In this letter from the OCOM Board of Trustees, we seek to find a common language of appreciation for different lived experiences, and to keep the OCOM community informed regarding changes to our name. We are embracing this unique challenge to both honor the cultural heritage of our medicine and find ways to do so that are inclusive and that do not carry the weight of historical oppressions associated with earlier language used to describe our medicine.

The OCOM Board of Trustees remains acutely aware of the complexity and nuance related to changing OCOM’s name. Concerns and discussion about the use of the word “Oriental” have been central to discussions for more than a decade, both within OCOM’s community and throughout the entire profession. Despite community outreach, surveys, and meetings with the staff and students of OCOM, there has not been a clear path forward or common agreement upon alternative terminology for our medicine. We understand that some members of our community proudly self-identify as “Oriental,” while some members of our community feel that this terminology is problematic.

Although there were some trends in the findings, the most important observation was that opinions varied greatly regarding the word “Oriental” in OCOM’s name, and that our community has a tremendous amount of diversity in their lived experiences, which includes but is not limited to ethnic, cultural and racial identity, age, and immigrant status. Even among those with similar experiences, such as within families, there were differences of opinion.

OCOM continues to work to navigate a path forward, to find language that accurately describes and embraces the whole of our medicine, and that invites the whole of our learning community to be fully invested in our mission 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.

As the clouds of pandemic management continue to dissipate, we will be able to refocus resources to create a name that embodies our core culture of compassion, advocacy, and respect. Such work is a gift to us all, and we aim to find a name that honors that heritage and all the history that OCOM represents.

Karen M. Williams, JD
Chair, OCOM Board of Trustees

OCOM’s New Integrative Health Partnership with Fora Health

After months of planning, OCOM is pleased to announce its growing partnership with Fora Health, a 92-bed center, providing medically managed acute withdrawal, residential treatment, and an expanding program of outpatient treatment. Fora Health (formerly De Paul Treatment Centers) is one of Oregon’s oldest and largest providers of residential and outpatient services for persons struggling with substance use.

Fora Health has a beautiful new building in Southeast Portland, built specifically to meet the needs of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs). Fora has separate wings for housing male and female identifying patients. They have a bright and welcoming kitchen and dining room, a gym, an art room, and a growing library! When I visited I was pleasantly surprised that I could view OCOM’s former location on Cherry Blossom drive from the front of their building.

Jennifer Hartley, PhD, MD, MSOM is the Director of Innovation and Special Projects at Fora Heath and is responsible for reaching out to OCOM to establish this relationship. Her experience as a NUNM student treating patients at Hooper Detox influenced the path of her career and gave her direct knowledge of the positive impact of having acupuncture interns treat patients in a detox clinic. She wanted to provide a similar opportunity for OCOM interns and the patients at Fora Health.

OCOM interns are treating both inpatient and outpatients at Fora with community-style group acupuncture with a focus on auricular and scalp acupuncture. The clinical supervisor, Heather Heatlie, MAcOM, LAc, has years of experience working with patients with SUDs while at Outside In, and currently treats patients with chronic illness such as HIV and Hepatitis C at the Immune Enhancement Project in Portland.

The response from Fora’s patients and staff regarding the OCOM student acupuncturists has been overwhelmingly positive. Patients greatly appreciate having another tool to help them on their road to health and recovery. OCOM plans to expand their relationship with Fora by providing community outreach opportunities where OCOM students can teach short qigong and taiji classes on a weekly basis. Dr. Hartley also envisions “pop-up clinics” providing opportunities for the Fora staff to experience acupuncture or learn about Chinese medicinal food or growing medicinal herbs in their new garden space.

I provided a lecture presentation as part of Fora’s “New Horizons in Substance Use Treatment” virtual lecture series, educating staff about the history of acupuncture and its application for substance abuse disorders. The doctors, therapists, and a wide variety of support staff in attendance were enthusiastic and had some great, insightful questions regarding the use and safety of acupuncture in an inpatient setting. In the future, there is the possibility of joint research opportunities between Fora and OCOM to explore the outcomes of somatic based care for their patients, and we are all very excited about that.

