The profession is changing and OCOM is in the middle of the moment. Since the events of the summer of 2020, conversations at the national and local level continue to shine a renewed  spotlight on social justice issues and equity. The Board of Trustees, Executive Leadership and groups of faculty and students have gathered to hear feedback from BIPOC and other students regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We launched a survey to assess community opinions on a name change for the college to replace the word “Oriental.” The results show a majority of the wider OCOM community is ready for a change, with no clear path forward on an alternative name. Choosing wisely is an opportunity for OCOM to create a shared desired future and reflect that to the wider community.

So what will it take to change a name? While focus groups and survey respondents show there are greatly differing views of the term “Oriental” ranging from positive cultural affinity to no opinion to finding it offensive, those differences are most pronounced between generations and countries of origin. Responding individuals raised in the US are most vocal about the need for a change, and it is clear that significant representation of OCOM constituents (staff, faculty, students and alumni) are deeply troubled by the College retaining a name with the term Oriental, as they view it as a racial slur; but that view is not shared by all, including many faculty and students from cultures originating in Asia. The Board of Trustees saw the survey data  that show now a majority of the wider OCOM community want a name change and at the request of the president voted to approve changing the college name. Yet this commitment is just the beginning of the process.

This mindful effort at the college, a thoughtful rename/rebranding as part of a wider DEI focus, will unfold as part of the next five-year strategic plan, which we anticipate to take six months or longer to develop and implement. Plan development will include new rounds of surveys and focus groups with the community to narrow and ultimately choose a new name and branding path for the college. Changes of this scale take time to fully implement, but the direction is clear, that we as a profession need to be grounded in different terminology, which is a direct response to needs expressed by Asian American students, alumni, faculty, and allies.

Action Steps and Timeline

July 22, 2020

  • OCOM Board of Trustees vote to change OCOM name
December 2020 to present
  • OCOM development committee looking for capacity building grants to hire a full-time DEI officer
August 2020 to present
  • President Sherri Green negotiating collaborative work with Yuko Uchikawa with Open Talk about facilitated open campus work around secondary trauma, restorative justice, and mediation training
  • President Green met with various campus groups to discuss and gather buy-in to move forward with a strategic plan focused on DEI at OCOM
January-February 2021
  • Secured a DEI support donation from trustee Michell Hay and CHP Group 
    • Talked with various groups on campus about a pilot for some of the DEI work with trainer/consultant

March-April 2021

  • Board reviewing proposals for renaming process and budget.
  • Deeper dive in April with consultant and trustees to decide how to proceed on Delphi and renaming/rebranding
  • Seeking intersectional group of OCOM community members to pilot certain skills and processes and build community-wide training
January 2021-October 2021
  • Implement DEI projects funded through CHP grant 
    • Scholarship program
    • Community engagement

OCOM Library is delighted to announce the launch of the Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive. This historical digital archive is the result of the 2019-2020 project, Kam Wah Chung: A Historical Archive of Chinese Medicine in Rural Oregon, which is a collaboration between OCOM and the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site in John Day, Oregon. The project was supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA Grant), administered by the State Library of Oregon.

The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive captures a unique snapshot of Chinese medicine’s earliest practice in rural Oregon. In the late 1800s, two Chinese immigrants, Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On, purchased the Kam Wah Chung building in the 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. The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive focuses on medical objects that are found in the museum collection. The digital archive provides digitized images and descriptions of Chinese medical herbs, Doc Hay's handwritten formula prescriptions, Chinese patent medicine products, and books and pharmacy catalogs from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Translation has been done over the years by OCOM students and faculty, and is ongoing.

The Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive, now available to the public, is an excellent resource to those concerned with Oregon history, the Chinese immigrant experience in the American West, or traditional Chinese medicine and herbal practice. The Archive can be accessed at: kwc.ocom.edu

For a live presentation on the collection featuring Eric Brand, PhD, LAc and Beth Howlett, DAOM, LAc, please join the OAA-sponsored webinar on February 4, 2021. To learn more click here. 

For any questions about the Kam Wah Chung Medical Archive, contact the OCOM Library / Oregon College of Oriental Medicine at: library.ocom.edu/contact-us/

You’ve come a long way, but there’s still a few more steps until you’re ready to start your practice and begin helping patients. This can be an arduous process, so KPC Herbs made this guide to help take out most of the guesswork when it comes to getting the right herbs you need for your patients.

