a text message, or I see their clinical or personal success on Facebook, I am reminded that the College provided the learning environment that allowed us to reach our full professional potential.