NCCAOM Diplomate E-News You Can Use: Summer 2023

In This Issue:

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day 2023

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The annual celebration of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine (AHM) Day on October 24 will be here soon. Each October 24th, the AHM profession celebrates Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day, paying homage to the remarkable history, and impact of acupuncture and herbal medicine on countless people worldwide. To honor this AHM Day, the NCCAOM and the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) are coordinating many opportunities to celebrate.

Continue reading to find out how,
you can celebrate AHM Day 2023 with Us!

Photo Contest

This year AHM Day presents an exceptional and significant opportunity for us to express and share our profound appreciation and admiration for acupuncture and herbal medicine with the entire world. AHM Day serves as a platform for practitioners, patients, and students to come together and highlight the myriad reasons why acupuncture holds a special place in our hearts.

Show the world your love for Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine with your photos.

2023 Instagram Photo Contest
August 15 – October 15, 2023

AHM Day festivities have begun early as we are already receiving and will be posting entries for the 2023 Instagram Photo Contest to our Instagram feed on October 1, 2023. Entries are posted in the order they are received.

Winners will be announced on October 24, 2023!

All approved entries receive 2 NCCAOM PDA points and are posted on the NCCAOM Instagram , Twitter and Facebook pages. The winning photos will be posted on the NCCAOM, ASA and AHM Day websites and featured in our AHM Day Town Hall meeting. Winning Photo entries will also receive a free voucher towards NCCAOM Certification or Recertification.


  1. Follow NCCAOM on Instagram
  2. Submit Photo(s) and brief description fitting the categories below:
  • I love what I do (Acupuncture and/or Herbal treatments) – practitioner’s perspective.
  • I love Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine – patient’s perspective.
  • I love learning about Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine – student’s perspective.

*One winner will be selected from each of the categories*

*Note: photos showing individually identifiable patients or patient information are considered protected health information. Patient consent is required for posting.*

  1. Submit a video explaining one of the above categories (e.g., why you love acupuncture). *Minimum 30-90 seconds*

Submit Photo Here

  1. Earn points by engaging with your entry (see scoring rubric below):

*The earlier you enter, the more time your post has to earn points*

  • Follow NCCAOM and ASA = 10 points
  • Submission = 1 point
  • Comments = 2 points
  • Comment and tag 2 users = 3 points
  • Use of #AHMDay, #Acupuncture,
  • #NCCAOM, or #ASA = 1 point each

Town Hall Celebration

The NCCAOM and ASA will co-host a virtual Town Hall meeting to celebrate Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day. The Town Hall will be co-hosted by Afua Bromley, DACM, LAc, Dipl Ac (NCCAOM) & LiMing Tseng, DAc, LAc, Dipl OM (NCCAOM), co-chairs of the NCCAOM & ASA Cultural Competency Task Force.

Town Hall guest speakers Angela Ying Tu, OMD, LAc, and Beth Howlett, DAOM, LAc  will share their acupuncture professional leadership experiences. Their inspiring stories highlight the contributions of practitioners in the United States whose work significantly impacts the foundation of our profession.

The Town Hall is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 7:00 PM EDT. All Licensed Acupuncturists are Encouraged to Attend.

Register Here

AHM Day Marketing Materials

The NCCAOM has once again partnered with Acupuncture Media Works and AcuPerfect Websites to offer free marketing materials and a raffle drawing for a Free Premium website for Acupuncturists to promote AHM Day online and in their communities. These free marketing materials will be available for download on the AHM Day website.

AHM Day Events

The NCCAOM and ASA are hosting the annual AHM Day event drive. The event drive is your chance to host a virtual or in-person event to help your community celebrate AHM Day. 2 NCCAOM PDA points will be awarded to NCCAOM Diplomates that register an event and submit photos showing the celebration. Register your AHM Day celebratory event on the AHM Day website.

Be the voice, be the bridge, be the change. Be a part of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Day, 2023.

By coming together on AHM Day, we have the power to dispel misconceptions and myths surrounding acupuncture and herbal medicine, promoting evidence-based information and encouraging an open-minded approach to this amazing medicine. Through education and storytelling, we can inspire others to explore the incredible potential that acupuncture and herbal medicine holds for their own health and wellness journeys.