Student Kit for Graduates - DOWNLOAD 

The transition from being an acupuncture student to being a professional acupuncturist means learning to do many things for yourself on a smaller scale and from a different perspective. While prescribing herbal medicine is a key part of any professional training program, the back-end management of inventory, quality control, pricing, and dispensing may not have been an explicit part of your education. This workbook is a step-by-step guide with useful tips, links to templates, and recommendations built from the real experience of new entrepreneurs. The workbook is designed to be viewed digitally, with hyperlinks to templates of key resources. Or you can print it off and fill it in with pen and ink. We encourage you to use this guide in a way that works best for you.

Setting Up Your Granular Pharmacy - DOWNLOAD

These resources brought to you thanks to the generous support of KPC Herbs

       

“We commit to collaborative and mindful stewardship of ourselves, the health of our profession, and the community through continuing education, compassion, integrity, and heartfelt respect.

In this new world of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that as medical professionals and as students working to become medical professionals, we re-enter our school and workplace under a social contract to protect the health of our community. Our priority is to keep people safe. We will rely on the information provided to us from the OHA, CDC, and other reputable sources for guidance in this changing world.

To keep our community safe, OCOM will have important social and professional expectations of its faculty, staff, and students — on and off campus. This is essentially the social contract that all are expected to follow to provide the best care for our patients, education for our students, and a safe environment for us all.

We ask that students, faculty, staff, and visitors follow these guidelines:

Staying safe

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

 Masks

  • Wear a cloth face cover when you go out in public. For example: to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. The cloth face cover is meant to protect others in case you are infected. 
  • Patients and visitors to OCOM will be required to wear a cloth or disposable mask. 
  • Administrative and support personnel, who have no or indirect patient contact, will be required to wear cloth or disposable masks while on campus. 
  • Students, staff, and faculty who are in immediate proximity to patients shall wear procedural masks, face shields, and gloves.

 Social distancing

  • Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home; some people without symptoms may spread the virus. Stay at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from others when possible. 
  • OCOM recommends avoiding gathering in groups and staying out of crowded places. Consider alternatives to mass gatherings to support civil rights and engage in protest. As health care providers, we have the ability and ethical responsibility to serve our community in ways that do not endanger our own health or the health of others.
  • If you make the choice to actively participate in large gatherings or a crowded event, you will need to be tested before returning to campus.
  • If you have a medical condition or disability, consider contacting Jessica Bineham, Disability Access Services to discuss potential accommodations during this time. If you are interested in discussing plan change options please contact Mike Law, Director of Student and Alumni Affairs. Staff and faculty members should contact Human Resources.

 Screening

  • Pre- self-screening information includes a request for those who are at-risk or symptomatic (even if undiagnosed) not to come to campus. 
  • Lobby screening station(s) will be implemented and temperatures will be taken of each person who is entering OCOM campus and clinics. 
  • Screening questions will be based on the latest guidance from OHA and CDC. 

 Travel

  • Personal travel is strongly discouraged, although not specifically banned.
    • After travel via air or long-distance public transportation, OCOM will require that you either: 
      • test negative for COVID-19, or 
      • self-quarantine for 10 days before entering the campus. 

Clinic

  • Proper PPE such as face masks and face shields will be provided and required to be worn in the clinic. 
  • Street wear and clinic attire are to be considered separate items.
  • Interns and supervisors will change clothes prior to seeing patients and before leaving the clinic/campus.
  • Clinic attire is appropriate if machine washable and dryable by high heat, including scrubs.

Monitor Your Health

















As one of the oldest colleges in America teaching the healing arts of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, tuina, shiatsu, cupping, gua sha, hara diagnosis, and other techniques, our college was also founded in an era when the term “Oriental medicine” was commonly used to describe what many now call East Asian Medicine. For OCOM, the medicine we teach is based on the Chinese classics and also informed by years of development in other Asian countries and influenced by other Asian cultures including but not limited to Korean, Japanese, Tibetan and Vietnamese.

In recent years, our profession in America has struggled with naming conventions for some of our older accredited colleges and programs, and for our professional organizations that also have the term “Oriental” in their names. On the OCOM campus, there was a workgroup convened in 2013 to look at the use of such terminology. While outcomes from that group recommended that our print, publications, web presence, and communications style guide encourage the phrase “Chinese medicine” for describing what we teach, there was no agreement on the use of the term overall and the name of the college was not changed.

