Healing Through Chiropractic at City Mission

Dr. Carr administering Chiropractic services to a patient at City Mission's Medical Center

Helping City Mission to Provide the Safest Alternatives to Decrease Pain Naturally, Without Drugs or Surgery

Six years ago, Dr. Christopher Carr, Clinic Director for Pittsburgh Chiropractic and Wellness in McMurray, began volunteering at City Mission,providing chiropractic care to the residents and staff.  “I’ve always wanted to work behind the scenes and be a small part of something large. I saw a need in this area, and this is my way of giving back,” he said.

Many City Mission residents suffer from chronic pain and have turned to opioids and other pain-relieving drugs in the past.  For many, this led them down the path of addiction and eventual homelessness.  “Chiropractic has been proven to be one of the safest alternatives to decrease pain naturally, without drugs or surgery” he explained.  Dr. Carr, who was last year’s recipient of City Mission’s Volunteer of the Year Award, saw the potential for chiropractic services to not only relieve the pain of City Mission residents but potentially change their lives.  “I was looking to do chiropractic mission work in other countries prior to finding a need in my area,” he said.  “I feel like I’m on a mission in my own neighborhood.” 

When the fire of 2015 destroyed City Mission’s medical center, Dr. Carr continued to work for two years out of a closet, because he could see the impact of his services firsthand.  “A lot of people here are suffering,” he said.  “But we’re helping them improve physically.  We are offering a drug-free alternative to improving their health.   We find that when this happens and symptoms are reduced, they have more energy and are able to function in their day-to-day life with a lesser degree of pain.”

When City Mission built the new Medical Center in 2018, Dr. Carr had an idea to expand the drug-free pain management services offered at the Mission,incorporating chiropractic along with other forms of rehabilitation to provide a drug-free pain management clinic for the residents as an alternative to pain-relieving medications.

Shortly after the new Medical Center was up and running, Dr. George Khoury of Cecil Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, joined the team as a volunteer.  “My passion is to help improve lives through chiropractic,” said Dr. Khoury.

“I’m trying to introduce chiropractic as part of the solution to the opioid epidemic,” he continued.  “And I was thinking it would be nice to have a clinic somewhere where we could provide this care to control pain without opioids.  I was trying to start a clinic, but then I found out that Dr. Carr had already started one here at City Mission.”

Since joining the pain clinic, Dr. Khoury is seeing enormous impact on the residents he treats.  “That’s what’s awesome about what we do here,” he said. “We see drastic improvements immediately.  They feel better by the time they walk out the door.  We can help them reduce pain immediately without drugs.”

Chiropractic services and other non-pharmacological pain treatments are becoming far more common since the opioid crisis has ruined so many lives.  Several states, including West Virginia and Vermont, have instituted state regulations that require non-opioid pain treatments before opioids can legally be prescribed. 

“You can’t have a chemical cure to a physical problem,” said Dr. Khoury.  “Drugs just deaden the brain from feeling the pain.  Chiropractic services allow you to address the physical defects that cause the pain.  When you do that, the pain goes away.  We can help you get rid of the pain and prevent it from coming back.”

In addition to relieving pain, chiropractic services also help to improve overall health.  Chiropractic adjustments release muscle tension, soothe irritated spinal nerves, and improve blood circulation.  They can positively effect mood,relieve insomnia, and improve self-image.

The two chiropractors provide services twice a month for City Mission residents, and together, they treat more than 50 residents and staff each month, offering free treatments to those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

“Chiropractic is a self-healing approach,” Dr. Khoury explained.  “Our goal is to give you the tools to help yourself.  And that’s the overall mission of City Mission.  We are an integral part of that.”

July 31, 2019
Susan Gartland - Social Media Manager
Sue Gartland
Social Media Manager
Sue has a vast career in gospel rescue missions adding great value to the City Mission team. Sue has been in many roles in the mission and is always filling in where she is needed - which is A LOT!

