Laura T. Bomback, DC ’87 Doctor of Chiropractic, Clinical Nutritionist and BCC Faculty Member
Written by Bristol Community College alumna Cynthia G. Flanagan ’99
Tell us what made you decide to come to BCC and enter the Health field: Although I was not the best student in high school, my favorite class was Biology taught by Mr. Charles Mendes who talked about health. I also had an after school job at a nursing home where the elderly residents had so many health issues that it got me thinking that being sick can’t be our only destiny. I figured that what we do to ourselves now affects us later in life. That really got me interested in health and nutrition, so the seed was planted. Never thought at the time it would be a career choice, because I had no plans to attend college.
After I graduated from Durfee in 1970 I went to work for the telephone company. I remained there for 11 1/2 years and was very unhappy. I wanted to do more with my life, but was scared to begin something different. It was a very difficult decision to leave a secure job, good pay and wonderful benefits, but the stress of the job and commute to Boston every day were not worth it to me. I figured I had at least 25 more years of life to do something more meaningful.
At one time my chiropractor said I could become one too. But, it took me 10 years to get the confidence to pursue it. Even after being out of high school for 10 years, BCC made it possible. I felt comfortable on campus. I felt that I belonged here at long last. I began by taking my pre-requisite classes at night. I would study on the bus to and from my full time job in Boston and during my breaks. After another year and a half I left the phone company and did a semester in the Nursing Program. (I mistakenly thought by applying to the Nursing Program first and becoming a nurse it would be a stepping stone to the field of chiropractic.) At the end of the semester my advisor and I agreed it was not the career for me. I did not want to be a nurse. My now husband, Herman, encouraged me to just do it! So, I applied to the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa. I completed all my requirements for admission at BCC. When I graduated from Palmer I was 39 years old. Not too old to start a new career!
Can you briefly explain Chiropractic and Clinical Nutrition? Chiropractic is the art and science of all things natural. It is removing interference to the nervous system by adjusting misalignments to the spine thereby improving nerve flow to the organs. It emphasizes nutrition, exercise and natural health care. I use a gentle method of spinal correction called Activator Methods. I am also doing what is known as Nutrition Response Testingsm. This is a non-invasive system of analyzing the body to determine the underlying cause of ill or non-optimum health. A personal nutrition program is clinically designed specifically for the individual and targets the areas of the body that need repair and support. I absolutely love what I do helping sick people get well…without drugs!
How do you think your time at BCC helped you in your career? I loved it here! I was one of the first tutors, and because of that I thought that I would like to teach. After graduating from chiropractic school, I came here to teach Anatomy & Physiology. I also became involved in the Theatre group and was in “Equuis” the first show put on at BCC. Rylan Brenner was the new director and he helped me to believe in myself. I just fell in love with theatre when I was here. My creativity came out. Being on stage helped me to open up, which in turn has helped with my ability to connect with my patients and with my students. I am still involved in the theater through The Little Theatre of Fall River.
What advice do you give your students? I tell them to go for it. Set your sites and if you can, don’t detour. Don’t go to nursing school if what you want is to be a chiropractor. I also tell them it is important to get involved with things especially at school. This is the best way to start building contacts and set up your network. Meeting people can opens doors for you later on in life. You never know when you may need a contact or get a referral from someone you knew in your earlier life. Many of my patients have been people who I have met at BCC.
Did you have any mentors along the way? I was very fortunate. My husband was my grounding force. Mr. Mendes, my high school biology teacher, sparked my first interest in health. My professors at BCC introduced me to many new ideas and concepts. Taught me how to think. People like my Chemistry professors, Jim Pelletier & Jim Constantine, and my English teacher, Norman Norris, who taught me how to write are among my favorites.
My very favorite was Nancy Fraze, a Portuguese professor who unfortunately has since passed away. She later became a patient of mine and eventually a wonderful friend. A true story of a dogwood tree she gave me that never seemed to bloom. Soon after Nancy’s passing I was by the tree and asked her if she could do anything about it. The next day, my husband asked if I had seen the tree. There, on it, were five blooms! Truth.
All of these BCC mentors have played influential roles in my life and for that I am most grateful.