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Acupuncture Today
November, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 11
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News in Brief

By Editorial Staff

AAOM Goes to Washington, Changes Management

After searching for more than a year to find a suitable match, the board of directors of the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM) has selected the Avery Management Group (AMG) to help the organization strengthen its government relations and gain political stature.

The move gives AAOM a base of operations closer to the nation's capital, and is in keeping with the organization's plans for representing the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession on a national level.

Andrew Avery, director of Avery Management, will assume the duties of executive director at AAOM. David Molony, LAc, will remain with the association on a temporary basis as professional executive director. The organization will search for a new professional executive director after the management transition is complete and Mr. Avery's duties are finalized.

"This is an exciting time and certainly one of the most beneficial moves the board could make for our field in this country," remarked Mr. Molony. "After the initial phase of the changeover, there will be major advances in services and communication for our membership, both between the Board and the membership, and the organization itself and the federal government. I see it having a major impact in our representation nationally."

"We believe that the AAOM has the capacity to become a major force in alternative medicine within the Beltway, and plan to facilitate that possibility in coming to fruition," added Mr. Avery. "The AMG is prepared to take the AAOM to the next step and beyond, enhancing intra-organizational communications through the Internet and using all that my profession has developed to bring the profession of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to the cutting edge in representation."

Avery Management is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, approximately six miles from Washington, D.C. Chuanheng Management Company, which is based in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania and was previously responsible for most of AAOM's operations, will continue to perform some functions in conjunction with AMG.

Bastyr Founder Named Physician of the Year

Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, who helped found Bastyr University in 1978 and served as its president for more than two decades, was honored with the "Physician of the Year" award from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).

Dr. Pizzorno was recognized for his work with the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which earlier this year delivered a report to the Department of Health and Human Services listing more than 100 recommendations for the implementation of CAM into the U.S. health care system. He also received accolades for his years of work in helping advance the naturopathic profession.

"Dr. Pizzorno is tireless, generous and visionary in every year," said Nancy Aagenes, ND, past president of the AANP. "He was a member of the founding board of AANP and has continually led the profession forward."

Under Dr. Pizzorno's leadership, Bastyr was selected as the first Center for Alternative Medicine Research by the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine. In 1996, he was appointed to the Seattle/King County Board of Health, the first naturopathic physician in the country to hold such a position. Last year, Natural Health Magazine recognized him as one of the nation's leading health educators of the past 30 years. He has also authored several best-selling books on wellness and natural medicine.

Actress Bullock Makes Acupuncture Part of the Set

Celebrities are renowned for the free gifts, or "perks," they have written into their contracts before going on tour or starting work on a new movie. Actress Sandra Bullock, the star of movies such as "Speed" and "Miss Congeniality," has taken the idea of perks to a new level. According to an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, one of Ms. Bullock's requirements is that before she signs up for a motion picture, she will be provided with an on-site wellness center that includes licensed acupuncturists and massage therapists.

"It's kind of fun just to see what you can get," Bullock told the BBC. She also admitted that while she tries to get as many benefits as possible from a studio, she makes sure the rest of the crew gets to enjoy the benefits of acupuncture.

"Now actors get such ridiculous perks that you might as well make some of those perks something that benefits everybody," she said.

Canadian Grocery Chain to Add Herbalists to Pharmacies

The Real Canadian Superstore, one of the largest chains of grocery stores in western Canada, has begun hiring herbal specialists to work at its pharmacies. The decision was made in response to consumer demand for more information about herbal products and possible interactions between herbs and drugs.

"There's a growing interest in herbal remedies," remarked David Ryzebol, a spokesperson for Real Canadian. "There's also a concern in conflicting herbs and medicines. We're looking for specialists to help advise our customers on those concerns."

The herbalists will be responsible for giving advice to customers about what herbs to take for specific conditions, and whether they can be taken in combination with other remedies or pharmaceuticals.

In related news, the Natural Health Products Directorate, a division of Health Canada, has announced that is exploring new regulations to control the quality and safety of herbal products. The directorate will use randomized controlled trials and reports of traditional use to aid in the approval process of herbal remedies. The new regulations are expected to go into effect by the end of the year.

Introducing Chinese Medicine to Latin America

Government officials from Cuba have reached an agreement that will bring the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine to Latin America. Through the agreement, Cuba will work with several Chinese provinces and municipalities in areas such as cultivation of herbs and creation of new technology for making herbal medicines.

The Cuban government also encouraged China to set up clinics and schools in Cuba; introduce new herbal remedies to the country; and cooperate with Cuban health care professionals in developing a form of traditional Cuban medicine.

While much of Latin America is unfamiliar with traditional Chinese medicine, it has a strong history in Cuba. According to Juana Irene, an official with Cuba's Natural and Traditional Medicine Program, approximately one million Cubans receive acupuncture each year, and approximately $60 million is spent annually on medicinal materials imported from China.

Roberto Vandama, a member of the Cuban Medical Survey and Development Center, said that Cuba was considered "an ideal stepping stone" for the introduction of traditional Chinese medicine into Latin America because many international groups interested in Chinese medicine already have local or regional offices there.

"Latin American countries traditionally turn out herbal medicines, and there should be very good prospects for China and Latin American nations to cooperate in this field," he said.


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