|A Publication of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine|
CEO and Chair Autumn Message: Adopting a New Mission and Vision Statement
By Iman Majd, MD, MS, EAMP/L.Ac., Dip. ABFM, ABoIM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®, DABMA, ABIHM, Certified GUNN-IMS and
Mina Larson, CEO, M.S., MBA, CAE
The last months of 2021, continue to be a busy time for the NCCAOM staff and Board of Commissioners, as we continue serving our Diplomates. Looking back, we have achieved great accomplishments in 2021 through advocacy, by providing grassroots training and guidance to our Board-Certified Acupuncturists (BCA), and the profession. The NCCAOM continues to positively impact the practice of acupuncture and BCA through collaboration with other national and state associations. Due to our commitment to excellent service to our Diplomates, we have succeeded in streamlining the recertification process and introduced several new benefits such as “My Learning” section and Digital Badging. Despite continued uncertainty, we remain optimistic that the need for our medicine will grow during this pivotal time and the NCCAOM Board Certified Practitioners will continue to be sought after.
As part of adapting to new calls from the
profession and changes in the field, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) and staff
reevaluated our mission, vision and core values. During the Summer BOC meeting,
our Board adopted a new mission and vision statement as well as new core values
to reflect NCCAOM’s role as the only national credentialing organization for
acupuncture and herbal medicine and as a leader in the field in the ever-changing
Our New Mission Statement:
the safety and well-being of the public and to advance and advocate for the
professional practice of NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists by promoting
established national standards focused on competence and credentialing.”
To better understand our mission statement, the NCCAOM
carries out its mission in the following ways:
- Document eligibility to sit for competency examinations, passage of which is required for certification.
valid and reliable certification examinations administered in highly secure
demonstration of competency maintenance and ongoing professional development
through the recertification process, required every four years.
adherence to the NCCAOM® Code of Ethics, enforced by the NCCAOM® Grounds for Professional
- Work closely with state regulatory boards for the exchange of information on examination score reports and disciplinary cases.
In order to meet the intent of the new mission statement, to promote national standards of competence through NCCAOM credentialing and to actively assure the safety and well-being of the public, the NCCAOM will continue to play a more deliberate role in advancing the professional practice of its Diplomates. We will adhere to our mission while keeping in mind our new vision statement below of having NCCAOM credentialed practitioners be integral to healthcare and accessible to all members of the public.
Our New Vision Statement:
“NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists will be globally recognized and
integral to person-centered healthcare and accessible to all members of the
public. NCCAOM Board Certification will be nationally recognized by all
employers and government entities as the standard for acupuncturists”
A good vision statement aligns with the mission statement
and core values as well as guides the
strategic plan as it sets future goals. Our new vision statement focuses on supporting
the integration of NCCAOM National Board-Certified Diplomates™ as credentialed
providers into the U.S. healthcare system while also distinguishing the NCCAOM
as the expert source for acupuncture and herbal medicine credentialing and
Our Core Values
We identified our core values below through a collaborative and
inclusive process with our Board of Commissioners and staff. Although not all
organizations have core values, the NCCAOM Board of Commissioners felt that we
must define these values as they are intrinsic to form the image of the NCCAOM
presented to the public. They are the guiding principles as they form a solid
core of who we are, what we believe in and how we want to be perceived going
forward. As a result, we adopted the following core values:
“Through its commitment to lifelong learning and the
highest quality of credentialing standards for public safety, the NCCAOM
upholds the values of integrity, community, service, inclusiveness, advocacy,
and accountability in all of its interactions and relationships.”
These core values permeate every aspect of our organization
such as how we serve or customers and treat and value our volunteers and staff.
Each of these statements is the result of a shared strategic
reflection and revision effort by NCCAOM Board and staff. During the last two
years of collaborative leadership, we have experienced more change and uncertainty
than ever experienced in the history of the NCCAOM. We have positioned
ourselves to help and inform our Diplomates, candidates and other stakeholders by
updating our procedures to assist them through the pandemic and offered
informative townhall meetings.
During the Thanksgiving season, the NCCAOM Board and staff
are particularly thankful to all of the many talented and committed volunteers
who made the accomplishments of 2021 possible. The new mission, vision and core
values will help guide the ongoing development of our organizational strategy
and goals as well as our continued commitment to you as our valued Diplomate. We
wish you and your loved ones a pleasant and peaceful Thanksgiving Holiday.
