Volume 10 / Issue 3 / July 2014
The mission of the AAC is to provide a unified voice to practitioners and students of AOM by involving and
communicating with members, educating the public, and influencing legislation to promote and protect AOM
2015 Conference Save the Date &
2014 Conference Feedback
The 2015 AAC Annual Conference will be Saturday, April 25 through Sunday, April 26. Based on survey feedback, the conference will be held south of Denver in the vicinity of Castle Rock or Colorado Springs. Please mark your calendars!
Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the 2014 conference. Here is what some of you had to say:
“The AAC is doing great re: keeping our profession in the ‘light’ – Rock On!!”
“Best conference in at least 2-3 years.”
“Time management was off. Maybe shorten the presentations.”
“The facility, while a cool old building, just was NOT a good place for this conference.”
“The facility (lodge) was awesome.”
“Great location, easy parking. Too long a day for both days.”
“Including the business meeting as a part of the conference was a mistake. It made the AM session on Sunday way too long. Loved the Tai Chi!”
“All you ask of us is $$$ and everything is always in Denver/Boulder.”
“Excellent. Informative about current and future issues concerning our profession.”
These survey comments are a good example of the many responses we received. We appreciate the feedback and are using it to shape the 2015 conference.
These are the areas attendees said they want the AAC to focus efforts:
- Dry Needling
- Public education campaign about L.Ac. training versus DC, PT, etc.
- Loan forgiveness programs
- Getting primary health care designation for acupuncturists
- National level of organization
- DOM status
- Help with starting a business
- Protection of scope
Thank you again for your participation and feedback, and for your membership support. Happy Summer!
Stephanie Shober, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Conference Committee Chair
Report from the President – Injection Therapy Status
I know many of you have been following the injection therapy status. It has been a frustrating battle and we have good news and bad news. We have been working with DORA for the past 6 months to try and create a solution, but unfortunately there is nothing that we can do until the next legislative session in January. That means that for the next 6 months there are going to be limitations on being able to procure B12 and other substances for injection. So what’s the good news?
Through this process, we have been working with the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) and the pharmacy association. Both organizations are supporting us getting the ability to procure the substances to do injection therapy. The CMS has also stated that they will help us write the bill for the next legislative session that will become law. I am not aware of any other time in our association’s history when the medical society has been as supportive and helpful to our profession in maintaining its scope of practice as they are right now. I believe that this is a great step forward in increasing communication between our two professions and building bridges that will only help us in the future.
The other aspect of this is that when we pass this bill it will be law, and hopefully we will not have to deal with this again.
I am sorry for the issues and frustrations that this has caused many of us trying to run a practice and provide the best care we can to our patients. There are a few places around the country that are rumored to be selling to LAcs. If you know of any, please tell your fellow practitioners. If you need help purchasing, especially B12, send me an email and I will do my best to help.
Remember, the state still recognizes our ability to do injection therapy. If you are able to obtain the substances for injection, you can still do it. It is our ability to procure the substances necessary for injection therapy that we are trying to get back.
Scott Richardson M.S., L.Ac.
President – Acupuncture Association of Colorado
Members are always asking what their association is doing for them. Your board is working hard within the political machinery on several important issues. The first one is getting legislation passed so that we can get prescriptive authority to procure substances for injection therapy. Through an oversight at DORA when a new bill was passed for the pharmacy industry in 2006 we were not included as being able to buy the substances that we have always purchased for injection. The problem has only been recently identified and was not on the radar screen when we did our sunset review. We have been working with the Colorado Medical Society and DORA and the Pharmacy board to come to a resolution. At this time it looks like we will have to have a bill passed by the legislature.
THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN: To get legislation passed we need FRIENDS in the legislature. To make friends we need to help our friends get elected.THIS IS AN ELECTION YEAR. This summer we need each member to be a registered voter. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself. Register as an independent if you don’t know where you fit in the political system. Be sure and VOTE in the November election.
Why does this matter? If we need you to call your legislator in the winter a staff member will check to see if you are a voter that needs to be paid attention to or if you are of no consequence because you do not vote.
EVEN BETTER: find out who is running in your legislative district and offer to work on their campaign or send in a donation. Go talk to the candidates. Let them know that you are an acupuncturist. Stuff envelopes or offer to walk a neighborhood with them. Your board is working very hard for all of us. We cannot do this alone.Legislators want to hear from their constituents (people who elect them and that they represent).
Dry needling is still on our radar and we continue to work on an effective strategy and long term solution to this thorny issue.
We are also working behind the scenes to see how we can get a seat at the table so that we can be included as an essential health benefit in the part of the Affordable Care Act that goes into effect in 2016 that includes “alternative therapies.”
