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Acupuncture Today
February, 2005, Vol. 06, Issue 02
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News in Brief

By Editorial Staff

First Acupuncturist Named to APHA's Governing Council

Beth Sommers, MPH, LAc, who co-authors the "Acupuncture in the Public Health Setting" column for Acupuncture Today, has been elected to the Governing Gouncil of the American Public Health Association.

She was elected during the organization's most recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last November, making her the first licensed acupuncturist to serve on the Governing Council in the APHA's history. She also received an award at the meeting for her contributions to the public health and alternative and complementary health care communities.

Ms. Sommers is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture, and also holds a master's degree in public health from Boston University. She received additional training at Lincoln Hospital in New York from the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, and was instrumental in founding two acupuncture clinics in Massachusetts. She is currently the research director for Pathways to Wellness, a nonprofit public health organization in Boston. In addition to serving on the Governing Council, Ms. Sommers is the newsletter editor for the APHA's Alternative & Complementary Health Practices Special Interest Group.

The APHA is the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health.  The Governing Council votes on resolutions and position papers submitted by association groups and task forces, helps to set the association's agenda, and works to ensure that public health remains a priority in the minds of the nation's legislators and policy-makers. For more information on the APHA, visit

Northwestern Unveils New Scholarship Program for Acupuncture Students

Beginning in the winter 2005 term, students entering Northwestern Health Sciences University will be eligible to apply for a diversity scholarship that provides for a significant reduction in tuition fees. The scholarship is open to students attending the Minnesota College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, as well as students in the university's chiropractic and massage programs.

A total of six scholarships are available, with two students from each of Northwestern's three main programs (acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy) to be selected. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be from minority groups that are under-represented in the program. Students who are not from racial or ethnic minorities may also qualify for the scholarship if they can demonstrate evidence of strong participation in, and commitment to, minority communities. (Editor's note: since this article first appeared in print, Acupuncture Today has been informed that only one scholarship will be offered to students in Northwestern's acupuncture and massage programs, for a total of four scholarships.)

"We want to see people who show a strong commitment to working in communities of color after graduation," said Dr. Tolu Oyelowo," chair of Northwestern's Diversity Commission. "Someone who may not be a minority, but who shows a strong interest in serving minority populations, would be eligible for the scholarship."

Students must also provide evidence of financial need and high academic achievement. Students entering the acupuncture and Oriental medicine program must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate work; students entering the chiropractic and massage programs must meet similar requirements. In addition, candidates must complete an application essay, and must have a letter of recommendation from an advisor or mentor who has worked with the student in a diversity program.

Should the scholarship program prove successful in attracting students from diverse backgrounds, Dr. Oyelowo hinted that the school would launch a campaign to offer more scholarships to a greater number of students.

"We are hoping that once we get started, we can build funding through donations and broaden both the requirements of eligibility and the number of students who will be accepted," he said.

For more information on the diversity scholarship, contact Northwestern's Office of Financial Aid at (952) 888-4777.

Canada Launches First Charity Dedicated to CAM Research and Education

The first national charitable organization dedicated to funding research on complementary and alternative medicine in Canada was officially established Nov. 30. The new organization, the Holistic Health Research Foundation of Canada, is designed to bring together researchers, health professional organizations, and experts in alternative healing, while providing the public with credible information on the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine.

"Canadians are looking to manage their health by exploring ways to enhance the body's innate ability to stay well," remarked Aileen Burford-Mason, president of the Foundation's board of directors."

The Foundation has already announced funding for three initial research grants for 2005, including: a study on the safety and effectiveness of multivitamin, multimineral supplements on mood and immune function; a pilot study on the effects of massage therapy in reducing pain and anxiety and improving birth outcomes in high-risk pregnancies; and a grant competition on integrative approaches to cancer prevention and care. To learn more about the Foundation, visit


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