Birmingham Needs YOU!

Birmingham, once called the “Pittsburgh of the South”, straddles two counties, Shelby and Jefferson Counties.  The population in 2010 was 212,237 in the city and a whopping 1.13 million in the metro area.  The elevation is 614 ft, and the location is at approximately 33.30 latitude, at the same latitude as Columbia SC, Phoenix AZ, and Los Angeles.  Birmingham is in the Jones Valley, at the very southern end of the Appalachians.  Once a major steel city, Birmingham’s industrial base has since diversified.

Despite the population, there are something like 7 acupuncturists in Birmingham, with no lower-cost alternatives.  Yet the median household income in Birmingham is $26,435, 63% of the national median household income.  Clearly there is a need for lower-cost acupuncture (even if 7 acupuncturists were enough to serve over a million people!).

You may have read Jessica Feltz’s blog about the need for more CA clinics in underserved areas.  It’s one thing to be on board a CAP when there are other CAPs around.  But to go out and be a missionary, an ambassador, working with people who heretofore had no experience with acupuncture, well that’s just nothing short of amazing.

So that’s the opportunity we’re offering.  Go to work in Birmingham.  Help lots of people who really need your help.  We’ll provide the startup capital at a VERY modest interest, you decide everything else, as long as it’s POCAble*.  If you’re interested in this (and it’s a REALLY good opportunity), email  your business plan (see for free business plan templates). POCA’S Finance Circle will go over the submissions and get back to you before POCAfest (May 4-6).

*yeah, I totally made that up. You must be a POCA member.  Your clinic must be designed along the lines of the majority of POCA clinics, fit the LOC guidelines, and you must commit to running it as a CAP for the term of the loan.  You will also need to volunteer hours to the POCA organization, but we promise it won’t hurt.

Author: MMDobson

POCA Membership Coordinator and retired punk from Summerville Community Acupuncture, now living in St Petersburg, FL I have 4 Miniature Pinschers, a John Deere tractor, and a big family that lives throughout the South. Life is good.

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  1. Dear Birmingham Punk(s) To-Be,

    Your comrades in Nashville can’t wait for you to get here. We will be some of your closest POCA neighbors and we are here for you! Come visit! We have a guest room all ready for you! If you’re new to CA (or even if not), come spend some time hanging out in our clinic. We will show you everything we know. We will tell all of our patients (most of whom have friends or family in your town) about Birmingham CA. We will throw a big-ass “Welcome to the South” party for you. And if none of that sounds enticing, just go visit Birmingham. You will fall in love with the people there. Sweet Home Alabama awaits!

  2. This is so unbelievably excellent that we’ve made it this far. Whoever is thinking about doing this, you’re going to get SUCH good energy and help as the first POCA supported clinic.

  3. Take Alexa up on her offer! Her husband is an amazing cook! Though, if you’re trying to soak a new piercing, he will try to make you laugh with yodeling music. And Alexa and East Nashville Community Acupuncture are amazing too! :0)