FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Beth Howlett, MAcOM, LAc, Vice President of Communications and Academic Services,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 503-253-3443 x194
January 18, 2018

Low-Income Patient Access to Acupuncture Expanded by Kaiser Permanente Grant Award

Portland, OR — For the fourth year in a row, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) received a $15,000 grant award from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Programs supporting access to acupuncture care for low-income patients in the Portland metro area. This gift comes at a crucial time for expanding availability of alternatives to opiates for chronic pain management.

Thanks to Kaiser’s support, OCOM will provide low-income community members $15 acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments for qualifying individuals. Enrollment in the program, Expanding Health Care Access to Low-Income Patients, begins in January 2018. Qualifying individuals will be eligible to enroll for five $15 visits until October 2018 or program funds are exhausted. OCOM’s affordable sliding scale fees of $25-$35 continue to apply throughout the year for all patients in need of access to care. Grant recipients are also eligible for the “OCOM Cares” program in the Medicinary, allowing them to purchase herbs at a 10 percent discount.

Analysis of patient survey data from 2017 grantees shows that those who receive at least five treatments at our clinics get better. Among low-income patients who received a course of five treatments, 96 percent reported having chronic conditions, with 96 percent among them reporting that their conditions improved. Ninety-nine percent of patients reported they were “extremely” or “very” satisfied with their treatments. Thirty-seven percent reported they did not use the emergency room due to access to health care at OCOM funded by this grant.

One 2017 grant recipient suffering from lower back pain, numb arms, asthma, and a mood disorder reported, “All four health problems are significantly improved. I believe I am avoiding possible neck surgery [as a result of treatment]. [With surgery] not only would I lose work time, I wouldn’t be able to come to acupuncture as often as I do.”
OCOM is a 35-year-old nonprofit graduate institution that operates two Portland-area teaching clinics: one in the Old Town Chinatown neighborhood and another in the Hollywood neighborhood of northeast Portland. OCOM’s Chinese medicine teaching clinics served over 3,500 patients in 2017, 62 percent of which self-identify as coming from low-income households. As a member of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics, the college is committed to contributing to the safety net of health care access for the underserved.
Additional information about the program and a downloadable application is available by calling OCOM’s Patient Services Team: OCOM Clinic, 503-445-0950 or OCOM Hollywood Clinic at 503-281-1917.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including more than 540,000 medical and 250,000 dental members in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, dentists, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical and dental teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

About Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit
Community Benefit connects Kaiser Permanente with the communities we serve, expanding our influence beyond our clinics and hospitals to create new and equal opportunities for everyone to live a long, healthy life. In 2015, we contributed more than $141 million toward healthier communities in the Northwest.

About OCOM
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. Over 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 35 years. Additional information about our programs is available at ocom.edu.

Download this press release.

The Mayway Corporation — a family business that has been importing and distributing traditional Chinese medicine since 1969 — has selected OCOM to be the beneficiary of their popular calendar fundraiser.

These 2018 calendars are 20"x33" and will be available December through February. For every $20 calendar sold, OCOM will receive $20 to help pay for medical supplies needed for treatments delivered to individuals from low-income households. Purchase your calendar here. 

Order Now! All Proceeds Benefit OCOM!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ben Marx, MAcOM, LAc, Director of Research, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 503-253-3443 x168
November 10, 2017

Portland, OR — Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) has received $10,000 from the Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program at Oregon Health & Science University to design and implement a statewide survey for breast cancer survivors. The survey will assess the unmet needs of breast cancer survivors in Oregon, and gauge interest in a future acupuncture and Chinese medicine based survivorship program. The survey will also assess knowledge, attitudes, and use of acupuncture among breast cancer survivors. Data collected will be used to expand knowledge of and access to acupuncture and Chinese medicine for breast cancer survivors.

