There and Back Dale Hull and Jan Black offer cutting-edge care for spinal injuries. By Jaime Winston
Josh Kanter of Alliance for a Better UTAH is making government transparent. By Taylor Thomas
In 2010, Josh Kanter was shocked when the Utah Department of Transportation came under fire for its bidding process when hiring an independent contractor to take on the I-15 Core Project. UDOT paid the losing bidder $13 million after the company alleged the winner had received special treatment. Worse, the Legislature itself was kept in the dark about the staggering payout. “That was the first instance of me believing there was a lack of external voices in political discourse in Utah,” Kanter says. In response, Kanter founded Alliance for a Better UTAH, a nonprofit keeping Utahns informed on government issues, from Medicaid expansion options to Count My Vote, a primary election initiative, in the name of improving government accountability. “We believe in bringing balance, transparency and accountability of the government’s actions to the public, such as keeping all actions open-door.” The Alliance keeps locals informed on government issues through a newsletter, blog and social media. While other groups work on single issues, such as Heal Utah on clean air, Better UTAH focuses on government openess and legislation across the board. “These are issues that are universally important to Utahns,” Kanter says. This summer, he ecnourages the public to get involved in two ongoing issues: the Healthy Utah healthcare debate and the Count My Vote petition. Stay informed at betterutah.org.
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photo s Adam Finkle
Bringing both sides to the table
Dale Hull felt a pop—then everything went numb. In July 1999, he dislocated one of his cervical vertebrae and pinched his spinal cord in two places when he attempted a backflip on a trampoline. “I dislocated my neck, and instantly and suddenly, I was a quadriplegic,” he says. Hull, who was an OB/GYN in the Salt Lake Valley, required home health care. He eventually learned to walk again (even carrying a torch in the 2002 Olympics), with help from physical therapist Jan Black, but soon realized the therapy he received wasn’t available to many others due to insurance limitations and a lack of time given to patients at clinics. “Most people needed more than the system was going to give them,” Black says. In 2004, Hull and Black founded Neuroworx, a nonprofit, licensed physical therapy clinic for people who are paralyzed from spinal cord injuries and other neurological conditions. Since opening in 2004, Neuroworx has helped 1,000 patients using therapy and high-tech equipment. “For 99 percent of patients, it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to them, and we make that livable,” Black says. “We allow them to redefine what that means.” Neuroworx moves to its new facility (pictured in the photo below) this July. Visit neuroworx.org for more info.
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