OCOM’s Director of Admissions, Anna Grace, recently spoke with incoming master’s student, Tameka Lim-Velasco, about her experiences navigating the Federal Financial Aid process.

OCOM: When did you apply for Federal Financial Aid (FFA) in 2016?
Tameka Lim-Velasco: April or May, as I was waiting for my husband’s green card.

If you could have applied a year earlier, would you have?
Yes, why not?

What benefits do you see this year for students being able to apply October 1?
FFA would be done and out of the way. One would have extra time to figure out other forms of financial support such as scholarships.

Did you use our website as a resource?
Yes, ocom.edu was very user-friendly. There are clear links and information that explain all available options. In fact, I found a link that took me right to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)[link to https://fafsa.ed.gov/] website. Very helpful!

How helpful was the Admissions Seminar you attended?
Hearing the information in-person at the Admissions Seminar was most helpful! Judy (Gjesdal, Director of Financial Aid) talked about FAFSA and pretty much gave me all the information I needed.

Was the FAFSA difficult to complete?
FAFSA is very easy to do. The requirements are simple, not complicated!

Did you know you could be accepted to the college before doing the FAFSA?
Yes. You don’t have to wait to begin your application for admission.

How quickly did you receive responses when asking questions to the Financial Aid or Admissions departments?
Very fast! Judy always e-mailed me within a day.

Tell me about your overall experience with OCOM’s Financial Aid department?
Really flexible! They did a great job in letting us know we have options. Judy is excellent at making the process less scary.

Learn more about starting your OCOM education by contacting our Admissions team

In late August, Kathy Bragg of the Bragg Health Foundation visited OCOM to meet and personally congratulate the five 2016-2017 Bragg Health Science Scholarship award recipients. The selected master’s (MAcOM) students were awarded this scholarship for their inspiring essays on how they will integrate the study of nutrition and its impacts on human wellness into their practices as health providers.

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Bragg Health Science Scholarship Recipients: Liz Marr, Paul New, Michelle Reynolds, Samantha Stevens, and Devan Torbert.

This generous scholarship gift from the Bragg Health Foundation was made in honor of Paul C. Bragg, and it represents the first gift of its type the Foundation has offered to an acupuncture college.

The mission of the Bragg Foundation is to inspire and educate people of all ages throughout the world to adopt a healthy lifestyle through optimal nutrition, exercise, positive attitudes, and spiritual wellness. Learn more about the Bragg Health Foundation and their important health, wellness, and nutrition outreach programs.

To learn more about the scholarships OCOM offers, visit ocom.edu/scholarships.

Through December, OCOM's Weekend Specialty Clinics will focus on the personalized treatment of women's health issues.

Weekend Specialty Clinics focus on treating individuals with complex, chronic conditions. At these special appointments, you are seen by a group of licensed acupuncturists receiving their doctoral training, who draw upon their collective experience in Chinese medicine to address particularly complex cases. You are then treated by a doctoral graduate practitioner using acupuncture and herbs.

Weekend Specialty Clinic visits cost $25-35, lasting approximately 90 minutes. Schedule your appointment at our downtown OCOM Clinic today: 503-445-0951.

Women's Health
September 18, 2016
October 16, 2016
November 13, 2016
December 11, 2016
January 8, 2017

2017 Weekend Specialty Clinics
February 5 - Autoimmune Disorders
March 5 - Dermatology
April 9 - Mental Health
May 14 - Master Tong's Acupuncture (Pain Conditions)
June 11 - Classical Acupuncture Techniques (Pain Conditions)

PORTLAND, OREGON — Deborah Howe, PhD, FAICP has been appointed president of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), the nation’s preeminent acupuncture and Chinese medicine graduate school.

Howe brings over 30 years’ experience in higher education to this position including extensive background in administration, accreditation, curriculum development and faculty service. Her leadership style is deeply informed by credentials in urban planning and community development with an emphasis on creating healthy communities. As a long-term advocate for acupuncture and integrative medicine, she is uniquely positioned to apply her expertise and passion for the advancement of OCOM’s mission to transform health care through academic excellence and community service.

