Remembering Richard Erhard
"We would definitely talk about the current evolution of the AAOMPT of which I think he would be very proud and of course the current state of USA politics. I would say I miss him very much and would lift an excellent glass or two or cabarnet and toast to our great profession. In reality, it is very difficult to articulate what a close friend Dick was for me. I do know that prior to the AAOMPT Washington DC conference the year he passed; Mike Rogers, Stanley Paris, Dennis Hart and I drove from D.C. to University Pittsburgh to surprise his wife at a church at Pitt, celebrating Dick's life. She was so happy, yet stunned to see us. Her hugs to all of us I will never forget and I will never forget Dr. Dick Erhard! Very special person."
"I first met Dick in the mid to late 1980's when I taught Autotraction courses with him, as well as Sandy Burkhart, Dr. Natchez, Paul Christensen, Steve Stratton and others throughout the USA. We developed significant mutual respect for each other due to our clinical experiences of many years. Both of us had spent many long days for years treating patients that gave us insight into treatment approaches which were patient centered at the core. We would sit and discuss patient scenario's over a cold beer or nice glass of cabarnet often. Many times, my wife Edie, Dick and his wife Natalie would drink good wines and have dinner together at AAOMPT conferences in the early days. More often than not, our discussions would evolve into professional and USA politics which we definitely felt similarly. They were really fun and lively conversations which I miss to this day! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the history of Dr. Dick Erhard and the AAOMPT."
"Stanley Paris had the most pre AAOMPT history with Dick as far as I recall. When the academy was in its initial stages Freddy Kaltenborn, who was without question the catalyst that got the group to convene, asked me who should be invited to the first meeting and I felt Dick should come due to two reasons: the OMT program he had involved himself with at that time in Pittsburgh and because of the long-term contact as a manual therapist he had with as being a student of Freddy Kaltenborn over many short courses."
"In 1974 Richard participated in a course in the Grand Canary Islands on the west coast of Africa. The course was arranged by the International Seminar School under Professor Freddy Kaltenborn, and I was one of several instructors. Following the course Dick Erhard took the Kaltenborn/Evjenth manual therapy exam from their Board of Examiners; Dr. Cyriax, O. Evjenth and F. Kaltenborn, and passed with flying colors. This was my first meeting with Dick. We became good friends and he helped me evaluate a contract proposal from Stanley Paris, who wanted me to come to the US to teach for his Institute. Later that year he was elected the first president of IFOMT at our meeting in Montreal. I was at the time an executive member, representing Norway. This was the first of many seasons cooperating and interacting with Dick Erhard professionally and politically. When we were invited by Professor Kaltenborn to come to Rochester, Michigan in 1991 to establish what later became the AAOMPT, Dick and I was elected “standards committee” and the picture was taken at that meeting. Our “standards” were later mainly developed mainly by Carol Joe Tichenor as Dr. Richard Erhard became our Vice President and I became the Treasurer of the new organization. The picture was taken during a recognition for our time and effort to develop the AAOMPT."
"I can share these opinions and observations about Richard Erhard. He had the ability to listen, to find consensus and to emphasize what competitors in our field of work had in common. He did not participate in self-promotion or bragging, but created an atmosphere of cooperation and an intelligence in finding the essence of what was professionally important in all situations. As a chiropractor and manual therapist, he had a broad clinical and academic background and realized the importance of a clinical, multi-disciplinary and eclectic approach, well beyond what was offered by the Orthopaedic Section at that time.I believe these qualities colored his contribution in the creation of the AAOMPT as well as being his main contribution to the organization and the goal for the next generation of manual therapists. In our discussions, he was considering the AAOMPT as an alternative to the theory specialization offered by the Orthopaedic Section. He recognized the need for the US to develop a clinical specialization, necessary for a US membership at IFOMPT, where he served as the first president. We agreed that the first purpose of the AAOMPT was to seek international accreditation, a decision also reflected by the bi-laws at that time. It was removed as unachievable by a later administration."
"If I had a chance to discuss this with Dick today I think we would agree that the current submission to the APTA is meeting professional standards, but not necessarily meeting the requirements for the international political and academic recognition we once aimed for. However, he would be happy and proud to observe the standardization of curricular content of residency and fellowship programs and the success and recognition of the AAOMPT. Above all I would tell him that he was a good friend and an excellent clinician."