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.
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.