POCA: What’s In It For Me? Pt. 1 – Clinics

Whaddya say we just get down to brass tacks here, alright?

Now that word of The People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) has just started to filter through CAN and beyond, there are those acu-punks among us who might very well be wondering:

I know all about the Community Acupuncture business model and even make it a part of my own practice. But I took what I needed out of CAN and don’t read it much at all anymore. At this point I’m more concerned with practical things like saving my clinic money and figuring out how to go about hiring an acupuncturist here for weekend hours.

Why would I want to now join POCA?

Here are the answers to this natural musing:

1. You’ve heard of ‘strength in numbers’?  POCA will have the ability to create money-saving bulk-purchasing for its members.  How’d you like to see your favorite acupuncture needles On Sale – permanently?  POCA will move ahead with a number of initiatives that aim to give POCA Clinic members more choices for many necessary business purchases.

2. And speaking of numbers, there are many Community Acupuncture clinics that have gone on to hire multiple admin staff and acu-punks.  POCA Clinic members will have sole access to hiring, training and various employee management materials that POCA employers have produced.  And there’s also POCA’s national hiring network for community acu-punks…

3. POCA Clinic members are also able to accept any investments in time, resources or skill that POCA members may offer to their favorite POCA clinic.  These investments can take the form of anything from handing out flyers, taking care of laundry or balancing checkbooks to working the front desk or designing a website. Cooperating members, right?

4. Your Clinic membership will also bring your clinic into the spotlight as part of POCA’s ongoing Big marketing efforts – starting with CAN’s soon-to-be released Community Acupuncture documentary.

5. Looking to expand but need a few bucks to make it work? Need seed money for a new clinic? Of course you do…Joining POCA as a Clinic Member will get you access to initiatives like the micro-loan programs that will make low to no-interest loans a reality.

6. And of course you and thousands of others will see your clinic listed on the web 2.0 version of POCA’s Locate A Clinic page.

And this is just the beginning.  Among POCA’s goals is to support and encourage the growth of existing CA clinics and new additions, as well.  So as a clinic owner, be prepared for new, creative, practical and effective ways this multi-stakeholder cooperative will be supporting your clinic’s mission to provide treatments to your neighborhood. 

Once POCA’s new website launches in a few days, joining the co-operative as a Clinic Member can be done through the site itself, just as you joined CAN.  

In the meantime, POCA’s terrific membership coordinator will be waiting for you to come to your senses and call her to join today.

Call 971-400-8739.  It makes a good deal of practical financial sense for your clinic to become a POCA member.

Author: andy-wegman

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  1. Where to find more info if you’re just tuning in.

    Huge thanks to Andy for this post.  Just so you all know, Andy has been putting *countless* unpaid hours into helping our web guy set up the new POCA site, including the design & layout, functinality (including the new wiki), TWO blog pages (one geared more toward the public and patients, and one more for practitioners and students), etc. etc.  It’s going to be awesome but it has been – and will continue to be – LOTS of work.  Part of the reason we need POCA is that it will enable us to really draw on the social capital created so far by CAN (i.e. we are working on new structures and procedures that will spread the volunteer work more equitably and sustainably) and also raise a little working capital (so that we can have a small number of paid staff to do the things we can’t really do with volunteer labor).  

    So, for those of you who might be just really tuning in now, here are some places to get more info:

    There is a POCA forum on this site: https://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/forums/practitioners/poca-peoples-organization-community-acupuncture

    That’s a good place to look for more information and ask questions.

    There’s also this post (further down this page, but I’ll link it here just in case) on the different membership categories:  https://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/blog/poca-membership-benefits-and-fees

    PLEASE NOTE:  We are not expecting folks to really start signing up their patients en masse yet.  With your clinic membership you will be getting materials and information that will help with that, which we are thinking of more as “Phase II.”  So don’t worry too much about that yet, if it feels overwhelming; we’ll do it together.  Right now, we’re focusing on getting clinics signed up (“Phase I”), and making sure we have all of the inevitable signup and new-website kinks worked out before we really start the big public sign-up push.

    Also, if you haven’t read it yet – or if you haven’t read it recently – allow me to recommend this post, where Lisa “Meta” Rohleder introduces POCA and explains more of the Why:  https://www.communityacupuncturenetwork.org/blog/conference-keynote-breaking-ceiling


  2. organizations

    will there be a handy post / write up like this for organizations sometime soon? – i would like to try to help recruit my old employer (herb company) and perhaps some other businesses that might want to market to acupuncture clinics amd it woul be helpful to have something pre-written to forward to them.



    Sarana Community Acupuncture

    Albany, CA


  3. As we are rolling out

    membership sign-ups for each category we will be posting info so that folks can do exactly what you’re talking about Tatyana.  It’s great that you’re already thinking in this way.

     Right now we’ve got punk/student and clinic membership sign-up rolling along.. the response has been overwhelming.  

    Phase 2 involves patient/community sign-ups and organizational membership sign-ups come somewhere in between. We’ve still got a couple of kinks to work out re:organizational memberhsip benefits and the particulars of these.  CAN is POCA’s first organizational member.