With recent advances in cancer treatments, rates of survivorship are increasing, resulting in cancer survivors who experience substantial physical and emotional needs. Studies show that acupuncture and Chinese medicine has great promise as a component of supportive cancer care, demonstrating effectiveness for many conditions which affect survivors, including chronic pain, psychological distress, insomnia, fatigue, immune function, and well-being. Findings also suggest that although a demand for acupuncture and Chinese medicine care clearly exists, nearly half of patients have no knowledge of it. This project will benefit Oregon breast cancer patients by ultimately providing a community-based survivorship group or program designed to increase access and understanding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, including evidence-based principles for healthy lifestyle changes, nutrition, and stress-reduction.

According to OHSU Oncologist Jingjing Hu, MD, “the remarkable advances in cancer treatment have greatly improved the survivorship rates of breast cancer patients. Though positive, this also results in a large population of patients in need of ongoing, multi-modality support to manage cancer related symptoms and improve the quality of life. I believe acupuncture and Chinese medicine will have an increasingly important role to play in this integrative approach in coming years, and this project is an important first step in determining the shape of that role for breast cancer patients in Oregon.”

This project is funded through the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program. The program is designed to build sustainable collaborations with Oregon communities by providing grants and other resources to foster development of community-identified cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship projects. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has made a decade-long commitment to invest in the program to develop robust, sustainable programs that benefit the health of all Oregonians. Additional information about the program is available on the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s website.

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 50 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. For more information, contact Beth Howlett, MAcOM, LAc, Director of Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 503-253-3443 x196.

GI Bill with Vocational Rehab: A conversation with OCOM’s Registrar/Veteran's benefit coordinator

In August, lawmakers passed a major expansion to the education benefits for U.S. military veterans. This bill eliminates the 15-year time limit on the use of education benefits for new recruits among other changes that expand veteran access. How do these changes affect someone considering a career in acupuncture? The OCOM Admissions team sat down with the college’s Registrar, Carol Acheson, to learn more.

Admissions:
I have a prospective student who has just retired from the Army and now has the GI Bill with Voc Rehab. She has her undergraduate degree from about 20 years ago under the former GI Bill and would like to know more about the process should she be admitted to OCOM with the Voc Rehab aid.

Registrar:
She will need to go to her Voc Rehab representative and start the paperwork with them, the Veterans Administration. Once she has her paperwork completed and accepted by Voc Rehab, the rep sends me authorization to bill them. I then create a VA file for her and sign her up with the Veterans Administration. Once, the government site for reporting her credits each term.

Admissions:
So, to clarify the steps that a prospective student needs to take...

  1. See their VA rep and obtain requisite paperwork and qualifications to receive Voc Rehab.
  2. When the prospective student receive this authorization, they send their paperwork to you (the Registrar).
  3. Meanwhile, they can still apply to OCOM and, if admitted and their Voc Rehab qualifies, then OCOM/you will bill Voc Rehab VA for tuition and any other accompanying expenses for their education at OCOM?

Registrar:
That's correct.

Admissions:
Do you know how many OCOM students are currently utilizing the GI Bill?

Registrar:
We have six current VA students; five are master’s students and one is a doctoral student. Out of the six, two of them will be graduating at the end of August.

Admissions:
Is there anything that our current OCOM students, who are using VA benefits, need to remember to do to continue their benefits?

Registrar:
I don't think there is anything the VA students need to remember for their benefits. Student[s] should remember that there is an educational tuition cap each school year and if OCOM tuition rises above that amount, then students have to pay the difference of what the VA does not cover. This usually happens in the summer as the VA considers August 1 as the start of the school year.

