OCOM alumni Celia Hildebrand, DAOM (2013) recently became the first U.S. acupuncturist to be awarded a Fulbright grant to teach abroad. Her award was hosted by the Uzhhorod National University School of Medicine in southwestern Ukraine.
Celia previously spent time in Ukraine and western Poland to conduct research and visit family who remained in the region in the wake of World War II. She researched the traditional folk medicines of the Carpathian Mountains, and the Rusyn people from whom she draws her heritage.
During previous visits to Ukraine, Celia worked with a Corvallis, Oregon Sister-City organization (Project T.O.U.C.H.), which sends annual support and medical assistance to orphanages in Uzhorhod. Joining them in Fall 2017, she was invited by the Uzhhorod National University (UzhNU) School of Medicine to give some impromptu presentations on the use of auricular acupuncture for PTSD and pain, and also to introduce basic concepts of tongue observation. After returning to the United States, Celia worked with leadership at UzhNU and together they submitted an application for her to return and develop a short curriculum for certification of an abbreviated auricular acupuncture protocol through the Fulbright Specialist grant program.
In March 2019, Celia returned to Uzhorhod under the Fulbright program. Under the umbrella of the School of Medicine, she provided nine guest lectures and introduced the broad concepts and theories of East Asian Medicine throughout the UzhNU system, including presentations to medical faculty, staff, students, residents, alumni, and practitioners in the field. All slides were translated for viewing, by professional translators provided by UzhNU, and included faculty and medical school residents.
Her lectures included live interpretation by these same professionals. In fact, her hosts at the school and her translators requested that she refrain from using words such as Qi, Yin, and Yang because they were unable to grasp the concepts behind these words and were uncomfortable in trying to communicate their importance. This presented a critical challenge, but using the research of Dr. Joseph M. Helms, and the work of Terry Oleson, she made it work. Dr. Helms was generous to allow her to use the research behind, and terminology of, his six-needle protocol, which enabled Celia to reach deeper into the Western medical model to effectively teach the East Asian concepts.
As a result, she was able to dispel misconceptions and false beliefs about acupuncture by introducing the research. The Associate Dean of the School of Medicine (a PhD pharmacist) approached her after the initial lecture to say they had thought acupuncture was witchcraft because previous lecturers had been unable to bridge the East-West medical terminology, but that she had demonstrated how and why it works in a way no one else had done before.
It wasn’t only education on acupuncture treatments and the science behind them that Celia introduced. In many Ukraine communities, there is little recognition of trauma and trauma-related issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Though individual symptoms of trauma reactions may be recognized, they are often not recognized as a part of a whole, complex syndrome. In an area of the world where many people have suffered severe trauma as a result of exposure to invasions and war, Celia has started the work of bringing education about trauma and PTSD to local psychologists and medical doctors.
Developing positive relationships in Ukraine in 2017 helped Celia become a Fulbright specialist, and it is something that she wants everyone to know they are capable of doing. The process of applying, navigating, and negotiating with Fulbright and the university took two years. Because it can be such a lengthy process, Celia says that even current OCOM students could begin the process prior to graduation, especially through developing those initial relationships in locations where students might be interested in visiting and working. These relationships Celia described as “critical to being able to access allotted positions through Fulbright.”
Her goal moving forward after this Fulbright experience is to, first and foremost, return to UzhNU and gather data she asked the graduates of the certificate program to collect from their treatments. UzhNU has offered to host a “Train the Trainer” program to certify the people she trained in March 2019 to conduct similar trainings on the use of five- and six-needle acupuncture to treat PTSD and generational trauma. She would like to carry this forward, expanding her traveling and training to the northern reaches of Ukraine where the war is still being fought, but says that making the connections to open those doors is the hardest aspect of accomplishing this goal.
Save the date for OCOM's 8th annual Cherry Blossom Gala. This year's event will honor college co-founder Eric Stephens, DAOM, LAc and feature festivities such as a lively cocktail reception, dim sum cart, photo booth, ear seeds, live auction and a delicious dinner by Field Day Feasts and gatherings.