In essence, AHM Day is a time to join hands and hearts in celebration of the ancient wisdom and modern-day relevance of acupuncture and herbal medicine. It is an invitation to share our personal experiences, success stories, and testimonials to inspire a broader appreciation and recognition of this profound healing modality. Let us seize this opportunity to empower and enlighten others about the wonders of acupuncture and herbal medicine and its positive impact on our lives and the world around us.

Details may be found through the AHM Day website.

2024 NCCAOM Job Analysis (JA)

The NCCAOM conducts a JA at a minimum every five years to update the NCCAOM exam content outlines to reflect current, entry-level acupuncture and herbal medicine (AHM) practice. As NCCAOM administers the only national survey of the AHM profession, the NCCAOM can establish a practice-profile of licensed acupuncturists by surveying practitioners for job-related data.

Stay tuned for 2024 NCCAOM Job Analysis Survey announcement. Your input is very important to us.

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NCCAOM Advocacy Update – Summer 2023

Person working at desk with many files and papers.

The NCCAOM® Advocacy team represents NCCAOM certification, Diplomates, and stakeholders by providing information to promote acupuncture services to state and federal policymakers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as other stakeholder groups.


Update on The Acupuncture for our Seniors Act
The NCCAOM advocacy team continues its work on Capitol Hill to generate bipartisan support for H.R. 3133, the Acupuncture for our Seniors Act. Championed by Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA),which was introduced in May. H.R. 3133 would authorize CMS to recognize qualified acupuncturists as healthcare providers. To date, H.R. 3133 has 10 co-sponsors, a mix of previous co-sponsors and new sponsors obtained in the past few weeks with the help from many of you.

Sign up for Virtual Congressional Meetings 
The constituent voice is a powerful part of the legislative process and acupuncturists provide a unique and compelling perspective on why this bill is critical to the Medicare program, as well as to the profession. If you are interested in signing up for a virtual Congressional meeting, please scan the QR code below or follow this link to sign up. We’ll take care of everything for you (scheduling, talking points, preparing you) and will participate in these meetings with you. A big thank you to those who have already participated in Congressional meetings this year. If you participated in a meeting in 2021-2022, we welcome your help in the 118th Congress – sign up here to meet with your Representatives again!

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Grassroots at your Fingertips
The ASA/NCCAOM team will also use our grassroots software platform to help you, your patients, Senior Citizens, and general supporters of the profession contact Congressional Representatives about H.R. 3133 by texting any of the following phrases to 52886. After sending your text, follow the generated link to a composed email and Twitter message that you can send to your Representatives as is, or modify to provide additional information.

Text any of the phrases below to 52886 and follow the link you’ll receive in reply:

  • “Acupuncture” – Acupuncture Campaign
  • “Student” – Student Campaign
  • “Acupuncture Patient” – Patient Campaign
  • “Acupuncture Senior” – Senior Citizen Campaign
  • “Acupuncture Ally” – Ally Campaign

Example: If you’re an acupuncturist, type Acupuncture to 52886, if you’re a student, type Student to 52886, etc.

Student Virtual Call on Congress
Know an acupuncture student who would be interested in helping us support H.R. 3133? Tell them about the ASA/NCCAOM Student Virtual Call on Congress event. This fall, students will have the opportunity to take part in Congressional meetings with NCCAOM advocacy staff to encourage support for H.R. 3133. The student voice plays a critical role in this effort and the ASA/NCCAOM advocacy seeks to highlight that voice. Students will receive training and talking points ahead of Congressional meetings. All participants must successfully complete a training quiz to participate in Congressional meetings. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

The NCCAOM Advocacy Represents You
The NCCAOM advocacy team works tirelessly to advocate for its diplomates—you. If there is an issue, challenge, or opportunity you would like to convey to the team, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Read more about the NCCAOM’s advocacy efforts at the NCCAOM Advocacy Page. Please contact the NCCAOM Advocacy team with any questions regarding the NCCAOM’s Advocacy efforts and ways to get involved.

