COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Dr. Izzy Brasher is a woman who truly marches to the beat of her own drum. She is a doctor and a cancer survivor who began to lose her vision when she was just nine years old. To top it off she also fronts a popular blues band, called The Dr. Izzy Band as its lead singer.
Most notably, Brasher, 57, is also a licensed and practicing chiropractor who works at the Sapp Brothers Travel Center, a popular truck stop just north of Denver, Col. in Commerce City. She helps truck drivers from all over the country as they come in to grab a bite to eat and get their medical needs met while on the road.
“What we offer there is chiropractic care, but 80% of our business is DoT physicals,” said Brasher. “I am a certified medical examiner and getting DoTs done is really what we focus on. We really like helping our drivers out and getting them set up with all their needs that have to do with driving.”
Though Brasher has been practicing for 22 years, only 11 of those years have been spent at the truck stop. She opened up her own practice after she graduated chiropractic college and got into helping truck drivers after her friend made a off-hand suggestion after watching a television program.
“Eleven years ago a very good friend was watching a travel show and they were showing a chiropractor in a truck stop and she called up and asked if I had thought about that and of course I hadn’t,” she said. “Truck stops weren’t something I thought about ever.”
After researching various truck stops across America, Brasher and her husband, Robert Morrison (who works as the clinic’s office manager and is a member of the Dr. Izzy Band as well) settled on Sapp Brothers because of their open arms and way they interacted with drivers who came into the facility.
“They’re still a family-owned business,” said Morrison. “And we really like their approach to customer service.”
Though she never thought about the possibility of working at a clinic at a truck stop, Brasher says she loves the trucking industry and has made some amazing friendships with drivers over the last decade.
“I have run into some amazing people,” she said. “I love (working with truck drivers) because it opened up my eyes to their lifestyle. It’s not that you can’t love the lifestyle, but it’s different.
“I have a real appreciation for what they do now. I mean the chair I’m sitting on, the phone I’m talking on, everything comes off a truck. And (drivers) are away from home a lot in order for us to have everything we have and I’m in awe and am grateful of that.”
Both Brasher and Morrison said their number one concern when dealing with drivers is to ease their nerves when they visit the clinic.
“We try to provide an atmosphere of relaxation, especially for those who are coming in for a DoT,” said Morrison.
“With the exams it can be very stressful,” added Brasher. “Some drivers have DoTs that are almost expiring, so their jobs are on the line and we understand that is stressful so we really try to provide a relaxed atmosphere.”
Brasher said this approach has been proven to work by simply help lowering a driver’s blood pressure while they are in the waiting room.
Clinics especially can be a stressful place to be for most truck drivers because often times they know they are not in good health because of the lifestyle they live (fast food, smoking, lack of exercise) and some can get agitated because of traffic or the general stress that comes with being away from home (and on the job) for an extended period of time.
“As well, we’re the only doctors sometimes that they see in a couple years’ time,” Brasher added. “Our main goal is to keep them healthy and working.
“We tell them at least one time a day, instead of having an unhealthy snack, try picking up an apple and take a walk around the truck – it’s the first baby step to take to get healthier.”
Brasher is now completely blind and though most would think being a chiropractor would be difficult without having the sense of sight, she says her blindness does not affect her job in the slightest.
“I get around my office pretty well,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll see a patient two or three times before they even realize I’m blind.”
As far as the band goes, Brasher and Morrison are still heavily involved in the music industry.
They actually met through music in 2002 and married two years later. The Sapp Brothers even sell her CD in the travel centre.
Patients can literally see Dr. Izzy and Morrison for their aching back and then listen to her soothing voice on their drive if they pick up a CD in the shop.
The band has been successful and its debut album, “Blind & Blues Bound” features bass player Kenny Passarali (who has worked with Elton John, Hall & Oates and blues harp player, James Cotton.)
For more information on the band and to hear samples of the music, visit drizzyband.com.
If you want to know more about the clinic, go to: http://bit.do/drizzy.