Declaration on the Founding of the
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CHINESE MEDICINE AND ACUPUNCTURE
The California Certified Acupuncturists Association (CCAA) and the United California Practitioners of Chinese Medicine (UCPCM) solemnly announce that, effective immediately, the two organizations will officially merge to form “THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF CHINESE MEDICINE AND ACUPUNCTURE.”
Founded in 1983, the California Certified Acupuncturists Association has been the flagship organization representing practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncturists in California. The United California Practitioners of Chinese Medicine is a latecomer organization, but also with nearly twenty years of history. Currently, these two are the biggest professional organizations representing practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncturists in California with predominantly Chinese American membership. In the past few decades, both organizations have been devoted to the promotion of and carrying forward the Chinese medicine and acupuncture undertaking from across the ocean, making indelible, outstanding contributions that have won honors in historical writings on the development of Chinese medicine in the U.S.
On July 12th 1975, Governor Jerry Brown signed the historic California Acupuncture Licensure Act (i.e., SB86 MOSCONI) into law and thereby opened a new era for public dissemination of Chinese medicine in the U.S. For thirty-nine years, with organizational efforts and leadership from Chinese medicine and acupuncture organizations of various ethnic background, and from schools and academies of Chinese medicine, coupled with support and help from members of the political sector who have been friendly to Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and from those of other social sectors who are learned and knowledgeable, all our colleagues have been engaging in hard work and great efforts, and have overcome immense difficulties. Together, we have composed a touching and compelling chapter of history! Today, the ancient school of oriental Chinese medicine and acupuncture finally takes root, sprouts, bloom and bears fruit in this Western land of the U.S., for which we all feel proud of ourselves and are bathed in glory with no exception. This is because we are all co-creators of this history.
Reviewing the past, we believe that, to insure long-term development of the Chinese medicine undertaking in the U.S., practitioners of Chinese medicine in California shall be the primary driving force, of whom Chinese American practitioners of Chinese medicine are to be the mainstays. Currently, close to half of the nearly 30,000 certified practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncturists in the U.S. concentrate in California. However, an overview of current status of the Chinese medicine profession in California reveals that it consists of a great number of organizations representing practitioners of Chinese medicine but these organizations are scattered and each does things in its own way. Even though there has been cooperation on major policy directions, ultimately we appear standing alone and meagre in strength. In recent years, in particular, the ratio of Chinese American acupuncturists against all acupuncturists has been falling by the year. Our two organizations are clear-headed to recognize that, in order to fulfill the historic mission of developing the Chinese medicine undertaking in the U.S., the burden on our shoulders is tremendous. This is why we need to be determined to transform the current scattered landscape of the Chinese medicine profession in California. Unity is strength! The priority right now is that we must first form a stronger professional organization of Chinese medicine with predominantly Chinese American practitioners of Chinese medicine membership, so as to ensure we have the power to voice our opinions within the Chinese medicine profession in California. In addition, we need to reach out to and unite with practitioners of Chinese medicine of various ethnicities, to jointly protect and maintain traditional Chinese medicine, and to provide leadership and guidance for healthy development in the undertaking of Chinese medicine and acupuncture in California.
Time would not wait for us. On consensus of Boards of Directors and Supervisors of both organizations, which authorized the formation of a joint working team comprised of representatives from both organizations, and with much looking forward to by a great many colleagues who have been promoting such efforts, the California Certified Acupuncturists Association and the United California Practitioners of Chinese Medicine set out to negotiate. All representatives have held firm in their faith and determination, and they kept their mind open to listening to different opinions, like the sea unimpededly accepting water from a hundred rivers. For nearly half a year, they conducted in-depth and comprehensive discussions and negotiations under friendly, honest, positive, passionate and mutually understanding and accommodating atmosphere. They finally managed to arrive at a complete, joint agreement on behalf of the two organizations. Having been approved by vote by the Boards of Directors of both organizations and agreed upon by the membership at the plenary meeting, today we proclaim the founding of the American Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. History will forever remember this solemn day!
Looking to the future, the responsibilities are heavy and the way is long. After the new association is founded, we will strive to achieve the following goals: First, unite with all colleagues of various ethnicities in the Chinese medicine and acupuncture profession in California as well as in the rest of the U.S.; play a leading role in guiding the Chinese medicine and acupuncture profession toward healthy development; and develop and expand our association into the biggest and the most representative Chinese medicine professional organization in the whole U.S. Second, strive to preserve all the achievements already attained in the Chinese medicine undertaking; continue to fight with persistent efforts on behalf of practitioners of Chinese medicine for more legal rights, including striving for larger medical practice areas, higher insurance reimbursement payments, as well as higher social, economic and political statuses, and the like. Third, provide support toward boosting standards of Chinese medicine education; enhance quality of practicing doctors of Chinese medicine to actualize the goal of attaining PhD level quality of service for doctors of Chinese medicine; Fourth, continue working to fight for inclusion of acupuncture therapy and Chinese medicine treatment in state Medicaid and federal Medicare reimbursement programs. Fifth, work to bring vibrancy to Chinese medical studies; expand scientific researches on Chinese medicine; boost professional quality of Chinese medicine in all respects, thereby advancing Chinese medicine into the mainstreams of American medicine and American society.
We firmly believe the founding of the American Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture signals that the Chinese medicine undertaking in California is starting to march into a new stage of development. This is consistent with the trend of our times and is consistent with the reality of the Chinese medicine profession in the U.S. and in California. This is also consistent with the fundamental interests of all colleagues in the Chinese medicine profession. Let us be of the same heart and mind to stand to fight in solidarity, so as to jointly compose a new chapter for the development of Chinese medicine in America.
The Boards of Directors and Supervisors,
The American Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture,
Jointly with the AACMA Membership
San Francisco, California. January 11, 2015.