Free Nationally Recognized Spine Health Program (12 CME)

sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

in cooperation with Lifespan System of Care

Principles of Primary Spine Care:

Simpler, Easier, Better

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is proud to introduce to our region a nationally recognized educational program, provided free of charge for physical therapists and chiropractors, that is founded on evidence-based spine care guidelines.

Nationally and regionally, medical costs of spine care have increased significantly over the last 20 years, accompanied by an increase in spine disability. Studies show that first-line provider decisions greatly influence downstream chronicity, disability and costs. Thus, physical therapists and chiropractors are key in solving the problems of spine care.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to apply the diagnostic, treatment and communication skills required to effectively manage the majority of patients with spine-related disorders, ranging from those with simple, more straightforward issues, to those who are more complex (e.g., radiculopathy, chronic pain). You will also gain skills in functioning as a specially trained spine practitioner within an integrated spine pathway, focused on case coordination (referral, follow up, clinical decision making) across the full cycle of care. Finally, you will be able to support primary care practitioners by functioning in a primary care-style role in managing spine patients.

The program is offered through a partnership with the primary care providers affiliated with Lifespan (Lifespan Physician Group and Community Physician Partners) who will participate in their own educational program in the middle of May, and will align their referrals to those physical therapists and chiropractors who have completed this training.

12 hours of online training in total, divided into four 3-hour webinars


Friday, May 29: 8AM-11AM


Saturday, May 30: 8AM-11AM


Sunday, May 31: 8AM-11AM


Monday, June 1: 8AM-11AM




This is a live webinar training that will be facilitated by the Primary Spine Provider Network's partners:

Donald R. Murphy, DC, FRCC, clinical assistant professor of Family Medicine, Alpert Medical School of Brown University and adjunct assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, as well as John M. Ventura, DC, clinical instructor, Family Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine.

BCBSRI will offer another training later this year for those unable to participate in this training session.If you have any questions about this opportunity, please reach out to Monica Boulay, provider relations representative, at (401) 459-5603 or [email protected]

Donald R Murphy, DC, FRCC

Dr. Murphy is a chiropractic physician with over 30 years of experience in practicing, teaching and consulting in Primary Spine Care. He is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh.

He has been admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractors in the United Kingdom. He has also served on the Expert Panel for several spine care guidelines, including those of the American College of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, American College of Physicians and American Pain Society.

Dr. Murphy has nearly 100 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and book chapters. He is a co-lead in the certification course for Primary Spine Practitioners offered by the University of Pittsburgh. His recent books, Clinical Reasoning in Spine Pain, Volume I and Volume II, serve as the required texts for that course.

John M Ventura, DC, DABCO

John M Ventura, DC, DABCO, was in private practice for over 30 years, initially as an associate for 2 yrs, then in solo practice for 5 years then as co-owner of a multi doctor practice for 23 years. He has been a clinical instructor in family medicine at University of Rochester School of Medicine for the past 18 years. He is a board member of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative and sits on the steering committees for two of their major projects: Burden of Musculoskeletal Disease in the United States and the Musculoskeletal Education Initiative. 

For the past several years he has served on the primary care and chronic illness committee of the National Quality Forum, an organization that provides recognition status for health care quality measures. He sits on a technical expert panel for Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services and on the committee for quality assurance and accountability of American Chiropractic Association.

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