The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has announced it will hold an election this summer to fill four upcoming vacancies on the agency's board of commissioners.
All current NCCAOM Diplomates are encouraged to take part in the election process, which will redefine the commission's leadership and help shape the direction of the organization for the next several years.
A total of six candidates have been approved by the NCCAOM's Nominating Committee and will participate in this year's election. Four practitioners (Daisy Barquist, Jonathan Daniel, Therese Hahn and Elad Schiff) are running to fill three Practitioner Member seats on the board, while two practitioners (Pamela Ferguson and Lindy Ferrigno) are running for the Asian Bodywork Therapy Practitioner Member seat. Once elected, the new commissioners will serve a three-year term and will be eligible for re-election for a maximum of two additional three-year terms.
Listed below are the candidates for the Practitioner Member and ABT Practitioner Member positions, featuring their NCCAOM degree designations. Candidates are listed alphabetically, along with a brief biography and personal statement from each nominee.
Practitioner Member Candidates
Daisy Barquist, Dipl. Ac. & CH (NCCAOM). Ms. Barquist is currently in private practice in Maryland, as well as an instructor at the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in Florida and the Tai Sophia Institute in Maryland. She earned her baccalaureate degree from Jacksonville University, her juris doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law, and her master's degree in acupuncture from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Maryland.
Personal statement from Daisy Barquist: It is amazing to me that our profession has become widely respected and accepted in the short number of years that acupuncture has been practiced in the U.S. I would like to offer my insights and skills to further develop our profession and the certification process. As a lawyer, I was fortunate that my work was about bringing people together, advocating for a common goal, rather than arguing one side's position. I am committed to being present to my clients, colleagues, friends and neighbors. I hope to bring the same spirit to all my work (and play).
Jonathan Daniel, Dipl. Ac. & CH (NCCAOM). Dr. Daniel is currently a professor at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, where he has been teaching since 1993. He has held the positions of chair of the departments of biomedicine and Oriental medicine at that institution, and has taught many courses there, in both biomedicine and Oriental medicine. He also has private practices in New York and Connecticut. Daniel earned a baccalaureate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a doctor of chiropractic degree from Western States Chiropractic College, and a master's degree in traditional Chinese medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He was a board member of the Acupuncture Society of New York for five years, and has been learning homeopathy through the British Institute of Homeopathy for the past six years. He has practiced in Oregon, California, New Jersey, and Israel, in addition to his current practices in New York and Connecticut.
Personal statement from Jonathan Daniel: I have been working with the NCCAOM since 1993. I have worked with the Acupuncture and Biomedicine Examination Development Committees and enjoy this work. I intend to continue my contribution to the NCCAOM and expand my contribution to the acupuncture and Oriental medicine professions. At the moment, I am interested in how an empirically based medicine, as defined by Harris Coulter in his history of Western medicine called Divided Legacy, can best promote itself as the personalized and individualistic approach to a person's well-being and health that it is.
Therese "Tess" Hahn, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM). Tess Hahn is a private-practice acupuncturist in Cocolalla, Idaho. She also has experience in practice in California, Germany, and at the Guananamen Hospital in Beijing. She originally earned her baccalaureate degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and has earned additional diplomas from the California Acupuncture Academy and the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing. Hahn then earned her OMD and PhD degrees from Samra University, and took specialty training in acupuncture orthopedics at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego.
Personal statement from Tess Hahn: NCCAOM has made the single greatest impact on my profession in the U.S. over the past 20 years through its creation of credible testing of the professional competencies determined to be relevant based on job analyses. My experience as chair of the Idaho State Licensing Board, vice president of FAOMRA, and as a practitioner in the different settings of China, Germany, California, and Idaho, have informed me of the many challenges still to come as Oriental medicine interacts with Western medicine in a variety of delivery modes.
The positive shaping factor of clear relevant testing is of tremendous importance. Broadmindedness is required to assure no loss of valuable heritage, so that the solutions may be found from which our patients ultimately benefit. I am personally committed to patient-centered medicine. Ethics is also crucial as we guide and develop the practitioner's professionalism. I can offer the NCCAOM organizational experience combined with the viewpoint of an experienced practitioner.
Elad Schiff, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM). Elad Schiff is currently an attending physician in the internal medicine department at Bnai Zion Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, and a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Arizona's program in integrative medicine. Schiff recently completed a fellowship in the integrative medicine program. His multidisciplinary education and training in complementary medicine was completed at the Israeli School of Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine (shiatsu therapy), the Israeli College of Reflexology and Alternative Medicine (reflexology therapy), and Haifa University, Israel (acupuncture), with additional acupuncture training at the Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center.