To learn more about Fora Health, visit their website: https://forahealth.org/our-story/

Katherine Annala, MAcOM, LAc
Interim Associate Dean of Clinical Education
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM)

Dr. Mazin Al-Khafaji brings his postgraduate TCM diploma course series, Practical Dermatology with Chinese Medicine, to the OCOM campus beginning May 6, 2022. 

For many students, attending Mazin's course and mastering the material he teaches completes the missing link that changes their practice forever, and leads them to achieve dramatic and life-changing results for their patients.

Since its inception in 2005, the course has become internationally accredited, and an entire generation of doctors and herbal practitioners from all over the world have attained Mazin's Dermatology Diploma (see https://tcmdermatology.org). Many have done the classes twice, three, or even four times!

Skin disorders in their various forms are among the most common diseases suffered by mankind, accounting for no less than 20 percent of all visits to outpatient departments in the Western world.

Chinese medicine has a very significant role to play in treating the widest range of such conditions (particularly chronic disorders such as atopic eczema and psoriasis that prove so difficult to manage satisfactorily with biomedicine), and yet despite this fact, many people practicing Chinese medicine do not achieve optimal results in this field due to lack of specialist training and clinical experience.

Mazin's teaching reflects his lifetime work, and is firmly rooted in real-life clinical experience. It is a guide through the practical application of the treatment protocols that he has developed during his clinical work at Avicenna in Hove, UK. 

Chinese medicine, when applied correctly, can offer life changing and lasting results for patients.

Register for this course series via https://mazin-al-khafaji.com

*OCOM alumni, faculty and students were emailed information re: special offers on course registration for our community members.

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Continuing Education Participants
For entry into a Continuing Education event (CE) held at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), participants, regardless of age, are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result (taken within 72 hours prior to the start of the course) from a health care provider.
“Full COVID-19 vaccination” means the participant has received their final vaccination dose of either the two-dose regimen of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson at least 14 days before the course commencement date. Participants must show their proof of vaccination and a photo ID (name must match documentation).
Proof of vaccination may be in physical printed form (original vaccine card or photocopy) or in digital form (photo or scan on your mobile device).
Negative test results within 72 hours of the commencement of the course must be from a test administered by a licensed health care facility, and can also be in either print or digital form. At-home tests are not accepted at this time.
Acceptable masks for those hosting or attending a CE event: KN 95, K95, or N 95.

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) has opened Spring registration for its Introduction to Chinese Medicine course. Following the successful debut of this noncredit class last fall and this winter, OCOM is excited to bring it back beginning Tuesday, May 17 via Zoom. 

This course, open to the public, will introduce Chinese medical theories, treatments, history, the basics of holism, and research. Participants will learn about acupoints, herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, gua sha, cupping, and bleeding. Dietary therapy, channel system, organ networks, along with yin/yang theory, Chinese pathology, and concepts of qi will be explored as well. 

This five-week class is made up of esteemed OCOM faculty members, including two chairs, all teaching their specialized perspectives via lecture, demonstration, and discussion. Cost is $275.

Register today for this Spring's Introduction to Chinese Medicine course

Are you a prospective student, applicant, family or friend of someone looking at Chinese medicine schools? Have you been helped by Chinese medicine and you’d like to learn more? Or, are you an alum who would value introducing the medicine to more of your patients? Are you in a career exploratory class, a pre-med club member, or perhaps a health, career, or college advisor helping students decide which careers to pursue? If so, this class is for you!

Join us Tuesday evenings, May 17 through June 14, 2022, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM Pacific, via Zoom.

