Building new relationships to better serve patients of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the future was the focus of the annual AAAOM Conference and Expo held May 12-15 in Baltimore, Md.
The three-day event entitled "Whole Medicine: Teaming Up For Our Patients" brought together more than 200 people and an array of high profile speakers who discussed everything from acupuncture in the military to AOM leadership and the future of patient care.
This year's gathering was especially poignant as a dozen international speakers and attendees from China, Japan and Australia also joined the growing conference along with medical physicians from the University of Maryland and other institutions who took part in dialogue about building future relationships and creating interdisciplinary teams in mainstream medical settings.
Highlights of the event included two key panels: the ACCAHC panel and the AOM leadership panel, which featured representatives from the ACAOM, CCAOM, NCCAOM, AAMA and CSA.
The AOM leadership panel included an appearance by the president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and current editor-in-chief of the Medical Acupuncture Journal - Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH.
Niemtzow discussed acupuncture in the military since he is currently stationed at Andrews Air Force Base and is known for introducing acupuncture to the military. The panel also included a thorough discussion of the brand of the profession, the structure of the national professional associations as well as the state associations.
"We are continuing our restructuring and have significantly increased collaboration with our state associations in order to provide a stronger voice and greater benefits for our members moving forward," said Jeannie Kang, current AAAOM president. "The participation of NCCAOM, ACAOM, CCAOM, CSA and AAMA at our first ever leadership panel demonstrates the unprecedented commitment and cooperation with our allied organizations."
At the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) panel an interim report on a multi-disciplinary project titled, "Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments" was presented.
This three-phase project was undertaken by a team of over three-dozen participants to identify core competencies needed within interdisciplinary teams to provide optimal patient care, develop educational objectives and materials for each competency and make this material widely available to both academic institutions and clinicians via The Center for Optimal Integration.
The panel featured presenters Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, Chair, ACCAHC, Past President, Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, Vice President for Academic Affairs, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jason Wright, MS, LAc Dean, Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine of New York Chiropractic College, Jennifer Brett, ND, LAc, Director, University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute, Kathy Taromina, MS, LAc Associate Professor, Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine of New York Chiropractic College and Stacy Gomes, EdD, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.
This session attracted a wide range of individuals, including both those interested in working in an integrative setting and practitioners with extensive experience in integrative settings. Information about the competencies can be found at http://accahc.org/images/accahc-coi-optimal-practice.pdf.
Other highlights of the conference included the presentation of the new student board. The new student board is now made up of Jane Yu (SO President), Irwin Tjiong (SO President Emeritus), Erica Chu (SO VP), Joshua Saul (SO Secretary), Rachel Brumberger (SO Director Membership), Kathleen Funk (SO Dir. Communication), Valondra Nimrod (SO Dir. Events), Marie Fruchnicht (SO Alternate) and Melissa Snyder (SO Alternate).
Before the conference wrapped up, attendees were also given the opportunity to read and provide feedback for the first annual report produced by AAAOM. The report highlights the organization's activities and financial breakdown. It is now available online at www.aaaomonline.org.
The AAAOM 2012 conference is scheduled for April 26-29 in Chicago.