NCCAOM Recruits SmithBucklin for Association Advocacy to Advance
Acupuncture Services by Nationally Board-Certified Acupuncturists Nationwide

Through Its Strategic Partnership with SmithBucklin, NCCAOM Seeks to Raise Awareness about
Evidence-based Standards of Competence and Credentialing for Acupuncture


Contact: Sabrina Suarez , Echo Media Group, (714) 573-0899 (ext.227), [email protected]

Washington, D.C., (July 25, 2018) – The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® has retained John Richardson, Director, Government Relations and Health Care Practice Group at SmithBucklin to provide federal advocacy services, further enabling the ability of the 36-year-old organization to work with U.S. policymakers and regulators. The partnership is producing a three-pronged strategy to build awareness of acupuncture services as a mainstream, evidence-based approach for pain management while expanding patient access to nationally certified acupuncturists nationwide and advocating on behalf of NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturists™.

“At a time when America is grappling with an opioid epidemic, consumers are demanding non-pharmaceutical ways to treat the mind and body, we believe it is our professional responsibility to work with policymakers to shine a spotlight on acupuncture as a viable solution for opioid addiction and the treatment of pain,” said NCCAOM CEO Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., CAE. “We are encouraged by recent state and federal advances that have paved the way for acupuncturists to provide greater healing to our military veterans. This opportunity  was directly facilitated by Acupuncturists earning  a unique occupational distinction from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  We have more ground to cover; however, and that is why we’re enthusiastic to engage our government relations and advocacy team at SmithBucklin in this critical work. Together, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with policymakers committed to helping Americans make better-informed health care decisions and to meet our vision of having Acupuncture and Oriental medicine provided by NCCAOM credentialed practitioners.”

Richardson and his team will be responsible for expanding NCCAOM’s engagement with Congress, the federal and state government agencies. One of the primary NCCAOM strategic goals is to promote and advocate the practice of acupuncture as performed by NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturists™ to better serve patients nationwide in three ways:

Amplify Awareness.  The advocacy team will further NCCAOM’s policy making work with Congress, federal agencies and the private sector, enabling NCCAOM to expand awareness of acupuncture as a mainstream, evidence-based treatment strategy for pain management. To date, the NCCAOM advocacy team has submitted comments on the use of acupuncture for pain treatment to the United States Senate Committee on Finance as well as the House Committee on Ways and Means. In addition, NCCAOM has engaged with the Healthcare Leadership Council to include information on non pharmacological pain management in its Roadmap for Action for the opioid crisis.

Expanding Access to Vulnerable Patient Populations. NCCAOM recognizes that the greatest barrier preventing the increased use of acupuncture for pain management is the widespread lack of patient access. Richardson and his team are working with NCCAOM to eradicate these barriers by addressing the lack of financial reimbursement and limited availability of acupuncture services for varied patient populations, including veterans and active duty military, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and the uninsured.

Serving NCCAOM Board-Certified Acupuncturist. NCCAOM certification makes an important statement about professional competence and achievement that is recognized by regulatory bodies, third-party payers, the profession and the public. As the organization representing the highest competency standards for certified acupuncturists nationwide, NCCAOM will continue to serve its Diplomates and provide support for them in representing their professional credentials. NCCAOM expects to release a range of tools for its Diplomates to perform their own local advocacy work, as well as expanding benefits and opportunities for certified acupuncturists nationwide, later this year.

“The SmithBucklin Government Relations Team looks forward to partnering with the NCCAOM to promote awareness of and access to safe, high-quality acupuncture treatment,” said John Richardson, Director, Government Relations and Health Care Practice Group. “The non-pharmacological care provided by NCCAOM Diplomates will be essential in the continuing movement towards integrative and complementary pain care, especially as an alternative to harmful opioid prescriptions. No patient should face a barrier to treatment, and we hope to expand access to acupuncture as we work with legislators, regulators, and policymakers across the country.”

To learn more about how acupuncture can help with pain management visit the NCCAOM’s  Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine News and Resource Center. To find an NCCAOM Nationally Board-Certified Acupuncturist™ in your area, click on Find a Practitioner at


The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)® is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization established in 1982. NCCAOM is the only national organization that validates entry-level competency in the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) through professional certification. NCCAOM certification or a passing score on the NCCAOM certification examinations are documentation of competency for licensure as an acupuncturist by 46 states plus the District of Columbia which represents 98 percent of the states that regulate acupuncture. All NCCAOM certification programs are currently accredited by the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA). To learn more about the NCCAOM, or about acupuncture and national board certification visit To find an NCCAOM National Board-Certified Acupuncturist™ in your area, click on Find A Practitioner at

About SmithBucklin

SmithBucklin is the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. Their mission is to achieve the missions of the client organizations they serve and provide uncompromised stewardship for their long-term prosperity. SmithBucklin offers full-service management and outsourced services to trade associations, professional societies, technology user communities, industry consortia, charitable organizations, corporations and government institutes. Founded in 1949, SmithBucklin has offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Old Lyme, Connecticut, St. Louis, and San Ramon, California, and delivers seamless association and event management services worldwide. The company is 100 percent employee-owned. For more information, please visit or call 800-539-9740.