The NCCAOM Advocacy Team

Enhanced Find A Practitioner (FAP)  Directory For Diplomates

New and Enhanced Directory for NCCAOM Certified Diplomates is now ready. Now, NCCAOM Diplomates have an option to add their profile picture, office pictures (up to four (4)), practice locations (up to three (3) practice locations), practice description, health Conditions treated, and language spoken.

It is a Diplomate’s choice to provide all information included in the enhanced directory listing. Diplomates can enhance their directory listing by following steps outlined at the link: Enhancing FAP Directory Listing.

Click Here for a sample preview of a fully updated public-facing profile in the NCCAOM Find A Practitioner (FAP) Directory.


Recertification Made Simple

Person working at desk with many files and papers.

Background: As we persistently work towards enhancing our credentialing procedures, our primary emphasis is on the improvement of our Recertification process. The foremost objective here is to ensure a streamlined and efficient experience for Diplomates, all the while upholding industry best practices.

We recognize the value of streamlining administrative procedures, reducing unnecessary complexities, and minimizing time investments for practitioners seeking recertification. Traditionally, submitting courses and credits for recertification often involves a time-consuming and manual process, requiring practitioners to compile and submit documentation for each individual course they have undertaken.

The concept of CE Banking originated in 2019 as a response to the need for streamlining the process for Diplomates to renew their certification. The CE Banking concept aims to revolutionize the recertification process by allowing PDA Providers to report PDA points for approved courses directly to the Diplomates’ NCCAOM Recertification Transcript. The Diplomate’s Recertification Transcript not only ensures secure storage of essential information but also serves as a comprehensive record of professional development.

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Benefit: Come the time of recertification, Diplomates can submit an online recertification application and draw upon their Recertification Transcript (CE Bank), eliminating the need for piecemeal submissions. This innovation considerably reduces the administrative complexity associated with renewing certification, ultimately saving practitioners valuable time and effort.

By introducing the CE Banking functionality, the NCCAOM demonstrates its commitment to supporting healthcare professionals by fostering efficiency and convenience. This forward-thinking approach not only enhances the experience of Diplomates but also reflects the organization’s dedication to adapting to the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.

While the introduction of innovations like CE Banking aims to streamline the process, we recognize that a complete elimination of manual course submission is not feasible for many reasons. To keep recertification requirements flexible, we couldn’t eliminate the manual submission of courses and activities as NCCAOM accepts professional activities and courses that are approved by other healthcare professional organizations and state acupuncture regulatory boards. In summary, Diplomates can use manual reporting option when reporting Professional activities or courses that are not directly approved by the NCCAOM.

The Major Critical Requirement for CE Banking to work properly lies in the proper course registration process by Diplomates. It is sole responsibility of a Diplomate to ensure their First and Last name as well as the NCCAOM ID number entered during the course registration process are the same as reflected in their NCCAOM certification account.

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Important to remember:

  • Middle names/ professional designations/ titles should NOT be added to the First Name, Last Name fields and
  • the NCCAOM ID# may contain 3 to 6 digits only and cannot contain any letters or characters. If you don’t have an NCCAOM ID#, you should leave the field blank.

How it works: PDA Providers distribute certificates of completion for PDA approved courses to all course attendies. NCCAOM Diplomates, if registered for courses properly, directly benefit from this certificate distribution process in that, they also get PDA points for approved courses reported to their NCCAOM Recertification Transcript. All Diplomates may monitor their Recertification Transcript by regularly logging in to their Certification Portal and clicking on the “Details” link in the Recertification section:

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The power of a unified CE management tool lies in its ability to empower Diplomates to take control of their continuing education journey. By seamlessly integrating the diverse range of learning experiences, this tool ensures that both face-to-face and virtual education are appropriately reported and readily accessible for the next certification renewal. Ultimately, it supports the growth and evolution of healthcare professionals in a comprehensive and dynamic manner.

New-and-Improved NCCAOM Free Website Benefit

For your wellness practice to thrive in the modern world, you need to have the best visual representation on the Internet.

That is why NCCAOM and ChiOnline are proud to announce the release of a new-and-improved NCCAOM Free Website benefit for your acupuncture and Herbal medicine practice that will attract new patients, boost your referrals, and build the wellness practice of your dreams.