Iman Majd, MD, MS, EAMP/L.Ac, Dip. ABFM, ABoIM, Dipl. Ac.
(NCCAOM)®, DABMA, ABIHM NCCAOM Board Chair
Mina Larson, MS,
MBA, CAE, NCCAOM CEO
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2021 NCCAOM Diplomate Satisfaction Survey Results
By Olga Cox, NCCAOM COO
The NCCAOM has conducted the Diplomate
Satisfaction Survey on a regular basis since 2005. The primary purpose of this
survey is to obtain valuable feedback from our NCCAOM Board-Certified
AcupuncturistsTM regarding their satisfaction with our services as
well as providing us with comments and suggestions that will help the NCCAOM to
offer more benefits to our Diplomates going forward. As a result of the
feedback that we received from the previous satisfaction surveys, the NCCAOM
created the following new services:
Certificate of Completion Distribution system for PDA providers.
Banking functionality where PDA points for NCCAOM approved courses are
automatically reported to the Diplomate’s Recertification Transcript.
Learning” section that houses Diplomate’s certificates of completion for PDA
approved courses completed since January 2021.
Badging, a digital credential, created to be used by NCCAOM certified
Diplomates to promote their NCCAOM certification.
Diplomates can access their Digital Badges by logging in to their NCCAOM
certification account and click on “Diplomate Benefits” orange button at the
top of the profile window.
The 2021 Diplomate Satisfaction Survey was
conducted from July 1 to September 1, 2021. The survey was sent to all active
Diplomates with an email address on file (approximately 20,300
Diplomates). A total of 2,632 Diplomates responded to and completed the survey. The NCCAOM
would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the 2021 Diplomate
Satisfaction Survey. The results of this survey will serve as a new benchmark
as NCCAOM continues to strive for increased customer satisfaction. In addition, Diplomates who provided their contact
information, received a response from the NCCAOM staff regarding their survey
When combining all survey responses,
there is a 72% overall satisfaction with NCCAOM rating in the top two
categories (“Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied”).
We attribute this good news as a result
of the staff’s commitment to continuously improve our customer service and
to NCCAOM’s management who always strive toward an even higher goal of
excellence in customer satisfaction.
Graph1: Overall Experience with the NCCAOM
Graph 2 below shows the Diplomates’
perceptions on the Importance of Improvements to the Recertification
Process currently offered.
Graph 2: Qualitative and Quantitative Data of
NCCAOM Recertification Process
As a result of your direct feedback, the NCCAOM worked on the following action items:
- Additional instructional materials about recertification have been posted to the Diplomate Resources section and Certification Renewal section of the NCCAOM website.
- A link to instructional materials for CE reporting has been posted to the CE
Reporting section of each Diplomates’ Profile.
- Articles are being published regularly in the “Diplomate News You Can Use” newsletter.
For details, visit our newsletter archives.
- The NCCAOM® Recertification Handbook
is being updated to better portray the recertification process in a more clear
and concise manner.
- NCCAOM offered a Diplomate
webinar with specific instructions on the new recertification
process as well as updates on NCCAOM policies and procedures.
The NCCAOM staff is also working tirelessly to
perfect the online recertification process for its NCCAOM Board-Certified
Acupuncturists. By working closely with PDA Providers, effective May 2020,
the NCCAOM transitioned to an automatic CE reporting for PDA approved courses.
That means that PDA points for NCCAOM approved courses taken from May of 2020
going forward are posted to the Diplomate’s Recertification Transcript and
Every Diplomate Satisfaction Survey features a distinct question to help us better customize our services and products to further benefit the Diplomate population. This year, Question 5 focused on which continued services are most valuable to our Diplomates. Based on the quantitative data shown in Graph 3, the survey results revealed that the NCCAOM – ASA Townhall Meetings garnered the most interest amongst respondents:
– ASA Townhall Meetings (60%)
- ASA Federal Advocacy Efforts (54%)
Regulatory Resources (52%)
Graph 3: Qualitative and Quantitative Data of
Based on the results the NCCAOM has created a
collaborative partnership with the American Society of Acupuncturists
(ASA) and continues investing in Advocacy and Government Relations experts to
help us with this partnership and goals. Our primary goal is to advance the
value of NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ at the national level.