For more information about the OCOM’s VA process, visit http://www.ocom.edu/registrar or contact Carol Acheson, Office of the Registrar, at 503-253-3443 x112

For more information on VA benefits, visit their website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

 

Two recent articles by OCOM faculty members have recently been published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM)

Super-Users at an Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Teaching Clinic: Demographics and Unique Clinical Characteristics” (March 2017) by Forrest Cooper, DAOM; Ben Marx, MAcOM; Tamsin Lee, MAcOM; and Deb Espesete, MAcOM, MPH, is a retrospective chart review of OCOM patients with 100+ visits treated between 2002 and 2012. Their study found that “super-users” tend to be older, report lower income, and exhibit greater visit frequency than more typical acupuncture and Chinese medicine users. The data suggests that the factors motivating super-user behavior may be different from those in other medical domains, notably emergency medicine, and likely includes long-term management of chronic pain and other chronic conditions. The findings warrant future studies into long-term health outcomes of super-users, and the economic impacts of an integrative health care system which included acupuncture and Chinese medicine for older low-income individuals.  

The second article, "Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Integrative Oncology: A Survey of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Practitioners," (June 2017) written by Zhaoxue Lu, MEd (China), PhD; Jen Moody, MAcOM; Ben Marx, MAcOM; and Tracy Hammerstrom, MAcOM, presents data from a 2014 survey of licensed acupuncturists in the United States treating chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) at Integrative Oncology centers. The survey presents data on real-world treatment patterns for CIPN, including common point combinations, visit characteristics and practitioner-reported outcomes. The study contributes to the evidence on the use of acupuncture to address unmet needs of CIPN patients, and the development of best practice guidelines for the treatment of CIPN with acupuncture in integrative oncology settings.

The articles were written in collaboration with the OCOM Research Department, and highlight the unique contributions OCOM is making to the acupuncture and Chinese medicine research community.

The 2017 Society for Acupuncture Research (SAR) conference, co-sponsored by the Department of Anesthesia at Stanford University, held its international conference in San Francisco on April 27-29, 2017. This year’s topic, “Advancing the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) through Acupuncture Research,” focused on the benefits of research in acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine within the emerging field of PMI to explore the variability and responders/non-responders in acupuncture studies. The biennial conference included multiple plenary lectures from leading international researchers highlighting the role of precision medicine in acupuncture research. In addition to original research presentations, pre-conference workshops explored a variety of engaging topics discussing the future of acupuncture research.  

A few highlights from the 2017 SAR conference:

  1. A preconference workshop, “Successes and Challenges of International Collaborations in Acupuncture Research,” presented by Elisabeth Stener-Victorin, PhD, Claudia Witt, MD MPH and Lixing Lao, PhD discussed their personal experiences in the cooperative partnership of conducting an international acupuncture research study in China and Germany.  The challenges such as language and social barriers became an opportunity to offer different, yet insightful, perspectives while designing a study.  
  2. Jiang-Ti Kong, MD, Helene Langevin, MD LAc, Jennifer A.M. Stone, MSOM LAc, Ming-Chih Kao MD, PhD presented “High-tech/Low-tech: Instruments for Objective and Subjective Research Applications for Acupuncture,” discussing a range of objective and subjective measurements for acupuncture research including heart rate variability, connective tissue, and an electronic data collection program designed at Stanford University.
  3. A symposia panel by Sheila A. Boudreau, PhD, Florian Beissner, PhD and Younbyyoung Chae, KMD PhD presented “Electronic Symptom Drawings: A New Tool for Mapping and Quantitative Assessments of Bodily Complaints,” which supported personalized medicine by mathematically quantifying patient illustrations of their pain symptoms and more accurately assess treatment progress.  
  4. Sean Mackey, MD PhD, Ben Kligler, MD, MPH and Hugh MacPherson, Phd LAc discussed the importance of research in “Clinical/Policy Research on the Role of Acupuncture in Mainstream Medicine” to further expand the role of acupuncture in integrative medicine and health care policy.
  5. “The Power of Research in Healthcare Policy: Lessons from Oregon and Vermont” presented by Robert Davis, MS LAc and Laura Ocker, MAcOM, LAc (an OCOM alum and past president of the Oregon Association of AOM) presented their experiences in utilizing acupuncture research to support health care policy changes and extend acupuncture insurance coverage in both states.  

