Letter: Chiropractor had a welcoming spirit

Posted 1/17/18

To the editor:

On Thursday night Barrington lost one of its own, Dr. Clive Bridgham. He was apparently murdered in his home in East Providence. He was found on Thursday night. He grew up here in …

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Letter: Chiropractor had a welcoming spirit


To the editor:

On Thursday night Barrington lost one of its own, Dr. Clive Bridgham. He was apparently murdered in his home in East Providence. He was found on Thursday night. He grew up here in Barrington on New Meadow Road. He was a practicing physician from 1986 thru 2017 in Barrington Center. He was president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI) twice. He was an avid surfer and interested in sports medicine. He was on many sports medical councils for the X-Games, Gravity Games, surfing and skiing competitions worldwide, too many to be fully list here.

What I remember the most about my colleague is his welcoming spirit. When I moved to Providence from the midwest after graduating from Logan College of Chiropractic, I did not know many people here. Clive reached out and openly welcomed me to the state. We met at his office in Barrington in the spring 2000 and had lunch at Newport Creamery.  

We talked about my new practice and he gave me advice as to how to navigate setting up my practice and deal with insurance companies and state licensing. He seemed to know or know of everyone I had to meet to set up my practice and purchase my building. I was grateful for his advice and friendship.

Clive, being who he was, only had one condition for his helping me, he wanted me to join CSRI and help the larger Chiropractic profession. This was something that Clive did constantly for the 17 years that I knew him. He often personally called to remind me to attend the membership meetings. He convinced me twice to serve on subcommittees at CSRI working to get legislation through the RI legislature. 

In 2016 he set up a panel discussion where all of the major Gubernatorial candidates spoke about health care and the role that they saw for Chiropractic in our health care system.  Clive frequently met with both local and federal politicians to advocate for Chiropractic coverage in all Health Insurance plans, and for limits based on diagnosis of the patient rather than arbitrary numbers. 

In 2017 Clive got a huge victory on this front. House Bill 6124/Senate Bill 789 were passed in the RI Legislature on June 29th and June 30th 2017. This law was signed by the Governor on July 10, 2017. This bill forces all RI insurance plans to cover medically necessary chiropractic treatments by Jan. 2019. This means BCBS, Harvard, Tufts, United Health Care, Neighborhood health Plans of RI, Cigna, and Aetna can no longer have pre-specified visit limit numbers. It also requires that Medicaid cover Chiropractic for the first time by these same rules. This bill also recognizes Chiropractic as effective treatment for pain management and specifically for opioid prescription avoidance. This bill will save lives and increase the quality of life for many currently in pain. This will be his ongoing legacy and I for one, am thankful to have known Dr. Bridgham as both a friend and colleague.        

Paul J. O’Brien Jr, DC


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