OCOM faculty will lecture on the following topics:

  • Introduction to Chinese theories of the body: channel system, organ networks, yin/yang theory, Chinese pathology, concepts of qi, blood, and jing
  • Introduction to Chinese diagnostic methods: pulse and tongue diagnosis, 10 questions, palpation (channel and abdomen); and microsystems (ear, face, hand, and foot)
  • Introduction to Chinese treatment modalities: herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, gua sha, cupping, and bleeding
  • Introduction to the history of Chinese medicine: Taoism and the gentleman scholar, major texts, famous physicians, current practice
  • Basics of Holism in Chinese medicine: Dietary therapy; treatment according to person, place, and season; internal and external causes of illness; balance as optimum health
  • Research and Chinese medicine: Empiricism, recent findings from controlled trials, and biomedical approaches to understanding Chinese medicine

Throughout the course, participants will discuss Chinese medical practices and the legally defined scope of practice. Each individual will be encouraged to reflect on the nature of wellness from a Chinese medical point of view. Opportunities to learn the location of selected acupoints and the therapeutic properties of dietary choices will be identified, and recommended reading and web resource tools will be offered for further study. 

If these topics and learning objectives resonate with you, consider joining us. If you have questions, contact Anna Grace at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Register today for OCOM's Introduction to Chinese Medicine course

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine has opened Winter registration for its Introduction to Chinese Medicine course. Following the successful debut of this noncredit class last Fall, OCOM is excited to bring it back beginning Monday, February 7, via Zoom. 

Introducing Chinese medical theories, treatments, history, the basics of holism, and research, participants will learn about acupoints, herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, gua sha, cupping, and bleeding. Dietary therapy, channel system, organ networks, along with yin/yang theory, Chinese pathology, and concepts of qi will be explored as well. 

Register today for OCOM's Introduction to Chinese Medicine course.

Are you a prospective student, applicant, family or friend of someone looking at Chinese medicine schools? Have you been helped by Chinese medicine and you’d like to learn more? Or, are you an alum who would value introducing the medicine to more of your patients? Are you in a career exploratory class, a pre-med club member, or perhaps a health, career, or college advisor helping students decide which careers to pursue? If so, this class is for you!

This five-week class is made up of highly esteemed OCOM faculty members, including two chairs, all teaching their specialized perspectives via lecture, demonstration, and discussion. 

Join us Monday evenings, February 7 through March 7, 2022, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM Pacific, via Zoom.

OCOM faculty will lecture on the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Chinese theories of the body: channel system, organ networks, yin/yang theory, Chinese pathology, concepts of qi, blood, and jing
  2. Introduction to Chinese diagnostic methods: pulse and tongue diagnosis, 10 questions, palpation (channel and abdomen); and microsystems (ear, face, hand, and foot)
  3. Introduction to Chinese treatment modalities: herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage, gua sha, cupping, and bleeding
  4. Introduction to the history of Chinese medicine: Taoism and the gentleman scholar, major texts, famous physicians, current practice
  5. Basics of Holism in Chinese medicine: Dietary therapy; treatment according to person, place, and season; internal and external causes of illness; balance as optimum health
  6. Research and Chinese medicine: Empiricism, recent findings from controlled trials, and biomedical approaches to understanding Chinese medicine.

Throughout the course, participants will discuss Chinese medical practices and the legally defined  scope of practice. Each individual will be encouraged to reflect on the nature of wellness from a Chinese medical point of view and each class is designed to offer mindfulness exercises that cultivate body awareness. Opportunities to learn the location of selected acupoints and the therapeutic properties of dietary choices will be identified, and recommended reading and web resource tools will be offered for further study. 

If these topics and learning objectives resonate with you, consider joining us. 

Register today or contact Anna Grace at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

August 18, 2021 update
Last week, the Oregon Health Authority issued OAR 333-019-1010, which requires all health care workers that have direct or indirect contact with patients, including students, and any employee or student who enters OCOM as part of their duties, to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by September 30, 2021 or receive weekly tests to assure they are not infected with COVID-19.   

There is no flexibility or “opt out” for this mandate. OCOM’s liability for non-compliance is a fine of up to $500/day per individual violation.

The college’s OSHA Task Force has been meeting with officials of the Oregon Health Authority along with other higher education institutions. We have clarified that this rule applies to all OCOM personnel who are studying, providing patient care, or working at either of OCOM’s properties. This includes staff, faculty, teaching assistants, and students.

