September 2, 2004

Vision Search Task Force to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Las Vegas

By Ruth Dalphin, CA, Dipl. ABT, Dipl. Ac.

The Vision Search Task Force, composed of representatives of five major national acupuncture and Oriental medicine organizations, is planning another in a series of town hall meetings in conjunction with the American Association of Oriental Medicine's (AAOM) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 22, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and, like previous town hall meetings, will give participants insight and input into the process. The Task Force will meet by conference call in September and in person after the AAOM meetings. The Task Force is in the process of planning a monumental three-day conference to be held in the late summer or early fall of 2005.

The Vision Search Task Force took on the responsibility of beginning to identify issues before the OM profession, identifying possible stakeholders, modeling a process of coming together, and beginning to organize a Future Search conference for the acupuncture and Oriental medicine community.

At a recent meeting, held in conjunction with the AOM Alliance conference in Hollywood, California, Sandra Janoff, a world-renowned specialist in bringing disparate groups together, addressed the group and was enlisted to help shepherd the process. Dr. Janoff is co-director (with Marvin Weisbord) of the Future Search Network, a worldwide organization offering Future Search processes and training to communities and corporations. They co-authored the well-received Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities.

Stakeholder groups tentatively identified include practitioners (acupuncturists, herbalists, bodyworkers), regulators, consumers, vendors, educators (including administrators, faculty, students), third party payers, certification, accreditation, and state professional members, and AOM researchers. The list of stakeholder groups will be better defined and perhaps expanded as VSTF planning progresses over the next several months. It is important that AOM practitioners individually and as a group speak to the important issues on the table and be fully represented in this process. The August issue of Acupuncture Today provided information on the nomination process in an article entitled "Vision Search Task Force Meets with Future Search Consultant in Hollywood." This article can be found in the Acupuncture Today archives (click this link to access the article) along with other important information about this important process

At present, it is unclear how many participants will be invited to the AOM Future Search conference, since the funding is not yet clear and the level of interest has yet to be determined. Typically, multiples of 8 are invited (e.g., 64 participants would equate to eight tables of eight participants apiece).

A successful AOM Future Search conference is expected to

  • Identify an attainable and inspiring common vision for the AOM community, having heard all voices within the profession;
  • Establish a broad conversation to stimulate and encourage the acceptance of a common vision; and
  • Define dignified and effective guidelines for strategic planning and conflict resolution for the AOM community in the future.

You are invited to submit your thoughts before this time through the Web site below. For more information on the Future Search process, see or click on the Future Search link at Your voice is important in helping to create the future of our profession.


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