In October 2005, Trudy McAlister received the Patient of the Year Award from the AAOM for her philanthropic work that led to the establishment of the first national scholarship fund for students of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. In May 2007, the Trudy McAlister Fund completed the legal and procedural processes that enabled it to be part of the Triskeles Foundation, a charitable, not-for-profit entity that now enables donors to make tax-deductible gifts to the Trudy McAlister Fund.
At the AAAOM Conference held in Chicago this past October, the Trudy McAlister Fund announced the 2008 winner of the $1,000 scholarship award. The recipient was Christy Kennedy, a fourth-year student at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
When Christy was asked about the scholarship, she responded by saying, "Scholarships like the Trudy McAlister are vital to the survival of TCM. Without them, students like me might not have the resources to finish the long, rigorous and expensive education required to be successful in this field. I am humbled by the confidence my mentors have shown in me, and will do everything in my power to further TCM's ongoing integration into modern American medicine. I will also work to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of TCM by honoring its historical character, philosophy and practice. This scholarship will help me complete my educational journey, but, more importantly, it will help my future patients in their search for better health and well-being. It is an honor to have been awarded the Trudy McAlister Scholarship for 2008. To the scholarship fund advisors and Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine faculty that selected me: My sincerest thanks!"
According to the Trudy McAlister Fund Web Site: "This Fund was established to support students in the field who show promise of making significant contributions to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of traditional Oriental medicine in a modern context. "
The scholarships are divided into two categories:
Basic support scholarships for students who have completed at least one full academic year of their professional training and who, in the opinion of their faculty, advisors and the advisors of the Fund, show unusual promise in the practice of this medicine.
Support for students who have entered the last phases of their clinical training or who have undertaken postgraduate studies in AOM and who are, in the opinion of their faculty and the fund advisors, most likely to contribute to the successful integration of OM into modern American medicine, yet ensure that such integration preserves the historical and classic character, philosophy and practice of OM.
The Trudy McAlister Fund has an advisory committee. Advisors to the Trudy McAlister Fund are Gene Bruno, William Prensky, Martin Herbkersman, Pamela Lee and Rhonda Wilbur. These advisors make recommendations to the Triskeles Foundation for final approval of scholarships. The Triskeles Foundation manages and oversees the funds assets and the scholarship process.
The advisors encourage colleges, individuals and organizations to make donations to the Trudy McAlister Fund. Donations are tax-deductible. Donations can now be made at the Trudy McAlister Fund Web site or may be sent to:
For more information about the Triskeles Foundation or the Trudy McAlister Fund in general, go to our Web site at www.triskeles.org or contact Dr. Gene Bruno at
Gene Bruno, OMD, LAc, FABAA, was an acupuncturist & director of the National Acupuncture Association's Veterinary Acupuncture Project from 1972 until 1980. Currently he is an instructor with the International Academy of Animal Acupuncture. He can be contacted at
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