What does the temporary ruling require? 
An individual who works, learns, studies, assists, observes, or volunteers in a “health care setting” must either be fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 at least weekly. Employers of “health care providers and health care staff” must have a policy in place to ensure compliance with this requirement.   

What is a “health care setting” for the purposes of this rule?
A “health care setting” is “any place where health care, including physical or behavioral health care is delivered.”  A non-exhaustive list of “health care settings,” can be found at OAR 333-019-1010 (2)(e) (A

Who qualifies as “health care providers and health care staff” under this mandate? 
“Health care providers and health care staff” means an individual who works, learns, studies, assists, observes, or volunteers in a health care setting “providing direct patient or resident care or who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients, residents, or infectious materials.” A complete definition of this term can be found at OAR 333-019-1010 (2)(d

Will OCOM mandate the COVID vaccine? 
OCOM will comply with all state laws and government requirements. If or when the governor, federal government, or local health authority issues an order mandating vaccination for students and health care providers, OCOM will be obligated to mandate vaccines. While neither OCOM or the state of Oregon is mandating vaccines at this time, the trend is to require vaccines at health care facilities, and we feel, in full disclosure to our patients and our campus community, that such mandates are likely eventually.

However, all staff, faculty, and students who are onsite at OCOM in the 2021-2022 academic year are required by state mandate to disclose their vaccine status. For those who are not vaccinated, weekly test results from certified lab testing (not home tests) must be submitted.

I am not vaccinated. What kind of tests are required?  
The state requires PCR or Antigen testing. The availability, cost, and coverage for each type of test continues to change. We are investigating companies that provide on-site testing, but we cannot confirm at this time that we can provide such tests. Should OCOM provide testing, the availability will likely occur only at certain times on certain days. 

Test results must be submitted weekly for those who do not register a completed vaccine series. Once we have the tracking/reporting tools in place you will receive further notification.  

At this time, insurance companies are obligated to cover the cost of testing. We are exploring what no cost testing options may be available for those without health insurance.

Can I get an exemption?  
Since OCOM is not requiring vaccination, we are not creating an exemption process for verified medical and organized religious exemptions. Exemptions, should vaccines become mandatory, would only exempt you from the vaccination itself. 

What if I refuse to be submit vaccine status, be tested, or miss my test? 
Then you may not attend classes, clinics, or work on campus. The mandate does not allow us to make exceptions. Absence policies apply for failure to meet this mandate. Students who choose an approved, online-only plan change may have to adjust their timeline for completion since in-person practical skills experiences are required to graduate. 

I have had patients ask about my vaccine status. What is appropriate to share? 
Many patients OCOM serves are only willing to be seen by vaccinated providers and students. You do not have to volunteer this information. You may volunteer to share information as you see fit, but as an institution, the college will not disclose your status.

OCOM intends to inform patients that we are following the state mandates for verifying vaccine status or requiring weekly testing as well as continuing our mask, hygiene, ventilation, and social distancing mandates.

We believe science is behind the vaccines and still encourage everyone who is not to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Learn more about resources that are available to you.

Expect further communications regarding testing and vaccine tracking. Feel free to reach out to the college’s OSHA Task Force at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you have any questions. 

Be well,
OSHA Task Force

July 19, 2021 update
Dear OCOM Community,
This past year has been filled with challenges and inconveniences, but your willingness to comply with governmental and institutional guidelines has helped to protect the OCOM community from the COVID-19 virus. While this pandemic isn’t over, the OSHA task force has carefully considered the new guidelines issued by the CDC and Oregon-OSHA and would like to update you with what has and has not been changed in OCOM’s COVID-19 safety requirements. Following is the updated OCOM OSHA Covid-19 Safety Plan.

What IS NOT changing:

Mask Use — OCOM’s mask policy will remain the same. Everyone on the OCOM campus will be required to wear a mask. Surgical masks or greater must be worn by anyone in a clinical setting or in a hands-on class. Procedural masks are recommended for all others but at minimum a cloth mask is required. Bandanas, nylon masks, and gators will not be allowed as studies have shown their protection is inferior.