To purchase an individual ticket or sponsor a table, please click here.
For information regarding OCOM partnership and sponsorship opportunities, contact Mike Paulsen, Director of Annual Giving
Stop by campus to do a little holiday shopping, enjoy some live music, take a photo with OCOM's mascot, MOCO, or get some ear sparkle! Vendors include things student-made including crafts, self-care items, art, and more. Support our creative healing community and shop local. ONE DAY ONLY: this Tuesday, December 3, noon to 4:00 PM in the KPC Community Room at 75 NW Couch Street Portland 97209.
July 16, 2019 — Thanks to the generous support of Anne Naito-Campbell, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) was among nine local nonprofits to receive gifts from the Naito family in May. The gift, valued at $50,000, benefits both the students and patients who now utilize the college’s Old Town clinic and classrooms. To celebrate, OCOM invites the public on the evening of August 7 from 6:00 PM-7:00 PM to an on-campus dedication ceremony to honor of the Naito family.
The relationship between the Naito family and OCOM begins with the building that once housed the family’s Import Plaza and now is home to the college’s campus and teaching clinic. Originally developed in 1911, the property was known as the Globe Hotel and had 500 open air cots, barely separated from each other and covered by chicken wire, where it only cost 50 cents a night to get a “room.” At that time, Portland’s Old Town was home to Japanese, Chinese, and other immigrant communities. Evidence of these historical roots were uncovered during the 2012 redevelopment of the site, when crews dug up several artifacts, including a Japanese herbal medicine bottle from the late 1800’s.
In the 1960’s, when the Naitos bought the then-vacant Globe building, the intent to start a retail import shop in the middle of what was then known as Skid Row. The flagship store carried a mixture of eye-catching and kitschy products from across Asia including lamps, wicker and wood furniture, porcelain figurines, glass bowls and vases, folding screens, and a wide variety of Buddha sculptures. Despite predictions to the contrary, Import Plaza was an instant success, and it demonstrated the Naito family’s commitment to developing the beauty and resilience of Old Town. It also generated the cash flow and spawned a retail chain that allowed the Naito family to acquire extensive real estate holdings.
At its peak, Import Plaza consisted of eight stores across Oregon. Closing in 2000 due to changes in retail trends, the flagship location lay dormant, waiting to become a part of a new vision for the Old Town neighborhood. OCOM selected the location as the perfect home for its new campus. In collaboration with the Naito’s, the redevelopment project was funded through a combination of tax credits, PDC funds; and conventional financing, and the campus has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The $15.2 million dollar rehab of the building took one year, included gutting all four existing floors for seismic retrofit purposes, and earned the structure LEED Gold certification. The project team included Beam Development, Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, and LCG Pence Construction, LLC. On the roof is the old Import Plaza sign, restored and now emblazoned with the letters, OCOM. Culminating with the ribbon cutting in 2012, Anne Naito-Campbell and the Naito family have supported OCOM’s role in revitalizing the Old Town neighborhood. The relocation nearly doubled the college’s square footage, allowing OCOM to educate students and offer acupuncture, herbal, and wellness services to the public.
Founded in 1983, OCOM is a single-purpose professional graduate school that offers first professional and postgraduate degree programs in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. 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 1,500 graduates practice, teach, and research Chinese medicine in 50 states and across the globe, and have provided an estimated 10 million treatments over the past 36 years. Additional information about the college is available on our website, ocom.edu
May 1, 2019 — OCOM Library, the library of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) has been awarded a $39,610 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the State Library of Oregon. This grant will support the project, Kam Wah Chung: A Historical Archive of Chinese Medicine in Rural Oregon, which is a collaboration between OCOM and the Kam Wah Chung Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. From July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, this grant will support the creation of an online digital archive that includes images and translations of various Chinese medical artifacts stored at the Kam Wah Chung site, a designated National Landmark.
