MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Dr. Jason Cleveland, 42
By Mary Thurwachter
Special to The Palm Beach Post
A funny thing happened to Dr. Jason Cleveland on his way to law school (that’s funny as in curious, not funny as in ha ha). Cleveland, a political science student at the University of South Florida, was working as a bartender in Tampa while applying to law schools. He hurt his back moving a keg of beer and his orthopedic surgeon told him he would need to be out of school at least six weeks.
The same doctor referred him to a chiropractor, who had Cleveland back in the classroom in a quick four weeks. The fast recovery made an impression. And when Cleveland’s lawyer cousin came for visit, she counseled him to point his career in a different direction.
“You don’t want to be a lawyer,” he remembers her telling him at the time. She said he should become a chiropractor, like his brother Joshua (who has a practice in River Falls, Wis.).
Cleveland said knew his cousin was right. So he went to Life University in Georgia to earn a doctorate degree in chiropractic.
His affinity for chiropractic work really didn’t come as a surprise. In high school, he worked for a chiropractor as a member of HOSA, a high school health science student organization geared towards giving students an introduction to the healthcare field.
“I’d been going to a chiropractor all my life,” Cleveland, 42, said. “We (his family) weren’t there for aches and pains. We were there for our health. We went to stay well.”
And then, after he hurt his back in college, he found out first hand how successful chiropractic treatment could be for someone with aches and pains.
He has had a practice in South Florida for 12 years and heads Central Palm Medical Group in Greenacres. His patients range in age from f4 weeks old to 89.
He and his wife, Allison, a dietitian, live in Lake Worth with their children, Brandon, 11, and Megan, 9.
“I like to fish,” he said when asked about hobbies. “I exercise a lot. I like to run. I also like electronics and I’m pretty good with a wrench.”
He’s also pretty good, he said, and helping others get and stay well.
“There’s no cookie cutter treatment,” he said. “Each patient is unique.”
What’s the most unusual item you own?
I’m a big Florida Gator’s fan. I have an orange and blue high back office chair with a gator head on it. I also have an extensive fishing rod collection.
If you could switch jobs with anyone, who would it be?
My stepbrother. He’s a fishing guide in the Everglades.
What event changed your life the most?
My mother being sick. She is a six-time cancer survivor and was diagnosed when I was a teenager. I learned to drive taking her to radiation.
Who is your hero, someone who inspired you?
My mother, Susan Cleveland. She has devoted her life to helping others battle cancer by working at Gilda’s Club of South Florida.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
When I was 13, my brother and I received our first boat and would go out fishing in the bay in Long Island and fish for flounder and flute.
What’s something people don’t know about you that would surprise them?
I used to sing a lot. I was in five different choirs in high school.