The national, six-month search process that led to her selection began during her time as interim president. She stepped in when President Michael Gaeta, EdD retired after serving the college for more than 10 years. OCOM’s Board of Trustees, advised by a search committee of faculty, staff, students, and alumni unanimously approved the appointment. “From a strong pool of applicants, Deborah’s record of service and engagement stood out. She is a candidate with a deep understanding of community building and academic excellence,” noted search committee chair Lea Anne Doolittle in making the announcement.

“Deborah Howe is the perfect person to steer OCOM into the future,” said Karen Williams, chair of the OCOM Board of Trustees. “As the college approaches its fifth decade, we are steadfast in our mission to educate excellent Chinese medical practitioners, because it is clear that quality in academics and compassionate care are essential for improving the effectiveness of health care delivery.”

“This is an exciting time to be at OCOM. The opportunity to help guide the college into the future, building upon its strategic vision, community of learners and national reputation, is one that I find deeply inspiring,” said Howe. “I am honored to serve as OCOM’s president, and I view this presidency as the capstone of my career, which has always focused on improving the health and well-being of society.”

Howe’s 17 years as an OCOM trustee built the foundation for her long-term commitment to the evolution of the college into a rigorous and highly regarded academic institution. As a trustee, she was integrally involved in accreditation, program development and strategic planning. Howe previously served for nine years as professor and chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Temple University, and also spent more than two decades as a Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University’s Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. Some of her work at PSU that brings her full circle to OCOM includes overseeing numerous student projects related to community planning in the city of Portland and the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood where the college is located.

Howe assumed the duties of president on May 18, 2016.

Download the press release.


About Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM)
Founded in 1983, OCOM is a single-purpose nonprofit graduate school that offers two specialized degree programs: Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). OCOM’s mission is to transform health care by educating highly skilled and compassionate practitioners, providing exemplary patient care, and engaging in innovative research within a community of service and healing. Our 1,402 graduates practice, teach and research Chinese medicine in 45 states and across the globe, and have provided an estimated 10 million treatments during the past 33 years. In 2012, OCOM relocated its campus and clinic to a LEED Gold certified academic, clinic and research facility in Old Town Chinatown. Additional information about the college is available on our website, ocom.edu.

On April 16, more than 170 supporters filled Oregon College of Oriental Medicine’s KPC Community Room for the college’s annual Cherry Blossom Gala. The event raised $102,237 to promote OCOM’s top-ranked academic programs and to expand access to integrative health care.

As the evening began, the community came together to honor the longstanding service of Peter Martin, MAcOM, LAc, LMT, who recently concluded a 22-year term on OCOM’s Board of Trustees. Martin led OCOM as its fourth Board Chair during a period of remarkable growth and change; while remaining one of the college’s most active alumni; owning a successful practice, Balance Medicine; and volunteering for many local, state, and national acupuncture groups and causes. Board President, Karen Williams, JD, presented Martin with a proclamation commemorating his service.

Delivering an inspirational appeal, OCOM’s Interim President, Deborah Howe, PhD, FAICP, highlighted the college’s accomplishments as a leader in the field of Chinese medicine, such as being the first school to produce clinical doctoral graduates in AOM (acupuncture and Oriental medicine), and the first complementary and alternative medicine school to receive a National Institutes of Health grant. President Howe also spoke passionately about the field of Chinese medicine, the commitment and drive that brings students to prepare for practice in the field of acupuncture, the transformative patient outcomes she has witnessed, and the important work OCOM’s graduates are doing throughout the U.S. and the world.

The highlight of the night was a surprise announcement from trustee Brad Malsin, who stood to pledge a generous gift of $30,000 to be made to OCOM’s Annual Fund. Malsin has served on OCOM’s Board of Trustees since 2013 and his leadership has been instrumental to the success of the school, particularly the college’s relocation to its current campus in Old Town Chinatown. He and his wife, Liz Malsin, enthusiastically expressed their ongoing commitment to OCOM’s students.