Please be aware that proper mask use is the best protection against the virus and its highly contagious variants. At least 2-3 layers of cloth, or better yet, procedural or N95 masks provide the most protection.

Cleaning Practices — Thorough cleaning of treatment rooms, classrooms and other high touch surfaces is good practice and will continue.

Lobby Screening — Health Screening will continue at least through the Summer and perhaps beyond depending on public health recommendations for health care settings and our infection rates. The screening questions and recommendations will be modified to reflect CDC guidance as those evolve.

Travel Guidelines — OCOM’s travel policy will not change, you can access that policy here.

Meetings — Through at least Winter quarter, all department meetings, committees, and other workgroups will continue via Zoom.

Scrubs in the clinic — Please wear clean scrubs in the clinic; scrubs are now officially part of the clinic dress code. You may continue to wear clean clinic clothing and a lab coat. Always wear your nametag.

What IS changing:

CAMPUS

Library — The library will no longer restrict the number of users in the library; additional work spaces will be added. Additional furniture will be returned gradually to the library and other parts of campus over the summer.

General Campus Access — OCOM will no longer be limiting the number of people on campus. All persons with a private office CAN return fully to being on campus. Those who share offices should alternate days on campus. Summer will be used as a gradual transition to more in-person activities. The continuation of hybrid work past Summer quarter should be requested through your supervisor, and will be negotiated with guidance from administration over the summer.

Staff will have an open forum to provide input on hybrid work at the next regular staff meeting. Due to the highly contagious variants, there are rationales for continuing some hybrid and staggered campus presence for the near term, thus discussing a gradual return to pre-pandemic campus activities and presence.

Kitchen Supplies — Kitchen supplies will return, bagging lunches in a paper bag before putting in the refrigerator is no longer required. Everyone is encouraged to eat outside whenever possible. If you are eating outside, social distancing is encouraged. Please continue to clean up after yourself. Social distancing is required if eating inside.

Rooftop — Masks are no longer required on the rooftop if you are eating and social distancing six feet or more from others. Note that close proximity between unmasked persons still carries risk, even for those vaccinated, and especially so with the more contagious variants, so please use good common sense when you unmask to eat.

Bookstore — Signs limiting the number of occupants in the Bookstore will be removed.

CLINIC

Face Shields — Face shields should be used when the supervisor or clinical instructors tells interns or students to use them, or when a patient or student in patient role for lab classes requests the use of a face shield by the practitioner(s); whenever inserting facial needles in clinics or lab classes; when encountering a coughing or sneezing patient. They will no longer be required when coming within six feet of a patient or lab partner under other circumstances unless advised to do so by the supervisor or instructor as noted above.

Distancing Protocols — Signs limiting the number of room occupants in the clinic spaces will be removed, although larger shifts such as Clinic Trainee and Herbal Internship will remain in classrooms through summer.

Furniture — Clinic conference room tables, waiting room chairs, and other furniture will return. Furniture has been in storage, so this roll out will be gradual.

The UV Lightroom — The UV lightroom will be converted back into a clinical conference room. The UV light will be moved into the laundry room. Please pick up (and launder) your lab coat.

CLASSROOMS

Lab Partners — Students will no longer be limited to one partner(s) or pod for clinical skills classes. Clinical instructors will advise their students on partnering in lab classes for the summer.

Classroom Setup — Over the next few weeks classrooms will begin to look like they did prior to the pandemic. Additional tables and chairs will be added allowing classes to be held in single rooms instead of spread over multiple rooms by the end of the Summer quarter. Operations staff will work with faculty on room set-up plans and with the Registrar and IT on room and equipment set-up. It will take several weeks to make classroom adjustments. Please be patient and allow for an orderly transition.

These adjustments provide a measured relaxing of some of our rigorous safety measures while preserving the most critical and most effective means of reducing the spread of the virus and monitoring risk and campus access. If there are outbreaks or surges or other public health reasons to return to more stringent protocols, that will be communicated to campus and appropriate measures taken.