This project will seek to help document the fascinating history of Chinese medicine in rural Oregon. In the late 1800s, two Chinese immigrants, Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On, purchased the Kam Wah Chung building in the rural mining community of John Day, Oregon, where the two operated a Chinese apothecary and a general store until Hay’s death in 1952. The museum is well known for its treasure trove of artifacts detailing the Chinese immigrant experience in the American West. This project will focus on Chinese medical objects and other items that have been cataloged and translated by OCOM students and faculty; the resulting digital archive will be available to the public, and will be of interest to those concerned with Oregon history, the Chinese immigrant experience in the American West, or traditional Chinese medicine and herbal practice.
This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the State Library of Oregon.
The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine Board of Trustees is pleased to announce Sherri L. Green, PhD as OCOM’s fifth President and Chief Executive Officer. She succeeds Interim President Bill McCrae in the position. In reflecting on her new role, Dr. Green feels “inspired by the community service orientation, national engagement, and leadership that exemplifies OCOM.”
Search Committee and Board Chair Karen Williams expressed gratitude for the comprehensive national search process: “An exhaustive effort brought so many qualified candidates into the applicant pool. Throughout the hiring process, Dr. Green demonstrated vision for the medicine, our mission, and the learning community that is OCOM. These qualities were evident to all who met her, and she is exceptionally qualified and enthusiastic to lead the institution in its next phase of growth.”
Prior to assuming her role as OCOM’s President, Dr. Green cultivated an impressive and diverse career that encompassed positions in nonprofit management, academic leadership, and research within the North Carolina university system. She is also trained in Chinese medicine with a lifelong focus on internal arts that culminated in a diploma in acupuncture from the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine, where she became the college President in 2017.
Dr. Green also earned a PhD in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in one of the top ranked schools of public health — the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, South Carolina. Her diverse skill set is further demonstrated by her clinical license in social work and her graduate certificate in executive coaching.
Dr. Green has served as a mentor, teacher, health care provider, administrator, and as a principal investigator on numerous research and program grants, primarily focused on substance use disorders, trauma, and maternal and child health topics. For the past three and a half years, in addition to leading the Jung Tao School, she managed a large grant portfolio and led work in North Carolina with state and national partners to support primary care providers seeking to overcome barriers and address the opioid crisis with evidence-based strategies. Her diverse interests in health and medicine include bringing acupuncturists, behavioral, and allopathic health care providers together with state and national public health policy makers to develop innovative evidence-based programs.
On the opportunity to lead OCOM during the college’s next phase, Dr. Green believes “we are at an exciting and critical juncture for the field of Chinese and East Asian medicine. It is time to take our place at the national table for both clinical and research discussions involving acupuncture and integrative health. I envision a time when licensed acupuncturists work in community health centers and hospitals as a matter of course, truly bringing life-changing integrative health care to the masses. I think the timing isright for our profession nationally, and I believe OCOM, as a leading institution for our field, and working in coordination with others, can make a real difference integrating acupuncture into the fabric of our
nation’s health care systems.”
The unique combination of vision and experience are what swayed Board search committee member Cathy Chinn. “During the interview, she talked about her current research work and offered perspectives on OCOM’s potential in the future as a leader for our field. I knew then she is the best leader to take OCOM into the future.”
During a transitional period, Dr. Green will be serving in a dual role as President of both the Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine and OCOM. This opportunity for smooth transition as well as innovative collaboration may lead to future partnerships between the institutions — in research, faculty development, and academic programs.
♦ On May 21, community members are invited to join the Board of Trustees and new President, Sherri L. Green, PhD, for an open house and Presidential tea. The gathering will be held in the OCOM campus’ KPC Community Room from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM*. Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, 75 NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
[*The time for this event has been updated.]
Founded in 1983, OCOM is a single-purpose professional graduate school that offers first professional and postgraduate degree programs in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. 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 1,500 graduates practice, teach and research Chinese medicine in 50 states and across the globe, and have provided an estimated 10 million treatments over the past 36 years. OCOM’s campus and primary teaching clinic inhabit a LEED Gold certified facility in historic Old Town Chinatown. Additional information about the college is available on our website: ocom.edu