Personal statement from Elad Schiff: I bring a strong international perspective (serving in both the U.S. & Israeli commissions on CAM regulation) of leadership toward higher quality of CAM practices, including via governmental regulatory processes.
I bring a unique combination of a classical TCM acupuncturist and an internist unified by the integrative medicine approach. This blend can bridge the gap between TCM and mainstream medicine for the benefit of the consumer, science and the art of Chinese & conventional medicine. This background may contribute to NCCAOM's focus on increasing the much-needed cross-talk between TCM practitioners and physicians, thereby increasing effectiveness and safety of therapies for patients. In the long run, it may increase working opportunities for TCM practitioners at hospitals and medical establishments, as well as cross-referrals between physicians and TCM professionals.
My experience in working with large CAM organizations (via the committees I served in), the credibility associated with my professional background, as well as my flexibility in working across oceans and cultures, may serve NCCAOM in their strategy of globalization.
ABT Practitioner Member Candidates
Pamela Ferguson, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM). Pamela Ferguson has served on the national board of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia™ (AOBTA®) for six years, and on the NCCAOM ABT Exam Development Committee since 1999. She has innovated zen shiatsu training programs in several North American and European capitals over the last 20 years. She is a visiting instructor at the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas, at the European Shiatsu Institutes of Heidelberg, Munich and Vienna, and at schools in Berlin, Hamburg, and Zurich. Ferguson is a graduate of the Ohashi Institute in New York City, and the author of two major textbooks, Take Five: The Five Elements Guide to Health and Harmony and The Self-Shiatsu Handbook. She is the former ABT columnist for Acupuncture Today.
Ferguson holds dual American and British citizenship. She is a Diplomate in Asian Bodywork Therapy. She is also an instructor member of the AOBTA and the Shiatsu Society of Germany. She is currently the AOBTA's director of the Council of Schools and Programs.
Personal statement from Pamela Ferguson: I would love to join the professionally eclectic NCCAOM Board to share my international expertise to help develop international certification, to share my experience gained from working with other boards like AOBTA and with schools of AOM, and to share my background as an author and former journalist.
I'm deeply committed to the NCCAOM ABT certification exam, and to a wider acceptance of ABT certification for licensing. I am also committed to raising public awareness of the benefits of AOM, and to encouraging integrative research incentives and off-site clinics.
I'd enjoy sharing my insights as a former ABT dean at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin (AOMA) during eight years of rapid growth. I helped create AOMA's first interactive East-West discussion on cancer to bring the general public together with practitioners of both Western medicine and AOM. I have become acutely aware of how AOM training needs to continue adapting to meet 21 st-century demands, the growth of integrative medicine, and the spread of AOM in international relief and emergency medicine. I have pioneered workshops in hospitals and schools of nursing and physical therapy, and count many Western medical graduates among my students.
It would be an honor to be the voice for ABT on the board.
Lindy Ferrigno, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM). Lindy Ferrigno has been in private practice for 30 years. She developed, wrote and taught Asian bodywork therapy (ABT) programs for acupuncture colleges, community colleges and massage schools in five states, including the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland. Ferrigno has completed the training program for practitioners and teachers at the Shiatsu Education Center of America, and is a certified instructor of the American Organization for the Bodywork Therapies of Asia™ (AOBTA®). Ferrigno worked with a group of colleagues from across the country to organize the founding of the AOBTA. She served as co-director of education during the interim period before incorporation, and proposed the educational clinic requirements that were adopted by the NCCAOM for certification. She has also served two terms on the Oregon Board of Massage.
Personal statement from Lindy Ferrigno: Over the years, the NCCAOM has impressed me with its vision and professionalism. As Oriental medicine finds an ever-increasing patient base in America, I believe it is important to promote at least the minimum standards of competency among practitioners. I would like to see more states accept NCCAOM's standards as their requirements for licensure, especially in the category of my own certification, Asian bodywork therapy.
How You Can Vote
Further details on the nominees and a ballot card are available in the latest issue of the NCCAOM newsletter, The Diplomate, which was mailed in June. (An online version of the newsletter is also available at www.nccaom.org, but does not contain the ballot card.) Diplomates who have not yet received a copy of the newsletter are encouraged to contact NCCAOM directly via e-mail at
Only current active NCCAOM Diplomates may vote in the election. Diplomates may vote for only one candidate to fill the ABT Practitioner Member seat, and up to three candidates to fill the remaining Practitioner Member seats.
The auditing company responsible for tabulating votes must receive all ballots on or before September 1, 2005 in order to be counted. Once all ballots have been counted, the new board members will be announced by the NCCAOM. The results will also appear in an upcoming issue of Acupuncture Today.