Family Rooted in Northeast History, Chiropractic Legacy and Commitment to Integrative Healthcare
Meet the Forsters
Arnold Forster (D.C. ’60)
James “Jamie” Forster (D.C. ’85)
Cal Forster (D.C. ’23)
Before Northeast College of Health Sciences, there was New York Chiropractic College (NYCC), which at its founding back in 1919 was called the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic (CIC).
Over the past 100+ years, the College's chiropractic legacy has held strong. With it, multiple generations of chiropractors and healthcare professionals have been powerfully prepared for successful careers. One family that has seen a legacy of learning at the College is the Forsters -- three generations of chiropractors graduating from the College at three different points in the organization's history.
Transformations rooted in commitment to chiropractic and tradition
Tradition, transformation and the values of excellence, leadership and professional best practices are all intertwined in the chiropractic legacy story of the Forsters, as well as the history and evolution of Northeast College.
The late Arnold Forster (D.C. '60) enrolled in the Atlantic States Chiropractic College, which later became part of CIC. Arnold ultimately went on to become a professor at the College. Arnold's son James "Jamie" Forster (D.C. '85) took his father's chiropractic colloquium class when the College was known as NYCC and located in Long Island. Now, as the College celebrates 30 years in Seneca Falls, the newest generation of the Forster family, Cal, is serving as Student Government Association executive president and looks to graduate from Northeast College of Health Sciences in 2023.
Much like the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic (CIC) paved the way for Northeast College, Dr. Arnold Forster paved the way for his offspring. He was the 784th licensed chiropractor in New York State. That was in 1963, before state board exams existed and chiropractors only needed a license to practice. During this time CIC was the sole chiropractic school in New York state and one of only nine others across the U.S. Arnold's peers included Dr. George Goodheart, founder of applied kinesiology (AK) muscle testing, and Dr. Ernest Napolitano, former president of CIC/NYCC.
Known as "Arnie" to his friends, to Cal the eldest Forster was known as "Grampy"; to Jamie, simply "Dad."
Growing up Forster
Commitment to integrated, natural healthcare runs deep in the Forster household. Jamie received his first adjustment when he was just six hours old. His son's first adjustment came even earlier. "Cal was 22 minutes old," Jamie recalls. When Cal had a cut or small wound as a boy, it was treated naturally. If he had a pain or ache, it was remedied with chiropractic adjustment.
Jamie Forster had the privilege of watching his father Arnie, a pioneer of applied kinesiology, teach, study and learn. He witnessed many of his father's lightbulb moments and remembers the passion and excitement that came along with it.
"I couldn't help but fall in love with the profession. I wanted to be hands-on and help people feel better too. My father was a fearless pioneer and a bit of a sage," Jamie recalls.
He fondly shares memories of his father's healthcare office in Brooklyn. There were 12 chiropractors, massage therapists and nutritionists. "He believed in multi-faceted care before the word 'integrative' came into fashion," Jamie Forster said.
Arnold Forster passed away when Cal was 12, but Cal remembers his grandfather being intense and articulate. He has enjoyed learning about his grandfather and what he taught his own father. "I feel like I grew up with something so special and so unique," Cal said.
Moving to Long Island with his family at the age of 5, Cal now talks about becoming a chiropractor as a welcomed responsibility. He recalls watching countless people come to his father's home office and marvels at the way they responded to their healthcare treatment.
"I remember watching a man at his office who came in (for pain treatment). He said he felt hopeless," Cal said. "The next time I saw him he was looking great and feeling healthy."
Cal was deeply impacted by countless experiences like this. "How could I not want to maximize this awareness and continue to help add to and grow the profession?"
As the College transformed, the Forsters embraced the organization's two name changes and moves out of New York City and Long Island, all the while confident that their chiropractic foundation was rooted in academic excellence and a commitment to evidence-based, integrative healthcare. Jamie is also a champion for progress. "We've always embraced change. It's what makes us thrive," said Jamie. About the continued evolution of his alma mater, now named Northeast College, he says, "It's a perpetuation and maturation, an unfolding of an educational institution."
For both Cal and Jamie, attending the College allowed them to continue to expand on the immersive education they received at home. Jamie is now the owner of the integrative healthcare clinic Forster Chiropractic LLP with five locations in New York City and the president and owner of Nutri-West NY supplement distribution company. While earning his Doctor of Chiropractic at Northeast, Cal is also studying for his master's degree in applied clinical nutrition.
The Forsters have a special bond with Northeast College, one rooted in the power of healing and a deep dedication to chiropractic and integrative healthcare. That dedication continues to be cherished and passed along, both to the newest generations and, perhaps, even generations to come.