Three original research projects were presented by OCOM affiliates at this year’s conference:  Interim director of OCOM’s Research Department, Ben Marx, MAcOM, LAc, presented his research on seven years of patient outcomes data from the OCOM intern clinic. Lee Hullender Rubin, DAOM, LAc, an adjunct faculty member, presented her research on acupuncture augmentation of lidocaine for provoked, localized vulvodynia, and Tamsin Lee, MAcOM, LAc, an OCOM research assistant and DAOM candidate, presented a retrospective case series on the effectiveness of acupuncture on Herpes Zoster.

OCOM master’s students, Sara Snyder, Whitney Tuxbury, Dusty Bodeen and doctorate students, Amy Chang, and Tamsin Lee, received scholarships from SAR to attend this year’s conference. “It was wonderful,” said Tuxbury, “to see acupuncture at work in our health care systems outside of the classroom setting, and a great chance to meet other students and professionals from around the U.S. and world.” Also supporting OCOM’s presence was DAOM student, Jessica Dahlton, and OCOM professor, Dr. Chico Livingston.  

Central to the practice of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is individualized treatment, and this conference highlighted the important contributions the field provides to the emerging Precision Medicine Initiative in biomedicine. For more information, visit www.acupunctureresearch.org, and save the date for the 2019 SAR conference on the East coast.

On April 8, more than 160 supporters filled Oregon College of Oriental Medicine’s KPC Community Room for the college’s annual Cherry Blossom Gala. The event raised an all-time high of $112,280 to promote OCOM’s top-ranked academic programs and to expand access to integrative health care.

As the evening began, President and Chief Executive Officer, Deborah Howe, PhD, FAICP, expressed her admiration for OCOM’s students, noting they “come to OCOM because they know that Chinese medicine is effective and they want to become healers… they are willing to work extraordinarily hard for their education and — more importantly — their future patients and the medicine.”

Master’s program student and clinic intern, Travis Kern, shared an inspiring story about his life-changing work with a patient who receives regular acupuncture treatments to help overcome the physical and emotional impact of limited mobility after suffering from a severe stroke. “She relies on our clinics, our knowledgeable interns, and our accessible services to stay in control and to remain connected to her health and healing journey. Chinese medicine is an essential component in helping people live more satisfying lives, an essential component to adding good health into all of our mantras.”

Attendees included OCOM co-founder, Eric Stevens, DAOM, LAc, and three of the 34-year-old college’s first supervisors: Robert Kaneko, DAOM, LAc; Joseph Colleto, ND, LAc; and Janet LaRosa, DOM, LAc. Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette was also an honored guest.

Also attending were several of OCOM’s renowned faculty leaders, staff, alumni, students, and community supporters. The evening’s program was led by emcee and Chief Development Officer, Dave Eshbaugh, and auctioneer, Heidi Hill, who encouraged donors to give at personally significant levels.

OCOM’s trustees, Dea-Anne D’Amico, MA; Lea Anne Doolittle, MBA; Charles R. Elder, MD, MPH, FACP; Michell M. Hay; Gene G. Hong, MD; Dustin R. Klinger, JD; Brad J. Malsin, MD; Juliet T. Moran; Karen M. Williams, JD; and Leah R. Yamaguchi, LAc celebrate the success of the gala and thank all who contributed.
Photos from the event are available for viewing on OCOM’s official Facebook page: /OCOMPDX.

For more information, contact: Vice President of Communications, Beth Howlett, MAcOM, LAc, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 503-253-3443 x196

Download the press release (PDF)

 

 Michell Hay, Board Treasurer; Steve Sebers; and Dawn-Starr Crowther

Sarah Hammer; Leah Yamaguchi, Board Member and Gala Chair; and Courtney Prince

Karen Williams, Board Chair; Audrey DeMott

Kathy Calgano; Kenny Roders; Penny Stephenson; and Liz Malsin