Create Your New Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Site in 2 Minutes:
Just click this link and then click the “Sign Up” button at the top of the screen:

To upgrade your existing NCCAOM/ChiOnline site, click the big yellow “post-it note” at the bottom of the main Control Panel Screen.


PEDC Initiative Status Update

Person working at desk with many files and papers.

In recent months, the NCCAOM’s Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Committee (PEDC) has been dedicated to raising awareness and providing support for NCCAOM Board-Certified Diplomates and the acupuncture and herbal community. The PEDC has collaborated closely with state licensing boards across the nation to establish and execute a cooperation agreement for sharing disciplinary data between states and the NCCAOM. This collaborative data sharing is a significant advancement in safeguarding the profession and preventing acupuncturists facing disciplinary actions from relocating to evade accountability. The ongoing communication between these organizations will strengthen community trust and deter those who do not adhere to our stringent safety and ethical standards from harming the hard-earned reputation of our Diplomates.

Our PEDC remains committed to maintaining safety and ethical standards in our profession. Please report any incidents or concerns to the NCCAOM through the following methods:

  1. Send an email to [email protected]with the state complaint or investigation documents and your details of the incident(s) or concern(s) within 30 days of learning about it.
  2. If the 30-day window is within your certification or recertification application submission: Include the above listed information when you’re applying for certification or recertification.
  3. Utilize the built in reporting tool, which can be found at Professional Ethics and Discipline | NCCAOM, please select “PEDC” complaint form” in the left-hand menu.>

Since our inception in 1982, the mission of the NCCAOM has been to assure the safety and well-being of the public and to advance and advocate for the professional practice of NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists. The cooperation agreement between states and the NCCAOM reflects our fundamental principles and propels the profession towards a secure and well-established future.

NCCAOM Volunteer Spotlight: Featuring
Valerie Hobbs, DAOM L.Ac., Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)®

The NCCAOM has had the privilege of working with dedicated NCCAOM’s volunteers who have served the organization for many years in varying capacities and on a multitude of committees, taskforces, panels or as an NCCAOM Board Commissioner. Their work often goes unseen by the public, but they are an integral part of our organization. In this newsletter we are featuring one of these dedicated and valued volunteers, Valerie Hobbs.

Dr. Valerie Hobbs, DAOM L.Ac, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM)®, earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree from Ohio University in 1975. Immersed in the self-sufficiency, back to the land movement of the late 1970s and 1980s, Valerie embarked in training as a direct entry midwife in 1978 and maintained a home birth practice in Ohio and later in Colorado until 1995. In 1983, she became an EMT-Paramedic and worked until 1986 on a rural ambulance service. In 1995, she earned her Diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver, Colorado. She had a private practice until 1999 when she became the Campus Director at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, where she was also a Full Professor. In 2007, she earned her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College. In 2017, she earned her Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She became a Associate Professor, the Director of the Post-Graduate Programs and finally Director of ACTCM. In 2021 She re-located to Portland where she is and instructor and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Hobbs specialties in acupuncture are sports acupuncture and TCM Gynecology. She joined the NCCAOM Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Review Commitee in 2003.

Question: What motivated you to begin work as a volunteer for the NCCAOM all those years ago?

Answer: I was hired into acupuncture college administration at Southwest Acupuncture College in 1999. Part of my job involved attending the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine meetings. At that time, professional association meetings of the NCCAOM, ACCAHM, and CCAHM were held around the same time as the national professional organization meetings. I got to know the founders and leaders of the national associations, and engaged the discussions and projects that moved the professional forward in the second and third decade after its founding in the US. I participated in NCCAOM exam writing workshops, and when the Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Committee was looking for volunteers, I felt that upholding a high professional standard would be a way to support the growth of the profession. I have spent the latter part of my work life educating future practitioners, and it seemed to me to be an honor to be supported by the sweat equity of aspiring practitioners, so I felt that if I had an opportunity to volunteer, it was in recognition of that honor. I was able to devote the time and offer my own hope and vision to give back to a profession I deeply respect.

Question: What has kept you so passionate about your continued involvement with the NCCAOM?