Recent Articles

Running For the Mission

Diana Irey Vaughan at Disney Land in Anaheim, CA
February 2, 2024

Former Washington County Commissioner and soon-to-be President/CEO of City Mission, Diana Irey Vaughan, recently ran seven races over seven days on two separate coasts for a total of 71 miles, all to raise funds in support of City Mission’s Hope for Homeless Women capital campaign. “I support Washington City Mission because I want everyone to have an opportunity to fulfill God’s calling in their life,” she explained. “Those served at the Mission, and their families, will find the support and resources they need to achieve success. I know of no other resource in our community that achieves the success rate of City Mission.” This was the sixth running event she has organized to support the Mission, and over the years, she has been able to raise $138,000. “Diana is tireless,” said City Mission Chief Development Officer, Dr. Sally Mounts. “Each year, she sets higher goals for her runs, and best of all, this year, she ran for City Mission’s new shelter for homeless women. How can you beat that?” Starting on March 1, Irey Vaughan will assume the President/CEO role for City Mission, and Dean Gartland, City Mission’s current President/CEO, will transition into a role as President Emeritus, where he will continue to raise funds for the new 50-bed shelter for homeless women, which will break ground this year. “Diana is a long-time major donor to City Mission, and an indisputable believer in the notion that God gives second chances,” Gartland, who has served the Mission for 15 years, said of his successor. “She has my fullest confidence, as a Christian and as a leader.” Washington City Mission provides food, shelter, and medical services for those in need. “The Mission provides the opportunity for a new life for the residents they serve,” said Irey Vaughan. “Families I know personally have been reunited and restored. City Mission is a beacon of hope.”

"Play Ball!"

City Mission and Range Resources
September 15, 2023

After a weeklong rain delay, the fifth annual Range Resources vs City Mission Hits for the Homeless charity softball game resumed at North Strabane Park last Wednesday. "It's so nice to see our residents go out and play a game and have fun," said City Mission President/CEO, Dean Gartland. "We just can't thank Range Resources enough for putting together this event." For the past five years, each September, Range Resources has hosted a softball game with their employees taking on City Mission residents. Leading up to the game, the Range Resources team also supplied lunch for our residents and served in our dining hall to build anticipation for the upcoming contest and build camaraderie with the City Mission team. After the game, Range Resources presented City Mission with a generous check. This past Wednesday, the two teams came to the field ready to play, resuming in the middle of the second inning with the City Mission team leading 2-1. In the bottom of the second inning, City Mission scored another run, giving them a 3-1 lead. But in the top of the third, the Range Resources’ bats came alive, knocking in five runs. This gave Range their first lead of the game, one they would never relinquish as they went on to capture a 17-12 win, making the series record between the two teams 3-2 in favor of Range and bringing the trophy back to their offices for the first time in three years. "It's really good to see the camaraderie that develops between the residents out here on the field," said City Mission's Men’s Intake Coordinator/Softball Coach, Dave Green. "We see them when they first come to us broken. And then to bring them out here and see their talents start to shine through -- it's really something special to watch." The game is a special event for the residents of City Mission. It’s something that they all look forward to and a memory they will cherish long after they leave the Mission. Each City Mission player, no matter their level of experience or athleticism, plays the game hard and plays to win. Many of them come to us in a very vulnerable state and have suffered through difficult even traumatic events recently in their lives. And at the Mission, they are doing serious and soul-searching work on themselves. This annual softball game is an important opportunity for them to let loose, have fun, and support each other. It’s hard to put into words exactly what it means to them. “I just love playing ball,” one City Mission resident said in the middle of the game. “I just feel free.” “This is what life recovery is all about,” added Green. “It teaches these guys how to live and how to have fun without drugs and alcohol. I mean, they’re having a blast.” So thank you, Range Resources, for making such a meaningful impact on our residents and for engaging with the Mission in such a thoughtful and genuine way. Your business or organization can also make an impact on your community by partnering with City Mission. Contact Corporate Relations Manager, Eric Smith, at esmith@citymission.org or visit www.citymission.org for more information.