George Graff is working to organize us into effective legislative district groups that can be mobilized on short notice when we need to influence legislation. Please return his call or e-mail if you are contacted by him.
Thank you for your membership, your support and interest, and all that you do to help our community.
Anne Chew, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair
Hi! My name is Robin Schiesser and I am the new Secretary for the Board of Directors. Even though I’d been a member of the AAC off and on for the past several years, last April’s conference was the first I’d attended and it really opened my eyes! This is an exciting and challenging time for our profession: We have the opportunity to be included as an essential health benefit in Colorado under the Affordable Care Act. We could receive our own professional classification under the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Standards Occupational Classification. We are facing discrimination by insurance companies for reimbursement of the services we are trained to provide and are trying to re-gain the right to procure injectables. These issues take time, energy and financial support. After practicing quietly for 12 years (four in Los Angeles, and eight in Boulder) I decided it was time to pony up and give back to the profession that I’ve so deeply enjoyed.
I’ll be supporting the Board by working with our Office Manager and Newsletter Editor, Charissa Haines; coordinating the agenda and keeping minutes of our board meetings, which have increased to twice quarterly due to the amount of work to be done; and helping other committees with their projects as needed.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or ideas. Most of all–please consider volunteering for a committee and encourage any acupuncturist friends you have that aren’t members of the AAC to join. As we all know, medical doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists are very well organized and their professional associations have large numbers of members. That translates into greater financial and political power. Together we can turn up the volume on the voice of Acupuncture!
Robin L. Schiesser, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Easing the Pain of an Acupuncturist-less Birth
Announcing Acupuncture Services in Labor and Delivery
at Boulder Community Health
When I was pregnant with my first child in 2001, I looked for a hospital in the area which offered midwife-led births and alternative medicine services. Unfortunately, these services were nonexistent in Boulder at the time. Thankfully, by the time I was pregnant with my third child, and newly licensed as an acupuncturist, the multifaceted health options for which Boulder was renowned had resurfaced at Boulder Community Hospital (now Boulder Community Health). The hospital was blessed with the Boulder Nurse Midwives, a team of exceptionally loving and gifted birth professionals.
My midwives provided an amazingly supportive team, but I was determined to further enhance my birth experience with acupuncture. So, naturally I brought my own needles to the hospital. After 24 hours of leisurely labor, I became impatient and decided it was time have a baby. I treated myself as enthusiastically as I could, in the places I could reach, and went into transition shortly after pulling out the needles. Little Eevee made her appearance 20 minutes later.
So who wouldn’t want the extraordinary support of acupuncture to reduce pain, increase the efficacy and expedience of labor, and support mom’s and baby’s health during delivery? Of course this became a priority in my private practice. My patients knew they could rely on acupuncture and herbal medicine to support them through fertility, conception, pregnancy, labor, and the postpartum period. Full service!
Several years after my BCH birth, another one of my dreams manifested itself, and I became credentialed to practice acupuncture in the hospital – one of a handful of acupuncturists on staff as Allied Health practitioners. We worked hard to provide treatments to inpatients in every department where acupuncture services were requested. Every department save one.
Acupuncturists at BCH have lacked the legal department’s clearance to treat patients in the Family Birth Center’s Labor and Delivery unit. To perform acupuncture in labor would have required an additional malpractice insurance addendum. The price tag on this particular addendum: up to $12,000 annually in addition to their current premium. An impossible amount for just about any acupuncturist.
For two years I tried to find a way to bring acupuncture into L&D, spending hours of time calling, emailing, and note-writing the credentialing, legal, insurance, and birth center powers-that-be. I looked for loopholes in the legalese. I sought alternative malpractice coverage through a variety of companies. I appealed to the Center for Integrative Care at BCH to extend their department to complementary care in the Birth Center. I solicited letters of support from the ever-willing midwives and local acupuncture college. I sought employment directly through Family Birth Center. I went as far as to consider going back to school for a nursing degree so that I could become an employee of the hospital and gain privileges to the birth center directly. All, to no avail.
The turning point actually came at this year’s Acupuncture Association of Colorado Annual Conference. Drew Henderson (also credentialed at BCH) and I both approached Marilyn Allen of the American Acupuncture Council to see what could possibly be done to make acupuncture in labor a feasible possibility for us. She said she would get back to us after the conference. It almost sounded promising.
We did hear back, and what we heard was even more promising than we’d hoped. “You are covered,” Marilyn said. I wanted to frame those words in sunshine and hang them on the wall! But first, I needed to spend another couple of months emailing back and forth with the insurance underwriters, BCH credentialing, and the legal department to finalize and fine tune 7 pages of Acu-Labor-Addendum-ese and spend a few hundred (NOT a few thousand) dollars. SO WORTH IT!
