88-year-old visionary leader in whole food nutrient solutions and long term supporter of OCOM’s scholarship program, Standard Process, granted their 2018 Scholarship award to OCOM Doctoral student Phonexay Simon.
Phonexay’s and other contestants’ essays addressed how they adapt their Chinese medicine training to deal with the nutritional challenges faced by the American public.  “I explain to all of my patients the principles of Chinese medicine: moderation, balance, and personalization. I explain the importance of eating to their constitution and TCM pattern, whatever that might be. Additionally, I offer advice based on other Chinese medicine principles such as eating at consistent times, trying to eat in a state of relaxation, and encouraging movement and exercise to facilitate proper digestion based on principles of the Lung and Large Intestine relationship of the Zang organs. Almost always, I find that most patients are very appreciative with these clarifications that are based on an ancient philosophy of balance and wellness,” explains Phonexay Simon in her Standard Process scholarship award winning essay.

OCOM is proud to be consider a partner in Standard Process goal of making nutrition a priority. We are also grateful for Standard Process leadership in supporting educational endeavors and scholarship opportunities. For more information about Standard Process, please visit www.standardprocess.com.

OCOM graduate Tamsin Lee selected for BRIDG Research Fellowship

OCOM is pleased to announce that Tamsin Lee, DAOM, LAc has been selected for a prestigious postdoctoral research training program at the University of Washington. The program, Building Research across Inter-Disciplinary Gaps (BRIDG), is a collaborative training program between National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) and University of Washington (UW) funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) T90/R90 NIH grant. BRIDG provides multi-year immersive clinical research training for both doctoral-level complementary and integrative medicine providers, and conventionally trained researchers from the public health and biomedical fields.

Lee is a graduate of OCOM’s master’s and doctoral programs, and has been an integral member of OCOM’s Research Department since 2014. While in BRIDG, she will develop her multidisciplinary research into stress resiliency, specifically in the psycho-social factors of group dynamic healing with mind-body interventions, and the impact of technology on health and wellness.

While sad to see her go, we are proud and excited as she embarks on the next stage of her professional research career. Congratulations, Tamsin Lee!


Please join us in celebration of Chinese medicine at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine’s 6th Annual Cherry Blossom Gala on Saturday, April 7, from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Castaway Portland, 1900 NW 18th Street (at Upshur).

This year's theme, "The House of Good Fortune," is sure to inspire great company and good luck. Enjoy a lively cocktail reception, Chinese-inspired dinner, live Chinese music, the "Sparkle Lounge" with free Swarovski ear crystals, Chinese calligraphy, "Laughing Buddha" Photo Booth, the Lucky Wheel, Money Tree, the ever-popular Wine Wall, Golden Ticket Raffle, and silent and live auctions full of unforgettable experiences!

We have incredible support from our sponsors, who include: American Acupuncture Council, Beam Development, Columbia Bank, Heritage Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, NW Natural, Oregon Reproductive Medicine, The CHP Group, Thede Culpepper Moore Munro & Silliman LLP, and US Bank.

During the dinner program, we will honor the extraordinary Joe Coletto, ND, LAc, for his 33 years of teaching and inspiring students at OCOM. Joe has been a teacher and mentor to all 1,550 OCOM graduates, so together we will celebrate his dedication, inspiration, and leadership.

Single guest tickets are $125 and tables for 10 are $1,250. OCOM alumni tickets are $100, and student/faculty/staff tickets are $75. 

Are you unable to attend the event, but would still like to contribute and honor Joe Coletto? If so, you have a few options: Make a cash donation. Have questions or need more info? Contact Mike Paulsen at 503-253-3443 x204 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

OCOM Alumni: With the purchase of an Alumni ticket, please join us at 10:00 AM for the complimentary same-day CE with Sharyn Allyson, DAOM: “Wei Wu Wei: Exploring Daoist Principles and Business Concepts.” Learn more.

Lotus Sponsors


Amber Sponsors

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
March 26, 2018

A chance conversation with a wheelchair-bound patient led to OCOM’s recent acquisition of new adjustable treatment tables in its clinics, offering patients with severe health issues and mobility challenges improved access to acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments. The college’s student interns now have treatment tables that can be adjusted for treatments specific to movement-challenged patients, as well as the convenience of the practitioner.

Last October, the Firstenburg Foundation​ gave OCOM $15,931 to purchase 10 ADA-compliant, electronically-adjustable treatment tables. EarthLite​, the table manufacturer, agreed to discount the cost of the tables by more than 40 percent. Over the December class break, OCOM’s clinic and facility staff cleared out the old stationary treatment tables and installed seven of the new tables in the Old Town Chinatown campus clinic and three in the OCOM Hollywood Clinic in northeast Portland. When student interns and patients returned in January, they found over half of OCOM’s treatment tables had been upgraded to ADA-compliant, electronically-adjustable tables.

