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Ellsworth chiropractor recognized for community contribution

Kyle Kollbaum, chiropractor at Kollbaum Chiropractic, received the Wisconsin Chiropractor of the Year from the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) on April 27. PIctured (left to right) Mary Spriggle, Rae Lynn Kollbaum, Kyle Kollbaum, Gina Girdeen (missing Angelina Anderson). Submitted photo

Being a part of the community and helping people achieve healthy living is what one local man hopes he is doing for Ellsworth; he was recently recognized for his efforts.

Kyle Kollbaum, chiropractor at Kollbaum Chiropractic in Ellsworth, received the Wisconsin Chiropractor of the Year award from the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) on April 27.

Kollbaum said he began as a chiropractor 16 years with a practice in St. Paul. When he married his wife, Rae, they decided they wanted to move out of the city and Kollbaum would commute to work. When they decided to start a family, Kollbaum said they looked at starting his practice in Ellsworth. Thirteen years ago he started Kollbaum Chiropractic in Ellsworth.

Coming into a small town, Kollbaum admitted he had to gain people's trust because he wasn't from the area. Being from a farming community in Iowa, he didn't know anyone in the area, but that didn't deter him from starting his business.

"It's a small town," Kollbaum said about Ellsworth. "You have to be real with people in a small town."

By being truthful with patients, they trusted him and became loyal to his practice, he said. And he knew this trust and loyalty would take time and wouldn't happen overnight.

Kollbaum said Gina Girdeen, who is the office manager at Kollbaum Chiropractic, found the award nomination for Wisconsin Chiropractor of the Year and asked Rae about nominating Kollbaum. Rae said Girdeen wrote up a nomination letter and Rae helped fill in some of the community involvement portion. Judges look at the last three to four years, not only the work in the office but also the person's community involvement.

In the letter, Girdeen listed numerous community activities Kollbaum participates in including donating money to the Ellsworth Fire Department, Ellsworth High School basketball and football programs, FFA and St. FrancisSchool. He has also been a youth football coach for nine years and served as vice president for two years. Kollbaum is active at Crossroad Community Church where he has served as an elder for the last 14 years, and he is involved in the Music Ministry and other groups within the church.

Girdeen said not only is Kollbaum involved in the community, he really takes the time to help his patients and understand the patient's needs.

"His office is open Monday through Thursday, however, it's not uncommon for him to stay late or come in on a Friday to treat patients if their work schedule prohibits an office visit during operating hours," Girdeen said in her nomination letter. "There have also been occasions when Dr. Kyle has made house calls to visit shut-ins in the comfort and convenience of their own homes."

Kollbaum said it meant a lot to him that his own employee nominated him. To be chosen by fellow chiropractors was very special.

"To be chosen by your fellow peers, it was very emotional to be recognized as someone doing well in my profession," Kollbaum said.

Kollbaum said a high school anatomy and physiology class just "clicked" with him and started his thinking about a profession in the medical field.

"[I] looked at a profession in the medical field," Kollbaum said. "I wanted to stay more natural and work with my hands like all of my family does. Chiropractic seemed like the best fit. I think it [being a chiropractor] kind of chose me."

Rae, who is a non-practicing chiropractor, said one of the important pieces of being a chiropractor is that the chiropractor is the person giving the treatment. She said her husband uses his knowledge, skills and hands to provide treatment for the patient. While Kollbaum said some medical professions will write a prescription or send patients to someone else to get help, his job allows him to provide the personal care for his patients and help them get better.

Finding out what is causing people's problems and helping them regain their life is what Kollbaum enjoys doing.

Being accepted into Ellsworth has helped Kollbaum grow his practice and help more people.

"Not being an Ellsworthian in the beginning, Ellsworth has really opened their arms to us and been amazing," Rae said. "They've blessed us in how they've accepted us and hopefully we've blessed them in return."

Kollbaum feels he and his family have found their place in Ellsworth.

"When we moved here 15 years ago, we didn't know anyone," Kollbaum said. "Now we can't go anywhere without knowing someone. I like that. We work and we worship in the same community. We are part of community."