When you think of credit card processing for your office, we would venture to say that you don’t think of a connection between Chiropractic, Vietnam and your fees. That is until now! Fortis Payments Systems is the chiropractic connection for all of your credit card processing needs.
It’s story to how the company started and the people who operate it today, Jonathan McAlees, has an incredible Chiropractic story. His Chiropractic lineage from his father to his grandfather (on his mothers side) to his brother is deeply rooted, but his own fathers story is where this story begins.
This is a story that starts from a wheel chair, where day-to-day living represented little more than pain and degeneration, to a successful professional and personal crusade to help cure the ills of his fellow man. Succinctly, this is the striking and humane tale of Dr. Alastair McAlees.
While serving his country in the United States Marine Corps, the young McAlees – nineteen years old and the picture of perfect health – suffered an accidental blow to the side of the head and neck during close combat training in preparation for Vietnam. All appeared well and normal until a few months following the incident when a mysterious total body reaction began to develop manifesting itself in the form of swelling in his arms, wrists, elbows, hands, neck, low back, knees and ankles.
Immediately hospitalized McAlees saw his condition worsen dramatically over the next 5 months. His body weight dropped from a healthy 165 lbs. Marine who ran 12 miles a day, to a mere “sack of human bones” weighing less than 84 lbs. When the doctors returned with a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis the condition had readily set in, lessening his overall mobility with each passing day. The doctors ran test after test but found nothing specifically linked to the baffling deterioration. They prescribed a series of different medications and aspirins for McAlees’ ever increasing pain. This course of treatment resulted in yet another complication – bleeding peptic ulcers.
A full five months after being admitted to the hospital, and with no cure in sight, Alastair McAlees was released from the hospital, officially retired from the Marine Corps and sent home; twenty years old, in a wheelchair, unable to dress himself, walk, or even so much as move his arms, wrists, fingers, legs, and feet due to ever-present, and increasing pain and swelling. There appeared little hope for a normal productive life for this young marine-only the frustration and desperation the prospect of never walking again offered to a young, once vibrant body and soul.
Ironically, the turning point in McAlees’ life came in the form of another yet potential tragedy. Less then five months after his release from the hospital, in April 1972, McAlees suffered severe whiplash resulting from a near fatal car accident. Luckily, he was referred to a chiropractor (Dr. Ian Grassam) for treatment where he was found to have a severely subluxated and rotated atlas. Treatment was focused on the neck and spine. Incredibly, within a month, many of McAlees’ original problems began to dissipate with continued extensive treatment. The swelling vanished, and for the first time, since his hospitalization, McAlees was out of his wheelchair. Within months, McAlees was – by his own description – “in perfect condition, just a little underweight”.
Coincidental chiropractic care had literally saved his life. As “repayment” for this seemingly “miraculous” turn of events, McAlees was encouraged by his chiropractor to “carry the torch”. McAlees applied for admission to college to study chiropractic himself, in the hope of ultimately helping others find true health, and to help further the profession. For Alastair McAlees, the proof was in the pudding. Chiropractic had achieved the results a battery of medical doctors in a hospital environment couldn’t.
Dr. Alastair McAlees not only saw the change in his life, but his patients soon after opening his practice. He readily remembers his most endearing patients from the earliest days of his practice. “The greatest moment I ever shared with a patient”, he says, “was a tear”. That tear came from the mother of a young patient that Dr. McAlees helped with a neck problem and her hearing was restored (She was deaf since birth). This was after five surgical procedures called myringotomies (tubes in the ears) had failed to restore the girls hearing.
Years into practice Jonathan’s parents met at a Chiropractic seminar where they were introduced through a mutual chiropractic friend, Dr. James Gregg. Jonathan’s mother, Elysa Nathanson, was at the time helping to run her fathers office, Dr. Sid Nathanson. Dr. Sid’s brother, Dr. Mike Nathanson, was a founding member of Life Univeristy.
Jonathan’s brother, Dr. Matthew McAlees has now been in practice for over 5 years, routinely cares for over 1,200 patient visits a week and runs one of the largest clinics in North Carolina.
Although Jonathan is not a Chiropractor by degree, he is a Chiropractor at heart. His lineage and years of experience has given him a passion to give back to the Chiropractic community. He knows what Chiropractic has done for his family and strives to help offices give that same care his father once received.
After seeing his father and brother care for thousands of people per week in their clinic he started noticing a trend that concerned him, how payment processing was failing the Chiropractor. With a business background and knowledge of the financial space, he became the director of business development at, Fortis Payment Systems, to help doctors serve more people while keeping payment processing fees to a minimum.
With a chiropractic heart and a business mindset, Jonathan and his team are always on the lookout to help doctors save more money so they can serve more patients.
If you are interested in evaluating how your credit card processing system works or you want to work with a company that has a strong Chiropractic philosophy, we encourage you to reach out and contact Fortis or check them out on Facebook.