In that initial conversation with the patient, she had reported that acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments helped her manage her pain and other serious health issues, but that it was challenging for her to get those treatments. With a limited income, she relied on OCOM’s clinics for low-cost care. However, the clinics’ lack of fully adjustable ADA-compliant treatment tables was problematic. She described the effort required to move her from her wheelchair to a disassembled treatment table at floor level. Student interns providing her with care had to do so while on their knees. She said she often felt embarrassed by this elaborate, troublesome process.

This patient’s particular story helped the college recognize a need in its own facilities and was the impetus for OCOM to confer both with patients with serious mobility challenges and student interns to identify how to better accommodate everyone’s treatment needs.

The “Enhanced Access” project’s goals are to provide patients with severe health issues and mobility or movement challenges with improved access to acupuncture treatments by providing the equipment needed for patients to transfer themselves onto treatment tables and receive needed care, as well as enhancing the hands-on educational experience of OCOM student interns.

While this acquisition’s resulting benefits include OCOM’s student interns now being able to treat patients on tables that are easily adjusted according to the needs of the intern and the particular treatment being provided, interns now have access to a more diverse patient population — mobility challenged patients — which directly enhances their clinical and educational experience. This gift serves the ultimate goal of acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment, to resolve or alleviate a patient’s health issues, resulting in greater independence, more self-reliance, and an improved quality of life.

In March 2016, thanks to an individual’s donation in honor of his daughter, OCOM purchased, installed, and put in use its first adjustable, ADA-compliant, ergonomic, electronic lift treatment table at its on-campus OCOM Clinic. This single table had an immediate, positive impact: between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, OCOM provided 479 treatments on that table, prioritizing patients with severe health issues and mobility/movement challenges. There were, however, many more such patients needing access to such customizable equipment than could be accommodated with a single such table.

Now, thanks to the Firstenburg Foundation, OCOM has a total of 11 ADA-compliant, electronically-adjustable tables with which to provide treatments. The “Enhanced Access” project has additional funding proposals pending with other foundations, aiming to replace all of the college’s existing treatment tables.

The Firstenburg Foundation invests in community nonprofits that make a measurable difference within southwestern Washington and the Portland metropolitan area, communities formerly served by First Independent Bank, which was founded by Edward W. Firstenburg. The Foundation supports the legacy of Edward W. and Mary Firstenburg, that of improving the economic conditions and quality of life within our community.

The Board of Trustees of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) cordially invites nominations and applications for the appointment of the next President of OCOM. Founded in 1983, OCOM is the number one ranked acupuncture and Chinese medicine college in the nation. We are a single-purpose professional graduate school whose defined values — excellence, leadership, healing, innovation, community, and service — guide OCOM’s two degree programs and distinguish our graduates as they lead the way forward in the transformation of health and healing.
The mission, vision, and values are fully described on the college’s website.

To apply or share the job announcement, please find a detailed job posting here.

Candidates for the OCOM Presidency should have a track record of exceptional leadership in a senior administrative role, demonstrable expertise in strategic partnerships and donor development, financial management, strong management and team-building skills, and an earned advanced degree (doctorate preferred).


  • Excitement for the mission of OCOM and a belief/understanding of Chinese medicine’s impact on integrative health care.
  • Passion for education and the overall success of students.

Financial/Business Acumen

  • Ability to understand the financial, enrollment, and other challenges/opportunities that tuition-dependent institutions such as OCOM face. Skill to manage, meet, and measure institutional goals (financial, quality, mission).
  • Experience in managing the financial stability and aspects of an organization.

Strategic Vision and Planning

  • Ability to develop, articulate, and implement a sustainable vision for the institution through continued strengthening of academic programs that provide the institution a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Creative in their ability to identify competitive advantages or new revenue opportunities for the institution.
  • Understands the trends in integrative health care and the overall health care ecosystem.
  • Experience in the development and successful execution of a strategic plan.

Leadership and Management

  • Collaborative and transparent leadership style, with the ability to make decisions for the institution’s greater good.
  • Ability to inspire and unite diverse constituents around a distinctive vision.
  • Demonstrates success in leading an organization through a time of change.
  • Understands the benefits of continually improving institution processes, and systems to optimize resources and quality.
  • Record of recruiting, developing, and retaining a strong leadership team while holding them accountable.

Development / Outreach

  • Record of achievement in university advancement and alumni relations or a demonstrable ability to be successful in these areas.
  • Experience creating and nurturing relationships/partnerships with external organizations and constituents to advance the mission of their institution.

Education and Experience Required

  • Master’s degree in Public Health, Education, Management, Communications, Social Services, or related field
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience as a dean or in an executive-level position such as president, vice president, or other high-level leadership position at a higher education institution or nonprofit organization

Education and Experience Preferred

  • PhD, EdD, or doctorate in related field
  • Experience as a president or dean at a higher education institution
  • Experience working directly or collaboratively with, or in, Western medicine institution
  • Experience working directly or collaboratively with, or in, Chinese medicine institution

To apply or share the job announcement, please find a detailed job posting here.



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 20" x 33" 2018 calendars are still available. Buy at the OCOM Bookstore! All Proceeds Benefit OCOM! You pay $10 for a calendar and OCOM will receive $10 for medical supplies needed for treatments delivered to individuals from low-income households.


Order Now!