We anticipate that lecture classes will remain on Zoom for Fall and Winter quarters to help accommodate those who cannot yet return to larger campus gatherings. We anticipate that clinics and clinical lab classes will return to more normal operations, but with continued mask use. More information specifically regarding Fall quarter will follow as we monitor the spread of the variants.

OCOM will continue to evaluate its policies and COVID response as new guidance is issued and will communicate any additional changes with the community. Do not hesitate to reach out to the OSHA task force should you have any questions or concerns: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

December 20, 2020 update

OCOM Notification Policy
OCOM Exposure Risk Assessment 

October 7, 2020 update

OCOM Campus Reopening Plan

 

June 26, 2020 update

Professionalism and social agreement for safe return to campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

June 22, 2020 update – Multnomah County entered Phase 1 on June 19 and a new mask requirement will stand for all indoor public spaces. In addition Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties, are now considered the Tri-county Area, as one single unit when it comes to reopening decisions. As a result of these decisions, the entire tri-county region will remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days after June 19 before the three counties together will become eligible for Phase 2.

Multnomah County says their plan to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 will include more testing, especially for Black, Indigenous, and people of color, as well as contact tracing.

Oregon health officials continue to stress the importance of:

• Limiting close contact with people outside your household
• Keeping six feet of distance from others when you are out in public
• Wearing a face covering
• Minimizing non-essential travel whenever possible
• Practicing basic prevention — Wash hands often, use hand sanitizer, don’t touch your face, stay home when you are sic

In addition, OCOM has received guidelines from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to move forward on our reopening of clinics and campus July 6. Governor Brown announced, effective June 14, 2020, that in-person instruction and clinical education at Oregon colleges and universities can resume, but only if institutions meet minimum COVID-19 public health standards adopted by the Oregon Health Authority as outlined in recently released Public Health Guidelines for the Conduct of In-person Instructional, Residential, and Research Activities at Oregon Colleges and Universities. Each college and university has the flexibility to determine how and when students return to campus, and the institution determined that the campus reopening plan developed by the OSHA pandemic task force aligns with the public health requirements contained in the guidance.

The college is beginning with a soft opening with a few additional essential staff starting this week. This includes the return of some of the Patient Services Team and the addition of new campus screeners, all of whom are doing training and onboarding. A few students will be taking the Clinic Entrance Exams on campus June 24-26; otherwise, the campus remains on restricted access this week. While we are still working on implementation details, some patients may be seen in both the OCOM Clinic and the OCOM Hollywood Clinic during the week of July 3. Normal clinic operations will resume July 6, 2020 with associated safety measures.

June 2, 2020 update – All Spring quarter didactic classes and clinical experiences, will remain online for the duration of Spring term through June 26. OCOM has collaborated with other colleges on a phased clinical training programs reopening plan. We await a response from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), the Oregon Health Authority, and the governor’s staff on approval to move forward. We will have at least one month's supply of PPE, is needed to re-open clinics and practical skills classes, with two week's worth already on hand, donated by Multnomah County and SERV-OR.

April 9, 2020 update – On Wednesday, April 8, Governor Kate Brown has issued an extension of Executive Order 20-09, governing COVID-19 related school closures through "the end of the school year." We understand that this means a hardship for students and working parents with children now studying at home. As an institution of graduate medical education on our own academic calendar, we have some flexibility around delivering telehealth and medical services in the interim.

For all students and faculty, please plan to attend your online class and clinic sections until further notice. No student currently enrolled will have their tuition increased for any postponed hands-on or clinical classes related to the current school year. As OCOM has programmatic tuition, we may have to defer some program elements but do not plan to charge extra tuition for any practical experiences deferred until campus re-opens.

We have recently been approved for extensions through June 1 for our didactic distance education, as well as our clinical distance education by our accreditor, ACAOM. ACAOM does its approval time periods in coordination with the US Department of Education — and those are continuing to evolve. It is our intention to deliver a quality academic product online for as long as it's allowable according to our accreditor and state guidelines and we are planning now for make-up shifts and practical hands-on lab hours once campus re-opens.