In 2015, the OCOM Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved a survey of students and professionals on the attitudes toward the term “Oriental” as a descriptor of the profession and the medicine. In 2016, the results were presented at a student research conference.

Also in 2016, a bill was passed and signed into law by President Obama that removed the term “Oriental” from all federal use. This bill stimulated further national debate in our professional organizations and colleges and, over time, several accredited schools have made significant changes to their names to remove the term. 

In 2018, a presentation of the 2016 campus survey results was given to the President’s direct reports. In part because of the historical lack of consensus on campus and that attitudes toward the term continued to evolve, another campus survey was ordered.

The 2018 administration-driven OCOM survey on the use of “Oriental” in the OCOM name was conducted; and the results were presented later that year to the Program Committee of the college’s Board of Trustees. During that meeting, summaries of results from both the 2016 and the 2018 surveys were discussed with board members.

Opinions on a college name change and on maintaining the term “Oriental” continued to vary greatly. The committee discussed gathering additional input, and began to assess the cost and possible paths to implementing a change to the name. No clear options emerged and no recommendation was made to the full board. The issue of changing the institution’s name was put on hold pending further input, with a recommended pivot to use limited resources for new program development and implementation.

However, out of the work in 2018, a decision for another incremental step was made: to update the titles for the college’s new programs, eliminating the term “Oriental” from degree titles except for the DAOM. The new degree titles for first professional degrees, as approved by the Board of Trustees and presented to our accreditor for approval in 2018, are DACM, MACM, and MAc.

Further, the term “Chinese medicine” is still preferred in OCOM official communications and publications. College administrators, staff, and some students have continued to raise the issue of and concern over the use and public perception of the term “Oriental” in the college name. These concerns were discussed with student leaders in a June 15, 2020 meeting and by the President with the full Board of Trustees on June 25, 2020.

Throughout these many conversations, no consensus over what should replace the name has emerged, but unease with the term “Oriental” among the OCOM community has been persistent. With support from the Board of Trustees, our current President is revisiting the college naming convention. As part of that effort, we are asking our internal audiences (students, faculty, staff, alumni) to weigh in. Information gleaned will be presented to the trustees for further consideration.

In response to student concerns as well as current events, President Sherri Green met with student leaders on June 18, 2020 to discuss a range of issues related to inclusion, bias, racial literacy, our curricula offerings on public health, and other critical issues that address health disparities.

OCOM as an institution serves BIPOC and gender and culturally diverse students, staff, faculty, and patients. The OCOM Community is committed to health, healing and social justice. Yet, not all our community members experience the safety and inclusion we aspire to as a college. While OCOM faculty, staff, students and alumni have continually served and done important work with vulnerable and marginalized communities in our clinics and across the country, we are listening closely as an institution to how we have come up short for BIPOC students. No matter the intent, we must look at impact. OCOM is responding to the call for action as a whole community.

Any path toward equity and justice requires that we see fully the roots of racism in America that go back to the very founding of our nation. We also must look clear-eyed at our own institutional shortcomings. 

In particular, the recent conversation with students highlighted the importance of:

  • Making more of the inclusion, bias, and trauma-informed events and conversations on campus mandatory for students, staff, and faculty
  • The need to pull forward and expand classes that address critical public health topics to earlier in the curriculum 
  • The need for racial literacy and cultural competency across all aspects of our campus community
  • The importance of looking at inclusion broadly to account for our diverse community, and
  • Safe conversations skills are needed to do the important work for equity and justice 

Through meetings with staff, faculty, and students over these past weeks, OCOM has recommitted to dialogue that is informed by these root concerns. Working together we can courageously improve as an institution of higher learning and lean-in together for the important work to assure a healing environment for our students, staff, faculty, and patients.

This announcement has taken some time, as we decided to slow down and listen to those most affected before planning. We can do better as an institution, and our reaction to this moment should not be superficial or fleeting. Below is a framework to guide our efforts. We will collaborate as a community and with our Board of Trustees to refine and firm up a strategic plan to move this work forward.

