South Africa, China to Collaborate on New Herbal Medicines
This summer, a team of health experts from China traveled to South Africa for a four-day tour of the country.
Led by vice minister of health She Jing, the delegation visited several medical academies in the capital of Pretoria, then conferred with government officials to gain a better understanding of South Africa's health system and policies.
At the end of the visit, an agreement was reached whereby China and South Africa would work together on the creation of herbal medicines and improving the regulation of traditional medicine. In particular, both sides discussed the possibility of developing herbal remedies to treat HIV and AIDS. An estimated 250,000 South Africans die from AIDS-related illnesses each year, a figure that is expected to rise to more than 500,000 by 2008.
"This cooperation will be of much importance to us as we establish a formal regulatory framework for traditional and complementary medicine in South Africa," said health minister Dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. The minister added that South Africa could learn several valuable lessons from China regarding standardization techniques.
The visit to South Africa is seen as a major first step in the implementation of a memorandum of understanding signed by both nations in April 2000, which was designed to strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries.
Acupuncture Goes Mainstream in New Jersey
Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood, New Jersey is one of the latest hospitals in the country to begin offering the benefits of acupuncture and other forms of alternative medicine on-site. This spring, the hospital opened a complementary medicine center for the treatment of various medical diseases and disorders, with services including acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, herbal and nutritional consultation, yoga, tai chi and meditation.
"We are very pleased to offer this innovative approach to healing to our patients and to the entire community," exclaimed Louis R. Ycre, Jr., president and CEO of Pascack Valley. Ycre added that the opening of the center was the result of the public's request for greater access to alternative care. "It's no longer right for the medical profession to ignore this," he said.
The center provides a comprehensive array of therapies, with a trained staff that can select the best treatment or combination of treatments to meet individual patient needs. Andrea Cimino, a licensed acupuncturist and registered nurse, has been chosen to direct the center. "The body is very resilient and capable with some intervention of healing itself," Cimino said at the opening. "By integrating complementary medicine into your medical treatment, we hope to treat the whole person - a unification of mind and body."
Seattle Institute Updates Admissions Policy
The Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine, after receiving numerous reports from applicants interested in attending the school, has changed its policy regarding Chinese language courses for incoming students.
One prerequisite for admission to SIOM is the completion of a Chinese language course of at least three semester credits (or five quarter credits). This prerequisite was originally added to the school's policy to help students prepare for SIOM's program. However, many potential students had begun writing to the school about having completing a Chinese language class prior to enrollment.
As a result, SIOM will offer a three-credit introductory class in Chinese during the fall trimester for any students who were unable to find a class prior to entry. The introductory class falls outside of the regular SIOM program, and will cost students an additional $350 in fees. In the future, SIOM will offer an intensive Chinese language class in the summer for any students who are unable to receive Chinese language training in their area.
For more information on the Chinese language class or SIOM's admissions policy, contact the Institute at (206) 517-4541 or
NCCAOM Gets New PR Director
Troy Petenbrink has been hired by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to be its new director of public relations. Mr. Petenbrink previously served as a senior account executive for Fenton Communications in Washington, D.C.
"In creating a director of public relations position, we are further demonstrating our commitment to protecting the public by promoting nationally recognized standards of competency and safety in acupuncture and Oriental medicine," enthused Christina Herlihy, NCCAOM's executive director. "Troy is a highly experienced communications professional, and we are excited to have him on our team."
Mr. Petenbrink holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and a certificate in public relations from the University of Virginia at Falls Church. He has worked in the public relations arena for more than a decade, and has garnered several awards for his work, including a Silver Inkwell award from the International Association of Business Communicators and the PRSA Thoth award from the Public Relations Society of America.
Madison, Wisconsin Mayor Calls for Acupuncture Drug Addiction Program
Sue Bauman, the mayor of Wisconsin's capital, Madison, has announced that she is looking into plans to develop an acupuncture program to help people beat their drug addictions. Bauman made the decision after visiting an acupuncture addiction program and talking with people who have benefited from past treatments.
"Even though I've been talking about this for a year, since last year sometime, we're still at the pre-stages of saying this is a plan or this is something that we want to be doing," said Bauman.
In more populous states like New York and Florida, acupuncture has been used for years by the court system to help people with drug and alcohol problems. Bauman estimates that an acupuncture addiction program would cost the city approximately $60,000 a year - a significant amount considering local budget problems - but she believes the program would eventually pay for itself by reducing costs in other areas, such as policing.