For essential employees on campus during this time, we have implemented campus-wide communication campaigns and building maintenance guidelines: 
 

March 19, 2020 update – On Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown announced an executive order directing Oregon's higher education institutions to move their curriculums to online learning, prohibiting in-person classroom interactions through April 28 as a way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Thank you to all who have so quickly moved into the Zoom space for your final week of classes. We will be finishing the Winter quarter as scheduled, including your finals next week. We would also like you to know that floor-by-floor deep cleaning and sanitizing is taking place throughout the building over the break, including each individual workstation.

We are planning to start Spring quarter April 6 online. We are actively seeking opportunities to offer clinical education in an adapted format.

We know this is a hard time for everyone, and we are gathering supportive community resources for rent, food, and utilities. Please click here to link to our resources page.

March 17, 2020 update – Zoom is up and running, and the virtual campus will support students, faculty and staff through the end of the term. For those impacted by the COVID-19 closures, please visit our community resource page for special programs and other community assistance resources. Click here for the resource page.

March 13, 2020 update – OCOM Clinic and OCOM Hollywood Clinic will be closed beginning tomorrow, Saturday, March 14, 2020, until the start of Spring quarter on April 6, 2020. All remaining instruction and exams for the term will take place using Zoom, Populi, Moodle or by materials emailed to students. Updates will be sent to students over the coming week, depending upon the circumstances of the class and their stage in the program. Please be understanding and patient with your faculty as they work diligently to make this transition.

Campus will remain open this weekend for students to access lockers or other resources. You are encouraged to pick up any relevant mental health and personal support resources located outside the counseling office. Remote access to student advising and counseling are part of our planning and more to come on that as well.

While we will maintain a very small team of essential staff intermittently on campus, most work will be done remotely during this time. The campus will be closed to students and patients effective Monday, March 16, 2020 through April 5, 2020. At this time, we plan to re-open the clinic at the start of Spring quarter on April 6, 2020.

March 11, 2020 update – New cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Oregon and OCOM is tracking the developments closely, leadership is meeting regularly and developing action plans for all possible scenarios. 

For now, the best advice is to remain calm and practice good hygiene including the following:

• Frequent and thorough hand washing
• Covering your cough
• Clean frequently used surfaces and devices 
• Individuals should not come to campus or clinic if you have:

Fever (100.4° F [38° C] or greater using an oral thermometer).
− Other symptoms like cough, vomiting, or diarrhea

If this is the case, we recommend that you call your primary health care provider, urgent care, or an emergency room before going in for an assessment.  

• It is best not to return to campus your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medications
• Good self care to boost immunity through proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management 

To receive the best personal guidance on being prepared during this evolving outbreak, we encourage you to the Oregon Health Authority website or to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updates.

How is OCOM Reducing the Risk of Spread of the Virus?
The college is implementing campus-wide communication campaigns and building maintenance guidelines. If you are interested in viewing those procedures, please click the links below.

Personal Hygiene Recommendations
Building Cleaning and Maintenance

What about Travel?
At this point we are not recommending a specific action other than anyone who has recently traveled to traveled to level two or three zones: South Korea, China, Italy, or Iran should:

• Consult their county health department for guidance
• Consider staying home from campus and making work arrangements

If you are interested in more information about COVID-19 risk assessment by country, click here.

Anyone planning travel, especially for spring break, should contact their airlines now to ask about cancellation and change policies. The continued spread of the COVID-19 virus to countries around the world may present challenges to travelers. It is important to consider not only the potential exposure to the virus from traveling abroad but also the possibility of being stranded abroad due to travel restrictions being put in place while traveling. Depending on developments with the disease, travelers may find themselves unable to return to the U.S. after travel to high-risk countries. To track updates on travel advisories, please click here.

While we do not relish having to refer to the campus emergency communication policy for anything other than the occasional snow day, please know that we have a process for addressing a situation of this nature. As testing for the virus increases, more cases are likely to be identified, and we will update you on any direct impact this may have on campus operations.

