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This tree has grown deep roots

Wilsonville chiropractor Laura LaJoie celebrates 20 years in business


Photo Credit: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Dr. Laura LaJoie opened her chiropractic clinic in Wilsonville 20 years ago and has seen both the city and her practice grow alongside each other since then. “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

It’s been 20 years since she first opened her doors to the public in Wilsonville, and that saying — found in chiropractic offices from coast to coast — still holds a lot of truth for Laura LaJoie. Since moving her chiropractic clinic to Wilsonville from Portland in 1995 she has seen both the city and her practice blossom and grow deep roots.

A mural bearing that slogan painted by local artist Julie Hanson now covers an entire wall of LaJoie’s clinic off Boones Ferry Road. It features a tree covered with leaves bearing the names of LaJoie’s patients.

Now, two decades on from starting her own practice, LaJoie is the living embodiment of another saying: “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

“I knew it was going to be good for business when I started working with the high school,” LaJoie said, referring to her longtime role as trainer for Wilsonville High School varsity athletic teams. “But I never would have imagined I’d have six kids from Wilsonville High School that would become chiropractors, or are in chiropractic college, and I never anticipated that a kid who grad in 1997, now I’m seeing his wife and four kids.”

Last week, LaJoie hosted a special 20th anniversary party at her office. It featured a steady stream of well-wishers and past and present patients.

One of LaJoie’s biggest influences in medicine, she said, is Dr. Dave Deumling, who runs the Northwest Wellness Center in north Wilsonville along with his wife Sue.

“We were part of a business Mastermind group in 1994 and 1995,” LaJoie said. “It’s just a group of likeminded individuals who meet and talk about success and challenge each other for accountability. We helped each other and he was one of my Mastermind partners and in ‘95 he invited me to come practice with him.”

LoJoie launched her own clinic in Wilsonville later the same year, buoyed by the support of Deumling and other fellow professionals.

“We’re still great friends,” LaJoie said. “I have so much respect for him, and we have a very similar philosophy.”

It so happened that 1995 also was the year that Wilsonville High School opened its doors for the first time. The school did not even have a senior class that first year. But LaJoie saw a great opportunity for both her business and her drive to serve the community. She contacted the school and offered her services as athletic trainer. It didn’t take long for the school to accept.

She still can be found to this day roaming the sidelines at Wilsonville varsity athletic events. And even from her childhood days she knew that’s where she had to be.

“When I was 8 I decided I wanted to be a doctor and at 12 I was going to be an orthopedic surgeon and work in the NFL,” she said with a smile. “I’ve always had a high interest in sports. But in college I realized I didn’t want to be an orthopedist and see patients only when they were sick or injured. But I found that chiropractic medicine has such a strong base in health and wellness, so that’s what I chose.”

What also allows LaJoie to volunteer so much of her time to Wilsonville High School and other causes is the fact she only works part-time. It’s been that way for almost 15 years, and the rewards of community service, as well as being a full-time mom to three children, are what makes it all worthwhile.

The LaJoie family moved to Wilsonville in 2001, which allowed her to increase her involvement in the local community.

Since then, LaJoie also has gained the notice of that same community. So much so that in 2006 she was named First Citizen by the Wilsonville Rotary Club at its annual Heart of Gold event. It’s the most prestigious community service award in the city, and she still hasn’t forgotten how good that felt.

“This has allowed me not just to make a living,” she said, “but I feel like I’m making a life. When people meet me here I definitely want to have a professional persona, but I’m not different here than I am on the street. Playful is part of who I am, but I do take health and wellness very seriously.”


By Josh Kulla
Assistant Editor / Photographer
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