John Pirog, LAc, Dipl.Ac., who assists in the writing of the "Ask Dr. Jiang" column in Acupuncture Today, was named the Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's first-ever "Teacher of the Year" in June.
The honor was bestowed on Mr. Pirog for his continued dedication and contribution to students in the college's acupuncture and Oriental medicine program.
Mr. Pirog teaches full-time at the school's acupuncture program, and also maintains a practice at the Bloomington Natural Care Center. He graduated from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in 1983, and has undergone extensive training at the Chengdu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and the Lincoln Hospital Detoxification Clinic in New York.
"I teach because it allows me to be an eternal student," enthused Pirog. "Teaching allows you to magnify the good karma that you get from helping a patient."
"John communicates the richness of Chinese medical history and thought, as well as current practice, with great stories and enthusiasm," added Susan Gillette, a third-trimester student at MCAOM. "Because of his efforts, when we practice the art we will have a solid understanding of what we are doing, and not be limited to a formulaic model."
New Center Provides Acupuncture, Other Services Near Ground Zero
Nearly two years after the terrorist attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, the effort to heal people who were physically and psychologically scarred by the events of September 11 continues. Situated less than two blocks from where the Twin Towers stood, St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center has opened an office to provide support and counseling to the residents of New York City, including alternative therapies such as acupuncture.
"Some people are only now experiencing posttraumatic symptoms," explained Dr. Spencer Eth, medical director of St. Vincent's Behavioral Health Sciences division, "and others are realizing that their symptoms are not going away on their own. Our new office will be more convenient for many of our clients who live or work in lower Manhattan, and we hope it will make it easier for those who think they may need help, but who may have been uncomfortable about coming to a hospital setting."
The new office will offer individual and group counseling, support groups and stress management. The center is funded by government grants and private donations, which allows services such as acupuncture to be delivered for free.
Persons interested in learning more about St. Vincent's services for people affected by 9-11, or providing acupuncture at the center, are encouraged to call (212) 604-2521.
Kentucky Licensing Bill Stalls in Committee
In the June issue, we reported on Senate Bill 217, a new acupuncture licensing law introduced in Kentucky by state Sen. Gary Tapp. Although the majority of SB 217 was related to naturopathy, the bill also authorized the practice of acupuncture by licensed acupuncturists, and included a reciprocity clause to allow acupuncturists from other states to practice in Kentucky.
Unfortunately, SB 217 failed to make it out of the Senate Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee. A spokesperson for Sen. Elizabeth Tori (who asked Sen. Tapp to introduce the bill during a brief absence) noted that since the Legislature spent a majority of its time working on balancing the state's budget, fewer bills than normal were passed this year. She added that a similar version of the bill may be reintroduced during the 2004 legislative session.