Spotlight on Taronté Venable

Our member spotlight this month shines on Taronté Venable (he/him), a Chiropractic Neurologist currently based in Bellows Falls. After deciding that city life was no longer for him, Taronté relocated to Vermont in August 2023. He is eager to collaborate with other professionals of color to establish a referral network that connects people of color with providers of color. You can follow him on Instagram @TheVenerableDoctor, visit his personal website at tarontevenable.com, or schedule an appointment with him at Temple Chiropractic.

Tell us a bit about your background before arriving in VT and what brought you to the state!

Originally, I was aspiring to be a physical therapist by shadowing physical therapy physicians from 2008 to 2009 while I was completing my undergraduate studies in Health Sciences, Biology and Psychology at Quinnipiac University. After graduating, I immediately began working as a personal trainer, Maryland state certified chiropractic assistant and rehabilitation specialist at an out-patient physical therapy and chiropractic clinic from 2009 to 2012. At the same time, I also worked as a physical therapy technician at an in-patient hospital from 2009 to 2012, learning about both acute and chronic care from working in both facilities. The hospital was where I was first exposed to the treatment of stroke patients and my interest in treating neurological conditions began. After discovering my love for the chiropractic field and approach to care, I applied for and completed my graduate studies at National University of Health Sciences and began my journey in functional neurology with the Carrick Institute before graduating from NUHS’s Doctorate of Chiropractic program. Following completion of my graduate degree, I moved to New York City and began my career as an associate chiropractor for several offices with varying approaches towards patient care and completed my course work towards obtaining a board certified diplomate as a Chiropractic Neurologist. For 8 years, I successfully treated patients with spinal, extremity and neurological conditions and established a sterling reputation for care within Manhattan. In August 2023, deciding that city life was no longer for me, I moved to upstate New York, bordering southwestern Vermont, in hopes of providing exceptional care to the community there; as well as satiate my desire to be closer to nature and outdoor activities that I have loved since childhood.

Why are you a member of the Vermont Professionals of Color Network?

I joined VT PoC to help support a much needed representation of professional people of color in the state of Vermont. There may not be many people of color in the state, statistically, but we are here and I believe that we all can thrive with community, proper support and visibility. I would also like to be able to collaborate with other professionals of color in order to establish a referral network for people of color looking for services from providers of color. There have been occasions that I have seen bias play a role in how some providers care for people of color, whether this be from a lack of experience or perspective, but being able to help people of color navigate and self-advocate within the healthcare system is something I feel very passionate about.

What aspects of life in VT do you find most fulfilling? What about your professional life here stands out to you?

Being so close to the outdoor activities I deeply love doing regularly, like hiking, kayaking and snowboarding has been nothing short of a blessing. I was a Boy Scout growing up and eventually earned my Eagle Scout award. So, being outdoors and active is very important to me. It has also been very rewarding to practice in an area that truly needs more healthcare providers to help support the overall health and wellbeing of the communities within the state. When people suffer, the community suffers. I had no idea how scarce healthcare providers are in this state until I moved here. This baffled me… Who wouldn’t want to live in such a stunning state filled with the wonders of untouched nature. Overall, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to truly make a positive impact on the lives of the people that live here and reconnect with the values of my youth.

Looking back, what advice would you have appreciated receiving about being a professional of color in VT before you arrived?

To my surprise, I have found that generally everyone that I have met is excited that a person of color is practicing here in Vermont. My advice would be to enter the state with an open mind. Due to the lack of diversity in the state, many people have not yet had the opportunity to interact with a person of color. This fact can lead to some unintentional micro-aggressions but is a great opportunity for people of color to provide non-judgemental feedback and exposure that may result in a deeper understanding concerning differences in culture. We, as PoC, may be able to encourage the change that we seek. Though not everyone’s perspective can be changed, it’s imperative that we do not shy away from the chance to enlighten others in a non-confrontational way, when appropriate.

Tell us about the work you’re currently doing and what drives you in your profession!

As a doctor, my ultimate goal throughout treatment is to treat the ailment and the root cause of the problem by discovering what predisposed the body to the injury. This involves treating the body as a whole and not focusing solely on it’s individual parts.

As a chiropractor, I practice diversified adjusting techniques with knowledge and experience of how to appropriately utilize functional neurology, functional movement patterns, corrective/performance exercise, resistance bands, kettlebells, tool-assisted soft tissue, manual soft tissue, pin and stretch techniques, myofascial release, nerve flossing, performance taping, PIR, flexion distraction, ultrasound, electric stimulus, cold laser, shockwave, hot packs and cold packs.

As far as what drives me in my profession, I can easily say that I get so much joy from helping people find a path out of pain or life altering symptoms. Whether that is through my own treatments, co-management with local providers or by helping a patient navigate the healthcare system, my purpose is to educate, support and ultimately provide help. In 2004, I suffered from an ACL tear in my knee while playing variety soccer in high school. It seemed eminent to me at that time that my athletic career was over but time proved that I could still engage in other sports that did not involve cutting motions while running; which was a tremendous relief after months of circumstantial depression. Later in life, while in graduate school, I had a tumor scare that took several months to discover was just a structural abnormality in my skull. At the time of obtaining some bloodwork, I couldn’t help but hear Arnold Schwarzenegger say “No Jimmy, it’s not a tuma”. In all seriousness, there are a few things that are worse than realizing that your body is failing to allow you to live your life or follow your passions. These experiences and many others have expanded my level of empathy, manifested my strong desire to help those suffering and is what motivates me to be the best chiropractic physician I can be.

Have you had any mentors or support networks in VT? How have they impacted your journey?

Mia Schultz with the NAACP in Rutland has been a valuable resource, helping me transition into the Vermont professional field. I can’t thank her enough for her support and guidance.

How do you balance your professional life with personal interests and self-care?

I work hard during the week, make time for yoga and running 3 days out of the week and take the weekends as an opportunity to rest, get yard work done and engage in whatever outdoor activities I can each Sunday based on the weather.

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