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