A Legacy of Giving

The Smydo family in front of the treehouse playset they donated.
September 1, 2023

A few months ago, Dave Smydo and the Smydo family made a very generous and unique donation to City Mission. They donated a treehouse playset and a bookcase full of children’s books for the Kids’ Corner in our dining hall. “This is a great example of a donor connecting with City Mission through his passion,” said Dr. Sally Mounts, City Mission’s Chief Development Officer. “Dave has a heart for kids and a huge interest in making sure their physical and emotional needs are met. So the treehouse and the bookcase full of children’s books are a natural extension of that.”“The heart of the Smydo family for children is evident in their gifts of the treehouse, books, and shelves,” added City Mission Director of Residential Programs, Leah Dietrich. “You can see it too in Dave’s work within the community to help provide children with opportunities otherwise beyond their reach.”For a long time, City Mission has been working to create safe, fun, kid-centered spaces around campus. For the kids who live in our Women with Children Shelter, the dining hall is a central place where they eat every day and get to play with their friends and develop social skills. The Mission also hosts recovery meetings in our dining hall, and the Kids’ Corner offers a place for the children to play together safely, build friendships, and develop motor skills while their moms work on their own recovery just a few feet away. But the Kids’ Corner is also an important spot for our adult residents who have children that do not live at the Mission, because it provides an opportunity for the parents to have positive, playful, and memorable visits with their kids on our campus. “The Smydo family’s generosity will allow the children who call City Mission home and the children who visit our campus the opportunity to enjoy a space just for them,” said Dietrich. “In a difficult time where they are faced with many challenges, they can simply be kids. The expansion of the City Mission Kids’ Corner will be enjoyed for years to come.” Dave Smydo first learned about the Mission when his father, Andrew Joseph Smydo, passed away two years ago. Dave noticed that the last check his father wrote before he died was to City Mission. His father’s final act of kindness and generosity moved Dave and encouraged him to learn more about the Mission. And he wants to pass on that legacy of giving to his son, Declan. “I am grateful for the heart of Dave,” said Dietrich, “and supporters like him who have a heart for children and a desire to teach the next generation to support those in need. He is truly working to instill in his son, Declan, that same love for others.”It is a beautiful story and a very impactful donation from a big-hearted donor and his family. Thank you, Smydo family, for your compassionate gifts to our City Mission children. You can make an impact in your community, too! Visit citymission.org to learn more about how you can partner with us in our mission to bring hope to the homeless.

Giving an Unforgettable Easter

Natalie Grasso, age 7, prepares an Easter basket for a child in our Women with Children Shelter
April 6, 2023

Seven-year-old Natalie Grasso came to our 29th Annual Sweet Sunday event in February to have a great time and enjoy the delicious treats. After the event, she sat down to have a conversation with her grandmother, Cindy Fox, who had helped to make beautiful auction baskets for the Mission’s Sweet Sunday basket auction. Natalie asked her grandmother about City Mission and learned that they provide food and shelter for people who would otherwise have nowhere to live and no idea where their next meal would come from.“Kids too?” She asked her grandmother.“Yes. Kids too,” came the answer.That brief conversation inspired Natalie to give back to those in need. “She has been giving back from a very young age,” said her grandmother, Cindy Fox. “For her fourth Birthday party, she asked family members to make donations to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh in lieu of gifts.”With Easter coming up, Natalie was afraid maybe the Easter Bunny wouldn’t be able to find the children living at City Mission, and that maybe they wouldn’t get any Easter baskets or Easter candy for the holiday, so she decided to help the kids by providing them with beautiful Easter baskets. Natalie and her family contacted City Mission, who currently has 27 children living at their Women with Children shelter. They asked for the ages and genders of each child. Natalie mobilized her family and friends and gave up her horseback riding lessons to purchase items to fill 27 baskets for Easter, one basket specifically assembled for each child at the shelter. She and her friends assembled and wrapped the beautiful baskets, and Cindy and her husband Dr. Craig Fox delivered them to City Mission.“She asked a few friends at school to participate and the families graciously donated items and time to put 27 baskets together for the kids at City Mission,” said Cindy. “She wanted to give back for Easter to kids that are less fortunate,” Cindy explained, “and she decided City Mission would be a great cause. Natalie got together with her sister Vienna and solicited help from friends: Liam, Julianna, Brianna O’Neill, Hayley and McKenna Hindman.”Thank you, Natalie, for your compassionate heart for the hungry and the hurting. Together, City Mission along with our friends in the community, can make the world a better place, one person at a time.

