Chiropractic care all in the family for 50 years in Greencastle

October 08, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, PA. - The Barvinchacks of Greencastle are no strangers to the practice of chiropractic medicine. They've been in it for three generations.

The dynasty began in 1945 in Binghamton, N.Y., by John B. Barvinchack. He ran a practice in Greencastle for nearly 40 years before retiring in 1993. He died in 1996 at age 87.

His son, Evon Barvinchack, began practicing in Greencastle in 1966 with his father. Evon's son, Michael Barvinchack, has his own practice in Hagers-town.


John B. Barvinchack was a first-generation son of Czechoslovakian immigrants. He was born in Johnson City, N.Y. He contracted polio in 1941, tried to work in a local shoe factory, the same factory where his father worked for years, but he couldn't stand for long periods, Evon Barvinchack said.

He was encouraged to take up chiropractic medicine from a local practitioner and enrolled in a three-year course at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He graduated in 1945. He moved his practice to Marathon, N.Y., in 1947, and to Greencastle in 1954.

John B. Barvinchack's wife, May Petrie, grew up in Hagerstown.

Both suffered from polio. They met at the Sister Kenny Institute, a clinic for polio victims that Kenny opened in Minneapolis in 1942.

He went into chiropractic medicine, he said, "because I grew up with it. I also had a natural interest in biology."

Evon Barvinchack spent four years at the same college in Iowa as his father. He spent two more years in premed.

Evon Barvinchack and his father traveled to Nova Prima, the Czechoslovakian village of their ancestors, in 1975. Neither had been there before.

"My family owned land there before the Soviets moved in after World War II," he said. "I'd like to go back now that the Iron Curtain came down and see what it's like today."

Earlier this week, Evon Barvinchack celebrated the combined 50 years of practice that he and his father accrued in Greencastle since 1954. The milestone was recognized Tuesday at Barvinchack's office at 11142 Williamsport Pike when he hosted a Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce mixer.

An alumnus of Greencastle-Antrim High School and Mercersburg Academy, Evon Barvinchack was presented with this year's president's award from the American College of Chiropractic orthopedists.

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