Dear Members of the New Mexico Society for Acupuncture and Asian Medicine and all New Mexico DOMs,
I have been honored to serve a second term as president of NMSAAM. I am fortunate to have the confidence of the board and members to continue. Our board consists of Yvonne Walston, DOM, Vice-President; Elene Gusch, DOM, Secretary; and Steve Malins, DOM, Treasurer, with at-large members Bernadette Lujan, DOM, Amanda Wheat, DOM, Ann Losee, DOM, Jennifer Rysanek, DOM and Yvette Arellano, DOM.
Our September 15, 2019 Annual Meeting began with a 2-hour class on Bloodborne Pathogens and Clean Needle Review given by Dr. Steven Malins. Free CEU credits were provided to members for this class, which was well received and very informative. It was particularly valuable for those of us who took the Clean Needle training a long time ago. The room was full, and we even had to put out extra chairs.
Dana Millen and Donna Dowell gave an excellent presentation on the Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign. Please go to their website, https://www.nmhealthsecurity.org/, and educate yourself and your patients about this campaign. The implementation of the Health Security Plan will be of great benefit for DOMs and our reimbursement, and for our patients.
Dana Koller from the Public Relations Advisory Group (PrAg) gave our members a presentation on their work with NMSAAM. Our objective is to make acupuncture and Oriental medicine a first approach to solving health and pain-related issues. It has been my personal opinion that our profession has done a poor job of educating the public about what our medicine has to offer. There is also the challenge of informing the public about seeing a DOM instead of a poorly-trained individual using acupuncture techniques. This is a long-term project that is still in the beginning stage. We want all NM DOMs to be busy and prosperous.
Dr. Elene Gusch received a special award, the New Mexico Society for Acupuncture and Asian Medicine Community Service Award. We are very grateful to Dr. Gusch for all of her service!
NMSAAM has been busy these past 12 months!
NMSAAM members continue to be active at the Roundhouse. DOMs once again provided treatments to legislators and staff during the 2019 legislative session. Our Legislative Committee made connections to support and amend bills to give NM DOMs parity with other licensed health care providers in access and reimbursement. We were, as always, on the lookout for proposed bills that might bring harm to our profession. Our Legislative Committee is committed to remaining active during the interim sessions.
Our May 4 FunRaiser at Tiny’s in Santa Fe was a grand success! There was a good DOM attendance, along with family members and friends. Musical entertainment was provided by Dr. David Canzone and the Hot Sauce Junkies, More fun is to be expected in 2020. Our business sponsors are featured on our website.
The diligent attention and efforts of our Membership Committee have dramatically increased our membership and have made our organization stronger.
NMSAAM was well represented by Drs. Lujan, Walston and Gusch at the first full American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) Conference held in Washington D.C. at the end of May. We will continue to be active in the national acupuncture arena.
NM DOMs have historically been leaders in our medicine. Our society endeavors to continue in that tradition. NMSAAM has been active in local and national efforts to protect the public from inadequately trained health care practitioners who employ acupuncture techniques with inadequate training.
A Call to Action
During the 1981 legislative session, our first practice act was passed and was signed by governor Bruce King. The first generation of practitioners built a fantastic scope of practice and the legal and regulatory foundation for your practice. Now, it is up to the new generation of practitioners to give greater access to our fellow New Mexicans and create an even better future for all as aspects of our medicine. The future is up to YOU to create!
In our state and across our nation our profession is being presented with great challenges and opportunities. Our dreams of greater prosperity for practitioners and universal access for our fellow beings depends our willingness to be politically active. We must educate our elected officials, candidates, and state employees about what AOM has to offer. This transcends party affiliation, political orientation or ethnicity. What we offer helps to relieve suffering in ways that conventional medicine quite often fails. Public education is part of this process.
We are very grateful to all of our New Mexico DOMs who have become members of NMSAAM. We humbly ask the rest of you to join us in our mission to bring acupuncture and Oriental medicine to all New Mexicans! You can join on right here at www.nmsaam.org.
We invite you to be a part of our community of healers.
Be active for your profession and your future!
John Scott, DOM