Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Last month, Chiropractor Catherine Valen moved her equipment and practice to the Columbine Family Health Center, leaving her job with Kaiser Permanente. Working in the community she resides in suits her perfectly. Now, what suits her even more is having another chiropractor work on the days she doesn’t in the same space, so all of her clients, and many more, are covered by two therapists.
The businesses are separate, the space is shared.
Last week, Dr. Bern Putnam, CD joined the Columbine family of therapists, sharing Valen’s chiropractic offices. He will have regular hours on Wednesdays and Sundays when Valen has time off. Putnam came to Colorado from Saint John in the Virgin Islands, just two months before Hurricane Harvey hit, and says he could take that as an omen that he made the right decision.
Putnam was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he was a long-distance runner. He attended the University of Vermont, earning his BS degree. In college, he traded in his running shoes for dance shoes, studying modern, jazz and ballet dancing. His dance studies led him to San Diego and then to Las Vegas, where he danced at the MGM Grand. He met his wife, Elizabeth, a native of Venezuela who was also a dancer, and they were married in 1985. Their daughter, Alexa, was born in 1988 and she is now working on her PhD in Aerospace Engineering at CU.
While in Las Vegas, Putnam completed his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology, Summa cum Laude, and worked at the Desert Springs Hospital in the Physical Therapy and Cardiac Rehab departments.
Not one to stop learning, the Putnams moved to California, where he attended the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1987 and is listed in “Who’s Who in American College Students.”
The couple moved to Boxborough and opened Boxborough Family Chiropractic, which they sold in 1993 to move to St. John, USVI, where they stayed for the next 25 years. Elizabeth taught dance and formed The Rainbow Dancers. Bern and his daughter rode horses and surfed. He was also the Gifft Hill School Board president, the president of the VI Winter Sports Federation and a member of the Revolving Fund Board, which loaned money at no interest to St. Johnians going through hard times, namely major hurricanes.
Putnam includes Hatha Yoga in his practices and has also studied Tai Chi and Qi Gong. He hopes to integrate American Sign Language into his practice.
This past summer, the Putnams moved to Nederland to be near their daughter who attends CU and, realizing that he wanted to continue working, he walked into the Columbine Family Health Center and asked if anyone would hire him.
Sharing the chiropractic space will satisfy both Valen’s and Putnam’s needs and benefit the clients as well.
Putnam practices diverse techniques involving manual adjustments and deep tissue work, as well as post isometric and muscle work including therapeutic ultrasound, interferential electric therapy and infrared therapy.
Putnam is settled in and eager to meet members of the community. He charges his own fees, but they are the same as Nederland Chiropractic fees for people who don’t have insurance. He does not accept insurance.
Valen has been a chiropractor in Nederland since 1988 and is happy to have returned to a full-time practice in Nederland.
To reach Nederland Chiropractic Center call 303-258-7730.
(Originally published in the October 26, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)