Year One: A Few Highlights from the first year of POCA

Last August, POCA was born and its first members signed on. By October, members of the Top Circle (now Board of Directors) and Membership Circle met during the Manchester, NH Canference to hammer out long-term goals for POCA. You can read them here, in our Mighty CA Wiki: POCA Five- and Ten-Year Goals

Now, a year in, I am floored to look back and see just how much we’ve done. Let’s share a few highlights!

We launched our Clinic Success program

We re-organized our forums to ease member participation in projects and developed a variety of Wikis just for POCA projects

We got press! POCA members published articles in the UK’s Journal of Chinese Medicine; the California Journal of Oriental Medicine; were interviewed on radio and video programs; and got many mentions in national media

We held the first ever POCAFest in May, which sold out TWO MONTHS in advance, included a couple of food-for-thought speeches and some excellent post-conference discussion

We started tracking our social capital

We had reactions! To the AAAOM survey; to the ACAOM about the FPD;  and lots and lots of reactions to Peter Deadman

We launched our microloan program, the first of its kind

And finally, we are ready to build the affordable community acupuncture school the world has been waiting for: POCATech is live

Everyone, this has all happened in Year One. Year Two starts September 4th; join the General Circle at our inaugural OPEN meeting on Friday, September 7th at 3pm PDT (details will be posted in this thread). If you want to be involved in the next year’s projects, let us know! It is absolutely amazing what we can accomplish together!

Author: Demetra

I live in San Francisco but I'm from New York, and apparently it shows. I come from a family with some members who have had very troubling illnesses, and I found my way to acupuncture in trying to figure out how to help. My father's illness cost him his small business, his savings, his house, and ultimately his life. I viscerally believe that healthcare should never, ever be limited to those few with money to spare. I see every day how the practice of affordable, community acupuncture can honestly heal the world. I feel a moral and ethical responsibility to do everything I can to make this gentle, powerful community medicine available to everyone.

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  1. We never seem to take time to look back at POCA’s accomplishments. This is truly heart-warming. POCA is the only acupuncture organization I’ve ever belonged to (all the others seemed so bogged down and boring)- you all make me feel so proud to be with you in this dynamic endeavor (endeavour, if I’m being really inclusive, lol).

  2. Thank you so much, Demetra, for taking the time to mark all that we’ve accomplished so far. It can be hard sometimes not to feel overwhelmed by all the work there is yet to do; but what’s been done already is damned impressive, and bodes well. I feel very encouraged, and pretty darn proud of everyone. Good work, team!

  3. I feel compelled to say that seriously, this isn’t even a comprehensive list. Had I not gotten tired of embedding links, I could’ve made an even longer list!

    It’s amazing to see how our collective visions are being made real. And mind-blowing to think how much volunteer power is making it all happen.

    If anyone wants to add anything to the list of “look-what-we-did”, feel free to do so here in the comments.

  4. I’ve been reading a book called: How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas. Amazing stories in there, including Dr Yunus. This is from one of the others highlighted, Fabio Rosa, who has spent more than 20 years giving his life to bringing electricity to rural areas of Brazil, in an effort to assist many out of poverty.

    He was asked: “Why do you work on the projects you do? Why don’t you just want to make money?” This is his answer, and it makes me think of you, dear comrades.

    “I am trying to build a little part of the world in which I would like to live. A project only makes sense to me when it proves useful to make people happier and the environment more respected, and when it represents a hope for a better future. This is the soul of my projects.

    Looking back, many times I have asked myself exactly the same question–since there are easier things to do. But this has been the only way I feel happy. And I also believe that persistence and coherence are virtues and I like to see that I have them.

    Working on the kinds of projects I do means to dream with a new world in mind. My projects always renew my faith in a harmonic way of living, without misery. With our intelligence, knowledge and culture, it is not necessary to destroy the environment to build. When people work together, they are powerful; there is friendship. In the end, there is peace, harmony, tranquility, optimism. If there is a deeply human motivation in all of this, it is that my projects are related to practicle, doable work. We need to actuate and cause change. Even if the inspiration is romantic, it desires material results, a re-colored reality.

    About money–I need money. Money is very important to accomplish my projects. But money only matters if it helps to solve people’s problems and to create the world I described above. My projects help people around me to acquire wealth and in some small ways this comes back to me.

    It has been an intellectual and creative challenge to build models that can be used by excluded and deprived people, to create sustainable livelihoods and promote social inclusion. Creating projects, implementing them and succeeding, witnessing one’s dreams come true, is happiness. Money just makes it easier.

    For all these reasons, I work the way I do. I am a slave to my dreams, thoughts and ideas. That is all.”