This requires engagement with federal agencies and Congress on legislation
impacting acupuncturists, grassroots efforts to build awareness of acupuncture
and to raise the profile of acupuncture, our Diplomates, and the value of
NCCAOM Board Certification. Visit the NCCAOM Federal Recognition
Overview of Survey Results
- A 72% overall satisfaction with the NCCAOM in
the top two categories (“very satisfied” and “satisfied”).
- There was a 10% increase in the number of
Diplomates that were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” in 2021 as compared
- A decrease of 4% in the “somewhat satisfied”
and “not satisfied” categories as compared to the 2019 survey.
- 25% of the qualitative responses are in these
regarding Advocacy at Federal Level
regarding scope encroachment
about the value of certification
for more “membership services” for the “dues”
Based on the Overview of Survey Results, the
NCCAOM will continue to educate our Diplomates about the difference between a
Membership organization and the services they provide in comparison to a
Certification organization and our work to bring value to our Diplomates’
The NCCAOM strives for excellence in
customer satisfaction. To accomplish this, we will continue to guide our
Diplomates through the recertification process by providing accurate
information to and offering unique and meaningful services.
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By Molly Giammarco, Senior Manager, Government Relations
The NCCAOM® Advocacy
team continues to represent NCCAOM certification, Diplomates, and stakeholders
by providing information to promote acupuncture services to state and federal
policymakers to include the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as other
Support for H.R. 4803
NCCAOM continues work with American Society for Acupuncturists (ASA) to engage acupuncturists
4803, the Acupuncture for Our Seniors Act.
H.R. 4803 would authorize Medicare to recognize qualified acupuncturists as
Since its introduction in late July, the NCCAOM
has worked with the ASA to help increase awareness of, and support for, H.R.
a Press Release about the bill, a Fact Sheet (English and Chinese), and
created an Advocacy Toolkit for meetings with members of the U.S. House of
an article in Acupuncture Today that provides an overview
of H.R. 4803.
two town halls to provide an overview of H.R. 4803 and guidance on ways
individuals can get involved as advocates:
30: General Acupuncturist Profession
14: AT CMA
- Launched a grassroots platform to help connect acupuncturists with Congressional
a free, weekly, small-group Grassroots Advocacy Training Series to provide
education and guidance on effective advocacy and the individual
acupuncturist’s role in advocating for H.R. 4803.
The NCCAOM is working with the ASA to equip the
profession with the resources to advance H.R. 4803. Look for more information
on the many different ways you can get involved in the NCCAOM/ASA’s grassroots
To read the full Advocacy Update please click here.
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NCCAOM Recertification: Benefits for PDA Providers and Diplomates
By Olga Cox, Chief Operations Officer and Jennifer Nemeth, M.Ed., Director of Education and Professional Development
the Autumn of 2018, when the NCCAOM introduced a new Association
Management Systems (AMS) platform for NCCAOM Diplomates and PDA providers,
our teams have been working hard to provide a full cycle automation for all protocols and
simplify labor intensity of the recertification process.
Almost three years later, we can say that the mission has been accomplished. The automated distribution of the NCCAOM® PDA Certificate of Completion, that went live in the Autumn of 2019, led to increased benefits for active Diplomates as well as PDA Providers. Results of the 2021 Diplomate satisfaction Survey show that:
- 72% of survey respondents are “Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied” with the Online recertification process; and
- 59% of survey respondents
found that “Automated CE reporting by PDA Providers” is the most important improvement of the recertification process.
Recertification Process Overview
Proof of 60 PDA/CEU credits is required for NCCAOM certification renewal along with
the recertification application and fees. PDA/CEU credits
earned within the 4-year recertification cycle must be
reported to the Diplomate’s Recertification Transcript after
course completion. PDA/CEU points for PDA approved courses are
reported to the Diplomates’ Recertification Transcript by the PDA
Providers during the Certificate of Completion distribution process. This certificate
distribution process by Providers consists of three very distinct steps:
- Certificate of completion is emailed to a course attendee.
- If a
matching attendee’s record is found in the NCCAOM database AND there is an
open Recertification Cycle, PDA points are reported
to the attendee’s Recertification Transcript.