A Night Out at the Movies

Residents at the Movies
March 31, 2023

On Tuesday, March 28, thirty-six of our residents had a night out at the movies thanks to Matt and Missy Harding and their family, owners of Asher’s at the Airport and Escape Room South in Canonsburg. Our residents: men, women, and veterans were all smiles as they piled into the Mission vans and headed on over to AMC Theaters in Bridgeville to watch Jesus Revolution. The Hardings had rented out the entire theater for us, so our residents could spread out and relax and enjoy a night at the movies.“It was quite an experience for us,” said Missy Harding, whose husband and two sons attended the event along with the residents. “It was a real blessing. I would bet that every single City Mission resident came up to us over the course of the night and thanked us and shook our hands or gave us a hug. That’s a blessing for us to think that it impacted them that much.”The Hardings own Asher’s at theAirport, a breakfast and lunch restaurant at the Greene County Airport in Waynesburg. A few weekends ago, they had their soft opening, and generously, all of the proceeds from the opening went to us. Our House Coordinator, Doug Bush, had been wanting to take our residents to see Jesus Revolution, but there was no money in the budget to make it happen. After Asher at the Airport’s soft opening, we reached out to Missy Harding to see if she would be interested in using the money raised at the soft opening to rent out a theater for our residents. “It was such a pleasure to be able to do that for City Mission,” said Harding. “We would be happy to do it again. The homeless are always on our hearts. Everybody just needs a little bit of support to have a second chance, and that’s what the Mission gives them.”And our residents were incredibly grateful for the opportunity. One resident told the Hardings, “Thank you so much for your beautiful gift. The movie meant a lot to me. God bless you.” Another resident said, “The movie gave me peace in the midst of my trials – and hope!” Asher’s at the Airport is now open for business. Many of their dishes and desserts are made from scratch using fresh, locally-sourced products. You can find details HERE.By donating to City Mission, you can help restore our residents to independent living. Please consider giving to the Mission today. You can make a difference in the lives of those in our community who need it most. ‍


donations, food pantry, helping homeless
July 12, 2022

Mona Rae Williams of First United Methodist Church of Monongahela started a Matthew 25 Donation Project at her church to create a community driven donation opportunity within her church. Shelley Kubincanek, City Mission’s Church & Community Relations Manager, recently sat down with Mona Rae to ask her more about how she created this successful donation table to benefit, not only City Mission, but other organizations as well on a monthly basis. Thank you Mona Rae for sharing your experiences on your Matthew 25 Project with our newsletter. Question 1: How did you get the Matthew 25 started in your church? Mona Rae: I actually started the Matthew 25 after hearing about this from my nephew-in-law and his church in Arizona. It was so successful, I wanted to bring it to our church in Monongahela. It was a slightly different program than what I started in First United Methodist Church of Monongahela. Question 2: What does the Matthew 25 Project mean to you?Mona Rae:It is very important to me to help others! Question 3: What were you hoping to accomplish with this project and do you think over the years you have accomplished your goals? Mona Rae: Oh yes, each month our goal is to collect as much as we can and we accomplish our goals each month! Your Matthew 25 Project has been such a blessing to City Mission throughout the year. We are so blessed by the food drives, clothing drives, school supplies and sponsoring Thanksgiving meals, just to name a few. Question 4: What are some of the other donation drives that you hold for Matthew 25? Mona Rae: Well 9 or 10 out of 12 months a year we collect for City Mission and that includes for the Veteran's House and Christmas Gifts too. We also collect for World Vision and Jumonville Christian Camp. Question 5: If you could give a church any advice on starting a Matthew 25 in their church, what would you like to share with them on getting started? Mona Rae: Just get started & GET THE WORD OUT! The more they know about the project and needs the better the collection will be! Mona Rae gets the word out in her church newsletter and is a powerhouse to make all the donation drives a huge success! Thank you Mona Rae for your time and for sharing your information with other churches about Matthew 25. We know this could be such a great way to get the church congregations involved in faithful stewardship to help their community & organizations. If you have any questions about Matthew 25, please feel free to email Shelley at skubincanek@citymission.org