In attendance were OCOM’s esteemed founders, Satya Ambrose, ND, LAc and Eric Stevens, DAOM, LAc, along with several of the college’s renowned faculty leaders, staff, alumni, students, and community supporters. The evening’s program was led by Chief Development Officer, Dave Eshbaugh, and auctioneer, Heidi Hill, who encouraged unpredicted levels of giving.

OCOM’s trustees, Lea Anne Doolittle, MBA; Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP; Michell Hay; Gene Hong, MD; Terry Hunt, PhD; Brad Malsin, MD; Juliet Moran; Karen Williams, JD; and Leah Yamaguchi, LAC, celebrate the success of the gala and thank all who contributed.

Thank you to all our generous sponsors!






Table Hosts
Brad Malsin
OCOM Alumni Association
Oregon Reproductive Medicine
Leah Yamaguchi
Michell Hay
Charles and Leslie Elder
Karen Williams
Peter Martin
Kip Howlett
Jason Stein
Shelley Stump
Bill Hall
Juliet Moran

American Acupuncture Council
Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc.
Beam Development
Benefit Specialists, Inc.
Bill Naito Company
Hoffman, Stewart & Schmidt, PC
LCG Pence
Miller, Nash, Graham, & Dunn LLP

OCOM Board of Trustees
Karen Williams, JD, Board Chair
Peter Martin, MAcOM, LAc, LMT, Secretary
Michell Hay, Treasurer
Lea Anne Doolittle, MBA
Charles Elder, MD, MPH, FACP
Gene Hong, MD, DABMA
Terry Hunt, PhD
Brad Malsin, MD
Juliet Moran, BA
Leah Yamaguchi, LAc
Hong Jin, DAOM, LAc, Faculty Advisory Trustee
Travis Kern, Student Advisory Trustee


ACAOM Reaccreditation Site Visit

OCOM is pleased to announce that the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) has scheduled a reaccreditation site visit to the college, which will occur over three consecutive days in April 2016. The dates of the scheduled visit are:

Tuesday April 26 – Thursday April 28

The site visit team will be present on the OCOM campus for these three days. The team will be chaired by Dr Patricia Casello-Maddox (Associate Provost, Northwest Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN). The other site team members will be Ms Dollie Llanso (Asheville, NC), Dr Yun Kim (Santa Monica, CA) and Dr Daniel Hsu (New York, NY).

During the accreditation site visit, the site visit team will tour the OCOM campus, review documents, and interview many individuals associated with OCOM — including students, graduates, faculty, staff members, and the Board of Trustees. Team members may also observe classroom teaching and clinic

If any individual would like to arrange to speak privately and confidentially with the ACAOM site team during the visit, you may either contact Jennifer Cho (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 503-253-3443 x149) to schedule a private meeting with one or more members of the team, or if you prefer, contact the chair of the site visit team directly to schedule a private meeting (see contact information below). All requests for private meetings as well as private meetings themselves will be completely confidential.

Patricia Casello-Maddox
2524 Dupont Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405
Cell: 651-592-7026
952-888-4777 x202
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

During the visit, the team chair can also be reached in Portland at:

Hotel Rose Portland
50 Southwest Morrison St
Portland, Oregon 97204

River Map Radio is a project created by OCOM Student Media addressing a variety of topics under the umbrella of Chinese medicine, from pragmatic clinical topics all the way to esoteric theoretical constructs. Hosted by Travis Cunningham and produced by Travis Kern, this series features the broad talents and diverse expertise of the OCOM community. Whether you desire to know more about how Chinese herbal medicine formulas are prescribed or whether you want to know what it is really like to study Chinese medicine, there is something here for you.

Designed to highlight the intellectual variety of the Chinese medicine field and reflect the student experience at OCOM, River Map Radio is the only podcast of its kind told from the student perspective. With three episodes available to date, fellow AOM students, faculty, and patients of acupuncture and Chinese medicine are invited to look deeper into this growing field of medicine. Learn more about the #1 acupuncture school in Oregon and the U.S. and how the practice of Chinese medicine is moving the needle on health care and health promotion.

These podcast episodes are available for free download through Stitcher and iTunes. Listen to the inaugural episode of River Map radio, "Chinese Medicine: Then and Now."