- If a
matching attendee’s record is found in the NCCAOM database, the certificate of
completion is uploaded to the attendee’s “My Learning” section for state
purposes. The “My Learning” section is located in each NCCAOM
certification account under “Diplomate Benefits” (orange button at the top of
the profile window).
points for courses that are not directly approved by the NCCAOM, still may be used for
recertification. However, such courses must be reported by the Diplomate manually, by
reporting course details and uploading the certificate of completion. Instructional
materials on CE Reporting are available in the PDA/CEU Reporting section of the NCCAOM website.
Points to Consider
success of any recertification process depends on multiple factors. Below are
friendly reminders for Diplomates and Providers to ensure the NCCAOM
recertification and PDA initiatives are running smoothly and
Critical Points for Diplomates
Critical Points for PDA Providers
At course registration, enter your legal name
and NCCAOM ID# exactly as they appear in your online
Certification account. No prefix (Dr.), no suffix (MSOM, L.AC.), no letters in
Attendee Registration Information:
first name, last name, email address
- Optional but
desirable: NCCAOM ID#, Date of Birth
Accurate information at registration equals less clean-up at PDA Certificate distribution.
The NCCAOM is accredited by the National
Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA standards require that
certification is time-limited with a specific start and end date. NCCAOM
recertification is a 4-year period and cannot be altered nor PDAs/CEUs carried
over to the next cycle.
The NCCAOM only accepts the branded NCCAOM® Certificate of
Completion for PDA approved courses for recertification credit. Certificates created by Providers for PDA approved
courses that are a non-branded certificate are not
accepted for NCCAOM recertification.
Selecting a course from the NCCAOM PDA Search Engine assures
automatic reporting of PDA points to your NCCAOM® Recertification
Validity of course information and attendee
completion are valued in the AHM profession due to a
certificate distribution system from a secure, online portal.
Our efforts have resulted in a new, more efficient system
which offers Diplomates multiple options to recertify, from partial to a fully
automated process. Today, the new recertification protocol has saved valuable time for
Diplomates, Providers and PDA staff as well as being well received by our
To find NCCAOM PDA approved courses that will
automatically be reported to your NCCAOM® Recertification
Transcript, visit the NCCAOM PDA Search
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Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day 2021
By Chris Minar, SMS, Coordinator, Digital Marketing and Communications
October 24th, 2021 marked the 18th annual Acupuncture and
Herbal Medicine Day. During this Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine
Day, we collectively embraced safety, diversity, and the demand for
equality and inclusion. This year we also recounted our profession’s
strides towards breaking barriers and the treatment of underserved
communities. As a profession, we have much to be proud of and all
acupuncture practitioners can have a strong voice, can be a catalyst for change
and can be a bridge of healing in our complex world.
elevate public awareness that there are over 35,000 licensed acupuncturists
treating various ailments throughout the U.S., the American Society of
Acupuncturists (ASA) and NCCAOM® collaborated to
promote nationwide observations of the 18th annual Acupuncture and
Herbal Medicine (AHM) Day which took place on Oct. 24. In honor of AHM
Day, both organizations joined forces to promote acupuncture services as a
nonpharmaceutical, safe, effective, and economically feasible treatment for so
many of the ailments that are plaguing Americans today such as stress, immune
issues, PTSD, and depression in the face of this global pandemic.
Over the course of this
year, acupuncture and herbal medicine has gained prominence as an effective
treatment of chronic pain, substance abuse, mental health disorders as well as
for post COVID-19 symptoms. AHM
Day is designed to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of
acupuncture and herbal medicine to include the introduction of HR.
4803.” stated Mina Larson, Mina Larson, M.S., MBA, CEO of NCCAOM.
In honor of Acupuncture Medicine Day, the ASA and NCCAOM came
together to discuss culturally appropriate alternatives to naming
the Acupuncture Profession. The inclusive and interactive Town Hall
meeting was held on October 24th. Throughout the past few decades,
the name of our profession has had many manifestations: Acupuncture,
Traditional Chinese Medicine, East Asian Medicine, Oriental Medicine, Asian
Medicine, etc. In this webinar, we shared the history of
our profession in the United States in order to frame the conversation
about our naming. We explored the names of our field through the lens of
history, cultural humility, and advocacy. We want to engage our whole
profession (practitioners, students, teachers, administrators, institutions,
vendors, etc.) in this renaming endeavor. We have begun the
constructive dialogue in naming our profession, but the conversation is far
from over! Thank you to all who joined us for this informational day as
we celebrate Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine’s diversity and
community! Click here for webinar replay!
