Our Story

Over the last 3 years, Dr. Ben Glass D.C. and Dr. Irina Velichko D.C. have been providing holistic education and volunteering their chiropractic services locally and abroad. Based in Oakland, CA this team has been providing chiropractic care for underserved youth, men and women in Berkeley and Oakland in designated health clinics.

They have been invited to speak about the chiropractic profession to youth at career fairs, classrooms, girl scouts, youth sports teams and public libraries. They have spent hundreds of hours volunteering their chiropractic services in India, Mexico, Honduras and Columbia. In 2015 , they were an official sponsor of the Bay Area Derby Girls and provided weekly care and education to the players.

Drs. Irina and Ben want to build a stronger and healthier community by helping people increase wellness in their lives. Drs. Irina and Ben founded Hands for Life Lake Merritt in Oakland to expand and organize all of the community projects they are involved in.

Our Mission

To create a natural avenue for the underserved, financial hard-shipped population throughout the world to regain their health through:

  1. Chiropractic care creating an efficiently running nervous system,
  2. Accessible clean water and healthy food,
  3. The opportunity to have a superior education so that each person can reach their potential and create a healthier world tomorrow.

Our Purpose

Hands For Life is a non profit 501(c)3 that prides itself on looking for the “greater good” within each individual on God’s planet.  We understand there may be a divide that separates people based on culture, ethnicity, race, etc., and Hands For Life sees these difference’s as reasons to unite as one!  Just like a rainbow has different colors, those colors makes up its inherent beauty.  HFL sees the same inherent beauty within all people on our planet.   Our differences and individual  uniqueness’ make our world more exciting, more educational and more real.  Hands For Life is dedicated to creating a healthier world while honoring the differences amongst us.  We travel the globe to touch lives and educate  people about health.  Through chiropractic and a natural lifestyle, along with water, food and education, Hands For Life sees its role as a facilitator to unleash the God given potential residing within each person.  Sustainability, empowerment, better health and self sufficiency are what we leave behind after we touch so many.  Our goal is simple: to make sure every man, woman and child have a high functioning nerve system, enough food and water for great nutrition, and an education so they can read, write,  and have the basic skills so they can thrive and thus make a better contribution to the world.

Our Team

We’re a family of chiropractors serving to make the world a healthier, more connected place. Our team understands the disparity in healthcare across the globe. There are some communities with access to excellent chiropractic care. There are other groups of people who have no way of receiving the benefit of chiropractic care. Our team came together to try and shrink the gap between the “haves” and the “have not’s”.

Dr. Irina Velichko is committed to increasing access to holistic health care and education in Oakland. Her belief is that holistic and preventative health services should be accessible to all. Dr. Irina has provided lectures on workplace wellness, female reproductive and spinal health for various local organizations. She has also participated in service trips to Russia, Mexico and India providing Chiropractic services for low access communities. Prior to becoming a Chiropractor, Dr. Velichko spent 5 years working as an advocate for victims of violence within the San Francisco legal system.
Dr. Irina Velichko received her B.A. in Sociology from San Francisco State University and doctorate from Life Chiropractic College West.

Dr. Irina Velichko

President/ Board Member

Dr. Ben Glass is a wellness advocate who is passionate about supporting and guiding people to discover their health potential. He has been involved with many East Bay programs over the last 4 years working with youth transitioning into adulthood. He facilitates workshops throughout the Oakland community and cares for patients at The Shift Chiropractic and Community Wellness. Dr. Glass is the co-founder of Hands for Life Lake Merritt and is excited to increase awareness and accessibility to chiropractic services and the wellness lifestyle in Oakland.
Dr. Glass received his Bachelors in Kinesiology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and his Doctorate from Life Chiropractic College West.

Dr. Benjamin Glass

Secretary/ Treasurer/ Board Member

Elyse Weiner is a medical social worker and and community activist living in Oakland for the past 15 years and originally from the Boston area. She graduated from California State University East Bay in 2008 with a Masters in Social Work focusing on children, youth and families. Currently, Elyse has been working in local hospitals and supporting and advocating for the people of her own community focusing on health care literacy, navigating difficult systems and emotionally supporting people through some of lifes’ most difficult journeys. Elyse is grateful for the opportunity to continue to work with her community outside of a hospital setting to educate, link, advocate and assist people to the available services that they may need through Hands for Life’s mission.
Elyse Weiner

Board member

Dorothy Lazard manages the Oakland Public Library’s Oakland History Room where she has worked since 2009. As a longtime Oakland resident, she is concerned about community health and wellness, access to healthy foods, the natural and built environment, and programs that help develop a sustainable local economy. She holds masters degrees in Library and Information Studies (UC Berkeley) and Creative Nonfiction (Goucher College). Her writing, which has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and community newsletters, focuses on local history, migrations and displacement, and public access to community spaces.
Dorothy Lazard

Board member