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June 10, 2019

Hi! Welcome to our second newsletter in the month of June. Last week, I spoke about where is Waldo, and Waldo was me. I took a much needed break from November to May. Then in May, I decided to return doing what I love to do, and that is help people to become the best versions of themselves.


In this newsletter, I would like to introduce the hands of Gulf Coast Family Chiropractic. And by that, I mean the adjusting Doctors that take care of over 300 patients each week. I am the founding Chiropractor here at Gulf Coast Family Chiropractic. However, I am not the lead adjusting doc. Dr. Chad Sharkey is about to celebrate his 7th month as the lead adjusting chiropractor at GCFC. I would like to take the next 3-5 mins of your time and give some background information on both Dr. Sharkey and myself.


Ladies first... I (Dr. Alicia Barton) was born and raised in Newfoundland Canada. I moved to Iowa at the tender age of 19, just two weeks prior to turning 20, to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic. I graduated Palmer College at 23 years of age with both my Bachelor in Science and my Doctor of Chiropractic degrees.


While in School, I attended a seminar and I was asked, "If you had a choice, where would you practice?" The seminar was called “Dream Practice”. I listed coastal North Carolina, coastal Florida or somewhere along the Gulf of Mexico. I have always been attracted to the coast and the warmth that the South Eastern US offers. After graduating from Palmer, I decided to take an associate position along the coast in Ocean Isle Beach/ Shallotte North Carolina. I spent 18 months learning and growing personally and professionally. I was pushed way past my comfort zone and into who God created me to be as a leader and as a chiropractor.


In November 2004, I packed everything I owned into a Penske Truck and my dad and I drove to Gulf Shores. This was right after Hurricane Ivan. Everything was destroyed. I thought I was going to have to sleep in my rented office space. Thankfully, an apartment became available for rent in Foley. I officially opened Gulf Coast Family Chiropractic on February 14th, 2005. I was eager, passionate, driven and highly focused on making Baldwin County a healthier county.


I started a radio show on WHEP where people could call in and ask questions. I spoke at every group, church, organization, and business that would hear me. I screened at every festival, every event and school that I could. My goal was and always has been “to save as many lives as possible”. In Jan 2011, I started dating my husband Jim Barton. We now have 4 children. Isabel (14), Mat (10), Eryx (7), and Calliope (4)). The 2 older children live with their mom during the school year and with us during the summer.


In August 2016, we opened up the Full Armor Center (FAC). God gave me the vision that one day, I would build and own/operate a “LifeHouse” for His people. But that is a topic for another day. Within the FAC, we have several businesses that operate. Gulf Coast Family Chiropractic, Gulf Shores CrossFit, Agape Juice, Oily Armers Young Living, Montgomery Postural Institute, and the Slique in 6 weight loss program. Every week, we have hundreds of people walk through the doors of the FAC, most of whom desire to live a Wellness Lifestyle.


In November 2018, Dr. Chad Sharkey was welcomed to our team. I am excited for you to get to know him on a personal basis. Now, let's get to know Dr. Sharkey! (in his own words...)


Well if that isn’t a tough act to follow!! I was born in Flint Michigan. The same city which is now famous for the water crisis was once an amazing city and home to Chevrolet, Buick and AC spark plug. I was raised in a small town in the “thumb” of Michigan named Millington. Such a great place. One stop light, a mix between auto workers and farmers, and a deep sense of community. 


Millington instilled a strong sense of community in me at a young age! I have a strong passion for helping people and being involved. I received two awards at graduation. They were “home towner” which is the person most likely to never leave Millington, and “most active” as I was a part of 26 clubs or sports organizations in high school.


After graduation, I went to Michigan State University for my bachelors in Kinesiology and dual masters is higher education administration and biomechanics.  At MSU, I served as Vice President of the MSU student food bank. I was awarded Spartan student of the year, Resident Assistant of the year and national student of the year by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. I guess you could say I enjoy being active.

I met my wife Shelly three weeks into our freshman year and  we have been together ever since. We married May 3 and graduated May 31.


After graduation we moved to St. Louis, Missouri where I started chiropractic school at Logan College of Chiropractic. While there, I was inducted into the professional fraternity of XPE (Chi Rho Sigma) where I served as President for a year. I was also a member of the biomechanics club. I graduated chiropractic school December 2002. I finished my school requirements early and was able to intern in an office in St. Joseph, Michigan starting in August 2002. I completed that, went back to walk for graduation and started working full time the following Monday. That same week, we welcomed our first child, Halee Sharkey into the world. I bought that practice in January of 2004 and practiced in St. Joe until November 2018.


While in St. Joseph I also coached high school football from 2002-2018. It continues to be a huge passion of mine. My practice in Michigan was primarily focused on sport injuries, but we also treated many families. In December 2012 my wife Shelly was diagnosed with breast cancer. For the next two years, we battled breast cancer. With God's help and a lot of prayer warriors, we were successful and she was determined to be cancer free.


Our first vacation after her treatments was to Gulf Shores. We fell in love with coastal Alabama. Over the next few years my amazing wife started having a hard time dealing with winters. Through her treatments, I kept praying to God that if he allowed her to stay with me, I would do whatever it took to make sure she was happy. It was then we started thinking about something new. The Lord directed me to the Full Armor Center and after meeting Dr. Alicia and seeing the facilities, Shelly and I knew this was where our next chapter would be!!


I can’t believe it has been 7 months already! Thank you so much to all the patients who have welcomed me with open arms. It has meant the world to me. I look forward to serving this new community and making Coastal Alabama a healthier paradise!!

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Dr. Alicia Barton

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Dr. Chad Sharkey

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