Todd Ginkel’s career has been about finding the right treatment for the patient

Rob Karwath | September 28, 2017

Todd Ginkel, DC brings his cross-functional approach to Northwestern, where he serves on the university’s Board of Directors.

Todd Ginkel’s career has been about finding the right treatment for the patient. More often than not, it emerges from a multi-disciplinary approach to health care.

“We’re best when we cooperate and work together for the patient,” Ginkel says. “A winning approach is the right care at the right time from the right provider—all for the benefit of the patient.”

Ginkel’s work in health care has been a model of collaboration and multi-disciplinary teamwork. It started as a student at Northwestern Health Sciences University, where he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree in 1990.

He now is President and CEO of Physicians’ Diagnostic Rehabilitation, a group of clinics in the Twin Cities specializing in out-patient spinal rehabilitation. He also is President and Director of Clinical Affairs at the National Dizzy and Balance Center, an outpatient clinic system that combines medical doctors, audiologists and physical therapists to offer a multidisciplinary approach to balance disorders.

He brings his cross-functional approach to Northwestern, where he serves on the university’s Board of Directors.

“I’ve always been a multi-disciplinary enthusiast,” Ginkel says. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an exclusionary approach. I have known and have worked with MDs and chiropractors. Both bring something important to the table. Chiropractic is best at acute musculoskeletal issues. MDs offer the best emergency services.”

And the list goes on for the many other health professionals with whom Ginkel works daily, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and others.

“I don’t think one profession is better than any other,” he says. “But if we work together, we all can be better for the patient.”

Ginkel’s career in health care has been multidisciplinary from the start. He began his education as a mechanical engineering student but switched to chiropractic studies at Northwestern when he saw the benefits of treatments while recovering from an injury. His chiropractor, who also was on the Northwestern board at the time, wrote him a letter of recommendation for his application to the university.

After graduating, Ginkel took another step on his multi-disciplinary path. He attended and graduated from Russian State Medical University in 1996. When he returned to the United States, he focused on chiropractic while working with medical doctors and others to build his unique businesses.

Ginkel also finds time to professionally connect diverse professionals in health care, with a special focus on the needs of chiropractors.

“I like to help chiropractors make connections and develop relationships with professionals like orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, PTs and rehab doctors,” he says. “It’s hard for many chiropractors. They’re often working in single offices, and they’re busy with their practices. It’s not easy for them to go out and, say, meet a neurosurgeon.”

Similarly, connecting the dots of health care is a priority in Ginkel’s work on Northwestern’s board.

Northwestern President Chris Cassirer “brings a lot of energy and ideas to the board,” Ginkel says. “I see the board’s function as helping him vet those ideas, choose the opportunities to pursue and monitor the direction the university is headed.  I am a collaborator, and the board is a great opportunity to collaborate. I have a chance to get together with a bunch of smart professionals and help develop a heading for the university. That’s fun.”

When he’s not focused on his patients and the future of health care, Ginkel can be found pursuing another passion that requires collaboration and teamwork—sailing. His favorite spots are on Lake Superior and in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea around Puerto Rico.

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