On March 22, 2014, the leaders of nine AOM organizations met in Columbia, MD at the invitation of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The Council has hosted this annual event since 2005 to inform its own strategic planning in promoting excellence in AOM education and to provide a forum for these leaders to engage in dialogue on a broad range of subjects of mutual interest concerning the AOM profession.
The 24 representatives who attended the meeting this year considered the following topics: (1) the need for the profession to contribute a larger quantity of original scientific articles to AAAOM's publication The American Acupuncturist so that this publication can be indexed on Medline; (2) an update from ACAOM about existing degree and possible future certification or degree programs, including the Commission's pending call for public comment on proposed revisions to the postgraduate doctoral program in AOM (see https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ACAOM); (3) NCCAOM's forthcoming petition on behalf of the profession to obtain an independent occupational code from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for "acupuncturist," (4) regulatory issues concerning legislation AAAOM is promoting at the federal level to mandate inclusion of acupuncture in various federal health care programs; (5) issues surrounding dry needling and licensure in the remaining states that have not adopted acupuncture practice acts; (6) development of an online state laws update project; (7) structural options for the profession in the context of a broad discussion about a process for increasing unity, trust, and collaboration among the AOM leaders and their respective organizations; and (8) the possibility of a collective future visioning process for the profession.
Concerning NCCAOM's petition to the BLS, about which NCCAOM will be providing further information to the profession, the attending representatives adopted the following motion (AOBTA abstaining):
Be it resolved that the leaders of the organizations represented at the AOM Leaders meeting in Columbia, MD, on March 22, 2014, for the purpose of tracking our profession by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, urge their members/constituents to list their occupation as "Acupuncturist" when filling out US Census and other official government documents (such as tax returns).
The annual AOM leaders meeting this year was again characterized by collegial discussions concerning important developments currently affecting the profession and future opportunities. In any profession there are always extant challenges and opportunities and this meeting continues to provide an excellent opportunity for AOM leaders to respond to these in a respectful and professional way and to enhance their working relationships and mutual collaboration. Representatives from the following national organizations attended the Columbia meeting this year (listed in alphabetical order by organization):
AOM Leaders Meeting 2014--Roster of Attendees
Michael Jabbour, CSP, MS, LAc (President)
Joshua Saul, LAc (Acting President and Student Organization President)
Catherine Niemiec, JD, LAc (Chair)
Mark McKenzie, LAc, MSOM, DiplOM (NCCAOM) (Executive Director)
Wayne Mylin, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA-CP (President)
Wendy Clouser, MSIS, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA-CP (Director of Events)
Lixin Huang, MS (President)
Jason Wright, MS, LAc (Vice-President)
Barbara Ellrich, MA (Treasurer)
Diane Sater, BS, LMT (Secretary)
Stacy Gomes, EdD (Member-At-Large)
Yun Kim, EdD (Candidate) (Member-At-Large)
Todd Knudsen, DC, DACBR (Member-At-Large)
Misti Oxford-Pickeral, BS, MAc, AP (FL) (Member-At-Large)
David Sale, JD, LLM (Executive Director)
Marilyn Allen, MS, President
Michael Schroeder, JD, Secretary
Tracy Soltesz, MAc, LAc (Chair) and President of the Maryland Acupuncture Society
David W. Miller, MD, FAAP, LAc, DiplOM (NCCAOM) (Vice Chair)
Vitaly Napadow, PhD, LAc (Co-President)
Laura Triplett (Executive Director)
*COMRE attended this year's meeting as the special guest of CCAOM, the host organization for this event.
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