Answer: When I first came on to the PEDC, most of the work we did was around exam integrity. It was, and is, important and vital work, because patient safety is ultimately what is being upheld. As the profession grew and the NCCAOM moved to electronic and professionally proctored exams (yes, when I first started, exams were given twice a year on paper!), the nature of professional discipline shifted. Like other health professions, acupuncturists rarely but sometimes make unethical and sometimes illegal choices that are incompatible with public safety. I once testified in a state re-licensing hearing, and at the time there had been very few complaints to the state regulatory body about acupuncturists. I was asked a question by a state Senator about why acupuncturists needed to be regulated. I was able to relate to the hearing committee that the reason there were few complaints was partially about the education and national certification required to treat patients in the state and the important work the NCCAOM PEDC had done to prevent a person who had a license revoked in one state from simply moving to another location. Public safety comes into sharp relief when you receive a credible account of a time when a patient was not safe. I want to do my part in making sure those instances remain rare.

Question: What are the biggest changes that you have seen on the Professional Ethics and Disciplinary Committee throughout your years of serving?

Answer: Other than moving exams from paper to computer?  I was on the committee before the current chair, Michael Taromina, joined the committee. The Committee always did important work, but Michael has provided invaluable leadership in shaping the current code of ethics, and in strengthening the focus of the work to better serve the public. My observation is that the PEDC work was almost in reaction to the issues that came before us, but certainly in my second decade of service, has become increasing proactive. The cases have become reflective of the need to make sure that the most serious of offenders of professional ethics (and sometimes law) do not continue to have NCCAOM certification.

Question: What is the PEDC currently focused on?

Answer: The PEDC is currently focused on developing MOUs with state regulatory boards so that disciplinary actions by either the state or the NCCAOM are mutually reported. Under Taromina’s leadership, NCCAOM staff as well as PEDC committee members began closely monitoring public state disciplinary decisions. We have moved beyond self and uneven state reporting. Our work has re-focused on upholding the national standard that is the core mission of the NCCAOM.

Question: What do you wish other people knew about the fields of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine?

Answer: If I get a wish, my wish isn’t for increased knowledge of the field per se, it’s about increased patient access. The NCCAOM’s leadership to ensure that we are a recognized profession within the US Bureau of Labor lead to acupuncturists being hired within the VA system. Researchers are producing quality studies about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in multiple settings. Our professionals caring for their patients every day have forged a steady revolution in patient care. The work of acupuncturists within US hospitals is stunning in its impact on quality of patient care. We are graduating the most remarkable new practitioners! If the field is to thrive into the next fifty years, it needs to be accessible to more patients.

Question: What might someone be surprised to know about you?

Answer: I was an acupuncturist at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. There were no official acupuncturists on the Olympic medical team, and very few (if any) teams had acupuncturists. A day spa was one of the cutting-edge treatments offered to athletes in the Olympic Village. After a segment about the day spa aired on NBC’s Today Show, a colleague that I knew from the National Sports Acupuncture Association (an organization no longer in existence) contacted the owner of the spa and asked if they would like to offer acupuncture. We got day passes in order to offer our services. I remember treating the knees of a hurdler, trigger finger, and the Netherlands water polo team came back for repeat treatments. Acupuncture was so new that we were not busy the whole day, so I got to enjoy lunch in the Olympic dining hall. I traded a number of pins while there, and still have them.

Question: What do you do when you’re not working?

Answer: I love to cook. Hosting dinner is a real treat for me. Living here in Portland, I get to walk a bit in a beautiful and sometimes challenged city. Good friends, good music, good times and looking forward to visits with family feed my soul.

Question: Anything else you’d like to share?

Answer: Not everyone will find fulfillment in doing work for their profession. I happen to like being at the table when decisions are made, so volunteering was a good fit for me. Being a kind, generous, very competent practitioner who keeps up their membership to their professional association also moves a profession forward. To the generations of practitioners who will follow, you have to invest. What has been created out of nothing in this profession is not self-sustainable.  I would encourage showing up in any venue that moves the profession forward so that more patients can access acupuncture and Chinese herbal care.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of the
NCCAOM Diplomate E-News You Can Use!