And as of June 26th, 2014 I am able to proudly announce (drum roll please)… Acupuncture Services in Labor and Delivery at Boulder Community Health! I feel like this has been my longest labor ever. Thank goodness for acupuncture to ease the pain.
Monica Edlauer, MSOM, L.Ac.
AAC Member and CAMRC Volunteer
Communications Co-Chair Report
Hello, I am excited to be a board member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado. I think our profession is awesome, and I joined the board to support our ability to be successful providers of this amazing medicine here in Colorado. Hopefully, we will serve as an inspiration for providers of this ancient art and science across the nation. Improving public awareness and access to this healing art is a big deal in today’s age of environmental toxicity and seemingly limited answers.
My role is Co-Chair of Communications, and some of the things I’m working on right now are:
- Working with Carol Braverman, Chair of Public Education, to increase education of the public through increased media messaging (acupuncture is awesome!), and toward that end, making the AAC YouTube channel a place for posting videos that serve to educate about our chosen field.
- Working with Jacqui Strike, Committee Chair of Public Relations, to increase knowledge for those in our profession on ways they can improve their success as practitioners, educators and activists through providing posts to information on AAC’s Facebook page. (And every video posted on the YouTube channel will have a link from the Facebook page for streamlining.)
- Serving as a liaison with the student council of Southwest’s Acupuncture College in Boulder so that they know what actions we are taking to further our profession. And to encourage them to take action now and after graduation.
Hopefully you find the idea of acupuncture having a stronger sway on public opinion to be a step in the right direction. Please share if you feel inclined! If you have videos on Chinese Medicine that you think should be on the AAC YouTube channel, or if you have articles on Chinese Medicine that you think should be on the AAC Facebook page, please e-mail me at: Comm.CoChair@acucol.com.
Sa’bura J. Goodban, L.Ac., DOM, RMT, NCTMB, MSW
Fundraising Chair Report
I would like to congratulate and welcome our new members to the AAC. I look forward to working with you and will plan a visit with you to see how we can all work together. Please contact me at anytime. We all would love your ideas and help.
I do want to thank all of the board members, and in particular Stephanie Shober, for a fantastic conference this year! We want to spread the word about our medicine and this conference was especially helpful.
We had the opportunity to meet Brad Claus, the COO of Zen Vault, at the conference where he was very helpful in meeting and talking to the members about Zen Vault. Brad has just informed us about the new opportunities that Zen Vault has to offer such as the technology to correspond with our patients via HIPAA-compliant e-mail. Please go to our website under Special Events to learn more about Zen Vault and all of the benefits in becoming a member. Remember to enter code AAC20 to receive 20% off Zen Vault.
BancTec is a new fundraising project for the AAC. We have teamed up with BancTec to provide credit card processing for our businesses. BancTec provides more benefits for our members and a profit sharing opportunity for the AAC.
We are working hard to provide education and advertising of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Please access our AAC website often to see all of the updates and member benefits that we are adding.
We are working with Michael Gaeta to present two fundraising classes this fall. These classes are 3 hours, giving you 3 CEU’s. We will hold a class on the Autoimmune System October 2nd, 6pm to 9pm, at the Library in Monument, Colorado. This gives everyone who practices south of Denver easy access to one of our classes. The next class will be held at CSTCM on October 29th, 6pm to 9pm, and will be on Blood Sugar. E-mail’s will be forthcoming to sign up for these events.
I encourage you to go to our website often to see all of the activities from all of the committees. We have a busy and fun filled year ahead of us creating unity, education, and advertising of our great Medicine.
I hope to see you soon.
Sue West MA, L.Ac.
Medical Reserve Corps Regional Coordinators
What A Regional Coordinator Does
- Networks your area to recruit volunteers
- Keeps a list of CAMRC volunteers in your region
- Helps to schedule local trainings if enough interested people want to become volunteers
- Is a resource for local volunteers
- Works with the incident command during an event
- Stores incident ready kit for your area
- Coordinators do not have to be the Incident Commander if an incident occurs in your area!!!
Applicant must be a CAMRC registered volunteer or intend to be within the next month.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a regional coordinator or have any questions!