To help demonstrate
how the acupuncture profession is making strides towards breaking barriers and
the treatment of underserved communities the ASA and NCCAOM co-hosted the AHM
Day 2021 Instagram Photo Contest. Photo entries were encouraged to demonstrate
the following four categories: Treating underserved communities, Education
(Public Awareness or Mentoring), Breaking Barriers (establishing acupuncture in new
venues or increasing access or promoting state legislation), and Research. The
winning photos were selected by the public, based on how much engagement was
generated by the photo’s post.
The photo with the most engagement in the Treating Underserved Communities category, with 110 likes and 46 comments, was submitted by Carlos Chapa, @ChapaOMD.
Winning the Education category with 230 likes and 18 comments was Kimberley Peirano, @lionsheartwellness.
In the Breaking Barriers category there was a tie between David Cheung, @Davidscheung50321, and Adriane Dourte, @Adrianedourte. The two photos generated the same amount of engagement.
Congratulations to the winners! Thank you to all our participants for your time and effort to make this celebration shine! All photo contest entries are available on NCCAOM's Instagram Account. |
All participants with approved entries received 2 PDA points for submitting a photo and write up. PDA certificates are now easily accessible in the My Learning section of the Diplomate’s Certification Account
and the ASA also partnered with many state and local acupuncture organizations
in an effort to have the Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day
holiday officially recognized. This year Acupuncture and
Herbal Medicine Day was officially proclaimed a holiday in 15
states. To see all proclamations please click here. Thank you to the ASA
and our partnering state associations.
of AHM Day 2021 were a great success. Thank you to all who helped
celebrate Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day 2021!
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NCCAOM Diplomate Spotlight: featuring Sheridan Horning, Dipl. OM. (NCCAOM)®, LAc
Once a quarter the NCCAOM draws the name of a
recently recertified Diplomate who has completed the NCCAOM® Diplomate
Demographic Survey. This is a very important survey that provides NCCAOM
and the profession with much needed demographic information for projects such
as federal recognition.
The survey winner receives a voucher for a free
recertification and an opportunity to be featured in a Spotlight Article on
Facebook and on our website. We encourage all Diplomates to participate in this
important survey to help advance the profession and have a chance to win a free
The recent winner of the Diplomate Demographic
Survey drawing is NCCAOM Certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, Sheridan
Sheridan Horning, Dipl. OM.
(NCCAOM)®, LAc moved to Portland in 1999 because of the thriving art
and music scenes, and has enjoyed going to concerts, shows, theater, and art
performances ever since. Sheridan took her first Qi Gong
class as a teenager, and throughout the first decade, her practice
waxed and waned; however, it was something to which she always
returned. When Sheridan began at Oregon College of Oriental
Medicine (OCOM) in 2004, she was very excited to have wonderful
teachers and became consistent once again. Qi Gong is a significant component
of her self-care routine, and she has enjoyed sharing it
with family, friends, and patients since the pandemic. For the past ten
years, Sheridan has lived at Portland's Kailash Ecovillage. It's
an apartment complex turned into an urban experiment in sustainable agriculture
and community living. Sheridan studied Equity Informed mediation
and is interested in the potential of conflict resolution supported
by acupuncture and Qi Gong. Working with patients, first with massage and then
acupuncture over the past 20 years, has taught her how mindful
communication, active listening, and understanding nonverbal cues can have just
as much an impact on their well-being as other approaches. This quality of
perception is something that can benefit both individuals and the interpersonal
dynamics within relationships.
NCCAOM: It is wonderful that you are an NCCAOM National
Board-Certified Acupuncturist practicing at RiverWest Acupuncture Portland,
OR. Tell us a little about RiverWest Acupuncture?
Sheridan: Former board member and alumnus of the Oregon
College of Oriental Medicine, Lisa Francolini, took
over RiverWest Acupuncture in 1998. I joined in 2016, because I
respected all that she had done to grow the practice and appreciated
the opportunity to devote my focus on providing patient care, since our support
staff handles billing and scheduling.
To read the full Diplomate Spotlight please click here.
To visit the new Diplomate Spotlight web page please click here
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