West Clinic celebrates 100 years
POCATELLO — Jason West has made quite a name for himself in the medical world.
He authored a No. 1 bestselling book, was named Idaho Chiropractor of the Year twice and has a clientele that includes people from Pocatello and Maine and as far as London and Shanghai.
And though West celebrated the West Clinic’s 100-year milestone during a ribbon cutting Monday afternoon, the proudest moment of his career came after work one night in 2008 — eight years after he started his practice.
“My dad said, ‘Hey Jason. I would go to you now,’” West said. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’ And he was like, ‘I would come see you as a patient. I totally believe that you know what you’re doing now.’ … It wasn’t that he didn’t have confidence in me before. … I’m 43 now, and I anticipate practicing another 30 or 35 years, and I think no matter what else happens, that’s going to be my proudest moment.”
West is the fourth generation of health practitioners. His great-grandfather, Alfred West, opened the West Clinic in 1916 on East Center Street in Pocatello. Two of Alfred’s sons, Henry West Sr. and Arthur West, followed their father into the practice, which split into the West Chiropractic Clinic and the West Chiropractic Center in 1961. Henry West Jr. continued the family tradition and was joined by his son, Jason, who joined the two West-owned clinics back together. Jason opened a new facility just off Pocatello Creek Road in 2007 and bought out his father in 2010.
But Jason’s path to success wasn’t necessarily an easy one. And early on in his career, he found it difficult living up to his father’s reputation.
“I was literally in tears because I was like, ‘Dad, I can’t get people to come in,’” Jason said. “And this was the lesson he taught me. He said, ‘Jason, the difference between you and me is I know I can help people and you think you can help people, and once you know that you can help people, you don’t have to worry about patients. You don’t have to worry about people because they’ll come and see you, but you don’t know that yet. You’ve got to pay your dues.’”
That was when Jason took his medical education to the next level.
“I said at the time that I’m going to go to one continuing education seminar a month until I’m as good as (my dad) is,” Jason said. “There were times when I literally had enough money to pay for the seminar. I would drive down to Salt Lake and I would go to the hotel and I would sleep in the car. … My wife would be like, ‘Why are we going to all this stuff?’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve got to pay my dues. I’ve got to learn how to get better.’”
Jason also attributes his attitude toward health care as a primary reason for his clinic’s international reach. Though he was named Idaho Chiropractor of the Year twice, he doesn’t believe that particular form of alternative medicine has all the answers. Nor does he believe traditional medicine has all the answers. By blending aspects of traditional and alternative medicines together, Jason has been able to establish himself as a healer that gets results using a variety of differing strategies.
“We put together an integrative team where we have a nurse practitioner and a chiropractor and a nature path and an acupuncturist together,” Jason said. “Our doctor promise to patients is that we don’t care who gets the credit or what you have to do to get better as long as you get better. So we use the best of medicine and the best of alternative medicine and the best of nutrition and the best of acupuncture, and that’s why we get such good outcomes.”