Acupuncture Today – June, 2009, Vol. 10, Issue 06

CCAOM Convenes National AOM Organizations Meeting

By David Sale, JD, LLM

The leaders of eight national AOM organizations met to discuss topics of interest to the AOM profession. The most significant outcome of the meeting was a commitment by the attending organizations to joint strategic planning later this year.

The interest of the participants in joint strategic planning reflects not only the challenges and opportunities that the profession faces at this time, but also the increased willingness for collaboration and cooperation that exists among these national AOM organizations.

This was the fifth consecutive year in which the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) convened this meeting to provide an opportunity for AOM leaders to come together for collegial dialogue. The meeting was held on March 21, 2009. Representatives from each organization engaged in an "issue-oriented" discussion focused on data-gathering for the profession, specialty certifications in AOM, first-professional doctorate, FDA herbal issues, inclusion of AOM in a reform of the U.S. health care system, impact of the U.S. economy on AOM practitioners, scope-of-practice issues, and collaborative opportunities involving all the organizations.

The meeting participants also benefited by a conference call report from CCAOM Immediate past President Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, concerning the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine's recent "Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public: A National Summit," which occurred Feb. 25-27, 2009, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Goldblatt, who played a key leadership role on the Preparatory Committee and panels of the Institute of Medicine for this event, provided insight for AOM leaders concerning the deliberations and potential impact of this national summit on integrative medicine.

The Council was represented at the AOM leaders meeting by members of its Executive Committee, which included Lixin Huang, MS (President); Steve Given DAOM, LAc (Vice-President); Barbara Ellrich, MA (Treasurer); Nancy Browne, BS, LMT (Secretary); Shen Ping Liang, LAc, PhD (Member-at-Large); Valerie Hobbs, LAc, BGS, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), Dipl. CH (NCCAOM) (Member-at-Large); Yemeng Chen, OMD (China), LAc (Member-at-Large); and David Sale, JD, LLM (Executive Director). Representatives from the other attending organizations were as follows (in alphabetical order by organization):

  • Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM): Carla Wilson, MA, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), Dipl. CH (NCCAOM), LAc (Chair), and Dort Bigg, JD (Executive Director)
  • American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM): Deborah Lincoln, RN, MSN, RAc (President) and Rebekah Christensen (Executive Director)
  • American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA): Maria Spuller, Dipl. ABT (NCCAOM) (President)
  • Federation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (FAOMRA): David Paton, MAc, LAc (President), and Penny Heisler, BS (Treasurer and Public Relations Chair)
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM): Tess Hahn, LAc, OMD, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) (Chair), and Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, CAE (CEO)
  • National Federation of Chinese Traditional Chinese Medicine Organizations (NFCTCMO): Johanna Chu Yen, MD (China) (Board Member)
  • Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR): Richard Harris, PhD (Co-President), and Roni Posner, EdD (Executive Director)

For more information about CCAOM activities, please visit their Web site at

David Sale is executive director for the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.


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