11 Regions In Colorado:
North Central (AA): Eastlake, Westminster, Brighton, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Northglenn, Centennial, Aurora, Denver, Thornton, Littleton
North Central (BBG): Golden, Boulder, Niwot, Longmont, Lyons, Louisville, Jamestown, Allenspark, Lafayette, Broomfield, Hygiene, Nederland, Longmont
North Central (DE): Highlands Ranch, Parker, Elizabeth, Castle Rock, Lone tree, Franktown, Sedalia, Littleton
North Central (Denver): Denver
North Central (JC): Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada, Broomfield, Pine, Golden, Morrison, Evergreen, Kittredge, Edgewood, Westminster, Conifer
North East: Denver, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Arvada, Broomfield, Pine, Golden, Morrison, Evergreen, Kittredge, Edgewood, Westminster, Conifer
San Luis Valley: Crestone, Antonio, Moffat, Alamosa
South Central: Colorado Springs, Salida, Palmer Lake, Leadville, Buena Vista, Cascade, Florissant, Woodland Park
West/Southwest: Durango, Pagosa Springs, Gunnison, Montose, Cortez, Delta, Paonia, Dolores, Cedaredge, Bayfield, Helperus, Ridgeway, Telluride, Ophir, Telluride, Crested Butte
Regional Coordinator: Gloria Cappetto- email@example.com
Pueblo, Florence, Canon City, Cuchara, West Cliffe
Public Relations Report
In true fashion, the Year of the Wooden Horse has speedily and deliberately raced by. Wow, we have six more months to go until this year is recorded in history. So what would our highest and best self do in the next six months to make this year memorable?
First of all, reflection! Thank you to all of those who helped out with the Nine News Health Fair. Once again your communities thank you for your participation and education. I hope, in return, you received a growth in your business and a clearer idea of how to present yourself in front of the public. We do have a few more Nine News Health Fair events happening in Aurora in October if you would be interested in introducing yourself to your community. Keep an eye on the AAC Facebook page, and/or Yahoo Group for further details. Of course you may always contact me at PRcomm@acucol.com
This year we teamed up with the Colorado Acupuncture Emergency Response Corps (COMRC) and had a display at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. The intention was to do sample treatments but with the temperatures being in the upper nineties this was not conducive. We hope to do this event again next year so keep the weekend of the 4th of July on your radar if you would like to volunteer.
What is next? Our next event that all acupuncturists can use to cheaply advertise and draw more clients is Oriental Medicine Day (AOM day). The 24th of October is proclaimed AOM day by both Mayor Michael B. Hancock of Denver, and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado. We will be sending out useful tips on how to introduce yourself to the community and in return attract potential clients.
Our work on the Non Profit Chapter of the AAC, The Colorado Acupuncture Outreach and Education, is not yet complete and so my task is to gallop on and have this project finalized so that we can better assist all the Non Profit ventures in Colorado. For example, the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps (CAMRC) and the Acupuncture for Veterans and their Families (VAF). We would also like to sponsor summertime booths at farmer’s markets around Colorado to introduce local volunteer acupuncturists to their communities. If you would like to serve on the committee of the Colorado Acupuncture Outreach and Education, Non Profit subsidiary of the AAC, do email me at PRcomm@acucol.com.
The CAMRC is currently recruiting regional coordinators. Look at their article (above) to see if you qualify.
Make these next 6 months of the Year of the Wooden Horse count. Get into your flow and participate in your acupuncture community as well as your neighborhoods.
Jacqui Strike, LAc., MSCTM, CMT
Public Relations Committee Chair
Legislative Committee Chair Report
Hi my name is George Graf. I am a licensed acupuncturist here in Colorado and the new Legislative Committee Chair for the Acupuncture Association of Colorado, I’m honored and gratified to have been given this opportunity. I’ll do the best I can to make a meaningful contribution to our profession and I know that I have a great mentor in Anne Chew who has done a fantastic job over the past several years as the Legislative Committee Chair.
The legislative challenges we face will take time and patience to resolve and we will need the whole acupuncture community to be involved in some way to overcome these challenges. Everything from voting to participating in the legislative phone tree. We need to respond quickly to regulatory issues that can have a profound affect on our ability to practice without being discriminated against by insurance, DORA and other health care interests.
I have been practicing in Colorado Springs for the past 14 years and 2 years previously in California. I enjoy a thriving practice here, but I am aware that this is not the case for some acupuncturists in Colorado and that is a travesty. Everyone in our profession should be busy helping people with their health and wellness. We are the only experts in using needles to promote healing. No other profession can even come close when it comes to acupuncture or anything remotely looking like acupuncture. We are it; we should be confident that we have the most and best training in our field. But in Colorado professional discrimination has created barriers for acupuncturists to build busy practices.
The reason I joined the AAC this past March and then accepted the position on the board, was that it became abundantly clear to me that a small group of people on the AAC board had worked tirelessly to protect our profession from deregulation and manipulation by other health care interests. Those changes would’ve put me and you out of business–I didn’t want to move back to California.
Over the next several weeks I will be calling as many acupuncturists as possible to say hi and to get e-mail addresses of non-members of the AAC so that we can keep you informed about legislative issues, too.
George Graf, L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair
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