When care of spine and spirit unite

Former refugee Dr. Karlos Boghosian ’04 launches SoVita, a nationwide chiropractic franchise and American Dream come true

The Boghosians, Circa 1980's
During the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's, Mrs. Boghosian wrote a letter in Armenian to Pope John Paul II with a plea for help, enclosing the above family photo. "By some miracle," recalls Karlos, the letter was translated and His Holiness responded by personally sponsoring the family's migration to Canada. In 1998, Karlos found his way to the University of Bridgeport and turned his career aspirations from the field of engineering to chiropractic care, "making one of the best decisions of my life," he believes today.

If extreme circumstances propel gifted people to success, then Dr. Karlos Boghosian ’04 got his head start at the age of seven. During the Iran-Iraq War in the early 1980’s, the city of Tehran where Boghosian was born was bombed daily, his Christian family was targeted by his country’s corrupt regime, and his father – a prominent businessman – was kidnapped with all family assets seized and confiscated. Karlos fled with his mother and two sisters to Turkey, but similar hardship followed.

Out of desperation, Mrs. Boghosian wrote to Pope John Paul II about her family’s situation; out of mercy, the Pope personally sponsored her migration to Toronto, Canada, with her three teenagers in tow and $150 to their name.

From refugee to franchisor of SoVita Chiropractic Center, which launched on December 8, 2016, Boghosian credits his traumatic childhood, his father’s business savvy, and the University of Bridgeport for his success. In that order.

“The most successful people I have met in life have gone through the most extreme situations,” said Dr. Boghosian, a 2004 graduate of UB’s College of Chiropractic whose renowned Hartford-based Capitol Chiropractic Center recently announced the rebrand to SoVita and affiliate franchise program. “They’ve come back from divorce, depression, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and other nasty life circumstances. But you know what successful people do: they say I’m going to take responsibility for my life and I’m going to move forward. I’m going to create the life of my dreams anyway, despite those circumstances.”

Boghosian arrives at this stage of his life and career with earnest purpose. Finally reunited with his father in 1992 after the ban to keep his dad in Iran was lifted, Boghosian learned from him how to manage multiple businesses, and most of all, how to persevere. In 2001, 9/11 solidified Boghosian’s desire to go after the American dream. “That was the turning point in my life, in addition to everything else,” he recalled.

Boghosian found UB and his destined career by way of a close friend, John Filo DC 2002, a fellow Armenian church member in Toronto. A road trip from Canada to Connecticut to visit Filo in 1998 left an indelible mark. On the way down, he thought he’d be checking out UB’s engineering program; on the way back up, he switched his career aspirations to chiropractic care.

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Boghosian reflected. “Most people don’t go to their chiropractor until something’s wrong, because they’re not aware that their spinal column is such an important part of their overall health. The chiropractic lifestyle recognizes that the spine – which is a significant part of the central nervous system – needs a regular check-up, just like your heart, your teeth, your eyes.”

As he positions his local practice to strategically expand its services nationwide, Dr. Boghosian’s intent is to inspire and educate patients to live up to their fullest potential through optimum health care. His mission to ultimately deliver America’s most patient-centered chiropractic care is as much about imparting wisdom and vigor as it is about spreading consistency and efficiency in practice management. The word “SoVita” encapsulates this philosophy as it is derived from the Greek word Sophos (wisdom) and Vita (life).

Boghosian’s own wisdom, vitality, and life purpose first fused in Bridgeport, where classroom and community met head-on. Under then Dean Frank Zolli’s leadership, all College of Chiropractic students were required to introduce their services to the local community through UB Clinics, with a 275-patient encounter minimum to graduate. Boghosian’s community outreach efforts yielded nearly 1,000 patient encounters in his first semester, tapping into his innate entrepreneurial skillset. His strategy? Get UB Clinics on the radar of local organizations, corporations, postal services, and police departments.

Bridgeport Post Office Appreciation Letters, 2003

Karlos Boghosian as a student in the UBCC Clinic, 2003

Boghosian recognized his own deep desire to succeed in Dr. Zolli’s philosophy and chiropractic history class, which still resonate with him today. A multilingual (Armenian, Turkish, Farsi, and English), Boghosian recalled how he felt right at home on the diverse UB campus. Once his mind was set on the field of chiropractic care, he took it upon himself to visit close to 100 chiro offices in Canada and the U.S., taking notes on what he liked and would want to incorporate in his own practice. As a student, he read above and beyond what the curriculum offered. He found mentors. When his classmates partied, he worked or studied. He understood that, “Regardless of how much we’re blessed or not – intelligence, experience, circumstance – it’s hard work that creates success.”

After graduation, Boghosian took on the Hartford-based Capitol Chiropractic Center in June of 2004 which was underperforming. Twelve years later, Capitol Chiropractic has grown from a single location to five throughout Connecticut – Hartford, Stamford, Guilford, Waterbury, and Derby. His goal now is to leverage his success at Capitol by re-branding as SoVita Chiropractic Center, delivering nationwide the same exceptional patient-centered care that the Connecticut region has come to know.

According to information on the SoVita website, the market for chiropractic care in the U.S. is vast but also highly fragmented. In order to stand out as a distinguished industry professional within one’s community, it’s imperative to have an efficient, calculated, and caring system in place.

That’s where SoVita Chiropractic Care comes in. SoVita franchise owners receive customized training programs designed for optimum efficiency and patient care. From start-up assistance (including a 1,000-page operating manual) and training (such as one-on-one field visits), to ongoing support, marketing guidance, technology tools, and valuable statistics, SoVita’s executive team extends its individualized care from patients to franchise owners.

Dr. Boghosian is particularly keen about key performance indicators. “I’m passionate about managing offices with objective data,” he points out. “In our model we departmentalize the practice – that’s the engineer in me. We measure statistics so we can see what area of the practice is underperforming, then evaluate what action we should take to ultimately deliver a viable and profitable practice that helps people live into their best selves.”

Reflecting on how “my childhood nightmare turned into an American dream,” Dr. Boghosian concluded, “We are all in this together as one humanity on this very special place we call Earth, and we have a special obligation in the time we have here to work with one another to help leave this world a better place for our children, and their children’s children. It starts by being responsible for your purpose.”

Karlos Boghosian '04
“It has been said that we all have unique gifts, and a unique purpose to share with the world. I believe we need to do the grueling work of mastering our talents and skills not just for ourselves, but for each other.”