“I believe we are all tested” — Lee Mun Wah [link to audio]on Honorable Evolution #6 with Marcel Tassar*

OCOM began to engage with alumni, students, faculty, and staff regarding the use of the word “Oriental” at the college more than seven years ago. Throughout that process, for us as a college community, there has never been consensus on 1) use of the word “Oriental,” or 2) options for a name change that would meet the needs and preferences of most/all of the community. 

How we move forward is ours to figure out as a community. We want to encourage, and believe that as a college community, we can embrace this moment to find an affirming and mutually respectful path forward. As a community we can define that path.

Also, over the same period, a national debate involving all of the more than 50 schools in our industry has been ongoing among the membership of the Council of Colleges of Oriental Medicine (CCAOM), and at National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM), and the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA). Again, even after many industry-wide discussions, debates, and polls, no clear consensus on naming conventions has emerged that works for all organizations and the wider community.

While it is true that many of the most vocal and persistent calls for removing/replacing “Oriental” from our colleges' names, titles, and degrees have come from non-Asian allies. Many of the most ardent advocates for removing the term from our discourse are also Asian American students, faculty, and alumni of our professional colleges. This can be observed in the wider OCOM community online discourse and in the issue’s national debate.

It is also true and observable that a significant number of our foreign-born Asian and Asian American community members hold very different views. Some who identify as being from ethnicities and cultures originating in Asia, but who were born and grew up in the United States, also embrace the word “Oriental” as a point of cultural affinity. Some are confused by the debate and why it is occurring at all, or are upset that we are considering this change, as they view the term to mean “East,” a simple, shorthand pan-Asian descriptor that is viewed by some to be acceptable for general use.

The intent of the 2020 OCOM survey of students, faculty, alumni, and staff was primarily to reopen the discussion at the request of Asian American students and alumni. While non-Asian allies also advocated for change, their prompt was not the reason to reopen the debate. There remains a mix of perspectives on changing the name, changing the narrative.  

Learning of cyberbullying of Asian-identified students advocating for use of “Oriental” in the college name prompted the President to invite all staff, faculty, and students who self-identify as being of Asian descent to a private meeting, where we hoped they could speak freely without fear of reprisal. The minority view in that meeting advocated for the removal of the term “Oriental,” although many in the group affirmed the survey results, commented on their America-born family members who encouraged the change, stating that if a change needed to happen they would find it acceptable; but primarily they were trying to understand the pressure for the change, as the associations with the word seemed so different in the U.S. than in their Asian countries of origin or from the experience of their Asian-identifying family and friends. 

We are leaning into the question, “How can we as a college be responsive to multiple perspectives where feelings are so strong and seemingly in opposition?” One way OCOM can be responsive at this time is to revisit and recommit to finding ways to create safe space for in-person dialogue. This is why we are committing to seating a cross-sectional task force of stakeholders to work in tandem with outside consultation to engage in facilitated discourse on our best path forward as a college.

Reconciliation can be messy, and is not easy, and we may never all agree. As healers we believe admitting we can do this better, asking for help from others with different skills in facilitation, and re-engaging to find a better path is important to our positive movement as a community on the issue of the college name.

The courage of our students to give voice to both sides of this debate is important to acknowledge. The President approached the Board of Trustees to request the cross-sectional task force representing the diversity of opinions on the college name be established, to review the historical data and processes on campus related to this issue, and in the national debate, and make recommendations for how to move forward. That process will include inviting outside independent facilitators to our campus discussions to help assure that all who want to be heard have a safe space to express their opinions.

We will also include discussion of the college name in our next long-term strategic plan, while allowing the time we need as a community to find our path forward. We embrace the diversity of views, for our college, and seek reconciliation and a positive path forward. 

We can figure this out together, as healers, and committed and caring community members. Please hold faith and keep showing up with your passion and courage....and again, in the words of Lee Mun Wah, "So you see, it is where the road ends that our path often begins.”

https://stirfryseminars.com/diversity-resources/videos-podcasts/