After three days of negotiations in Dallas, the AAOM and the AOM Alliance have entered into an historic agreement to reunite and form a new organization, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM).
By taking the name of the organization that split 14 years ago, the directors of the new organization hope to signal that events of the past that led to the split have been resolved, and that a new era in acupuncture and Oriental medicine leadership has arrived.
Will Morris, former president of the AAOM, and Leslie McGee, former president of the AOM Alliance, said in a joint statement that reuniting the two national membership organizations "is the best way to move the profession forward. We are thrilled that our differences have been bridged to the extent that it no longer makes sense to have two competing organizations. The vast majority of the acupuncture and Oriental medicine community has been asking for this to happen for several years, and the time was right to make this happen."
"This is the first step in building a 10,000 member-strong association that will represent and advocate for the AOM profession" they continued. "We will work to assure that the interests of the AOM profession are well-represented."
The officers of the new AAAOM are Leslie McGee, president; Martin Herbkersman from the AAOM, vice president; Shane Burras from the AAOM, treasurer; Corinne Axelrod from the Alliance, secretary; and Will Morris, president emeritus. These officers will serve until October 2007, when new officer elections will take place.
The remainder of the Board of Directors is a mix from both the AAOM and the Alliance, and includes: Travis Buckmaster, Christine Chang, Scott Cormier, Cynthia O'Donnell, Tom Haines, Deborah Lincoln, Bill Reddy, Jeannette Rockers, Rachel Toomim, and Lloyd Wright. Board Alternates include Floyd Herdrich, Karen Reynolds, Jim Turner, Regina Walsh, and Douglas Wang.
Current members of the AAOM and the Alliance have automatically been made members of the AAAOM, and all new members will become members of the AAAOM.
This groundbreaking agreement was mediated by Mike Schroeder, vice president of the American Acupuncture Council (AAC). The cost of the reunification negotiations were paid for by the AAC as well.
The first public event of the new AAAOM will be the "Rebuilding the Future" Conference, to be held May 9-13 at the Hampton Inn in New Orleans. The entire profession is encouraged to come and show its support for the new organization.
The goals of the AAAOM are to provide a strong, effective and visible presence for acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners and the public.