Institutional Change Will Involve Everyone

  • Grow our mission to transform health care through excellence in education. This means looking at our curriculum and finding new and better ways to include instruction around bias, race, body shape and size, gender and gender identity, and trauma-informed care.
  • Create safe spaces for dialog. The past week we began with a student focus group. More will follow across campus to facilitate restorative conversations. Over the coming months we will continue to meet with students, faculty, staff to identify implicit bias within our community and facilitate safe conversations to create a more inclusive college environment.
  • Review institutional structures such as our handbooks, policies, admissions processes, and other places where we can lift barriers for full participation of BIPOC members of the OCOM community.
  • Open dialog about the historical and current biases that our Asian community members face, including new waves associated with the pandemic that are perpetuated by ignorance and fear. 
  • Continue to consider the diverse religious and spiritual practices in our community and find ways to be mutually supportive.
  • Revisit the conversation on the use of the word “Oriental” in the college's name and in the profession in general.
  • Ask BIPOC community partners to engage with the college to deepen the conversation over time and provide input for training on topics ranging from equity in the classroom to equity at work.
  • Look for ways to make instruction of Chinese medicine more inclusive of BIPOC bodies through faculty training, teaching materials, and curriculum mapping.
  • Add to our public health course offerings and bring some of the important health disparities data and instruction to earlier in our curriculum.
  • Consider issues of inclusion widely so that our diverse campus community can grow in mutual understanding and support.

Our goals for this next phase of growth for our learning community are still forming, but at the core we are looking for transformation. Classes alone do not get us there, but rather full engagement of our community over time will be required.

Resources

The OCOM Library has gathered a resource page for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to use in considering ways to inform themselves on issues of bias in health care, anti-racism, and BIPOC experiences. Find the full reading and media list here.

OCOM is a member of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics, whose mission is to support a safety net of health and preventive services for low-income, uninsured, and under-served community members. They recently published resources addressing systemic racism as a public health crisis. Click here for the full list of health resources.

None of these resource lists are exhaustive, but a starting point. We will continue to update them and offer online updates.

[Updated January 10, 2022]

School Acknowledgement:
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine has signed and returned the certification and agreement form, and intends to use the funds to provide at least 50 percent of the emergency financial aid grants to students.

Funds Available to Students:
The total amount of HEERF I funds available to students = $50,048 
The total amount of HEERF II funds available to students = $50,048
The total amount of HEERF III funds available to students = $109,248

Funds Disbursed/Approved to Students:
Amount distributed to students as of date of report, December 31, 2021 = $169,893.14.
Funds of $41,376.50 were disbursed to students in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Total number of students eligible for HEERF Emergency Funds

Total students eligible to apply for funds = 341  
Total number of students who have received/were approved an Emergency Financial Aid Grant (as of December 31, 2021)
Total number of students who received grant = 95

Policy for Determining Which Students Did, or Will Receive Emergency Financial Aid Grant and How Much Funding They Did or Will Receive:

  1. Student submits a “Cost of Attendance Increase Form” specifying what they need, how much it will cost, and why they need it to the financial aid office
    • A receipt is not needed to accompany the request, but no funds will be issued to the student until a receipt for the approved purchase is received.
  2. Students can request up to $2,000 total for expenses
  3. The financial aid office staff reviews all requests to make sure all components are included.
  4. The financial aid office staff approves or declines based on multiple factors, including: If the student has previously received HEERF funds, and whether the request constitutes need.
    • If staff don’t know if the request should be approved, they will reach out to work with the campus committee in charge of the HEERF Emergency Funds for feedback. 
  5. The financial aid office staff will notify the student if their request is approved or denied and if approved, for what amount it is approved for. 
  6. Emergency fund checks will be sent to the students in the standard check batch process.

Instructions/Announcements for Students:
The college posted two general announcements to all students informing them of the funds being available and how to apply for the funds. 

First Announcement to students:
LINK

Second Announcement to students:
LINK

IRS Instructions for CARES Act funds for tax purposes:
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-higher-education-emergency-relief-fund-and-emergency-financial-aid-grants-under-the-cares-act

Third communication of CARES Act Emergency Funds, July 6, 2021
LINK

September 30 Quarterly Report for CARES Act 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3)
HEERF Report Q3 20

March 31, 2021 Quarterly Report for CARES Act 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3)
HEERF Report Q1 21

June 30, 2021 Quarterly Report for CARES Act 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3)
HEERF Report Q2 21

September 30, 2021 Quarterly Report for CARES Act 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3)
HEERF Report Q3 21

December 31, 2021 Quarterly Report for CARES Act 18004(a)(1) Institutional Portion and 18004(a)(3)
HEERF Report Q4 21