Dr. Nell Smircina, DAOM, LAc, Dipl. OM
Mission & Principles
CSOMA Mission Statement
The California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA) is a professional association of licensed acupuncturists and supporters of acupuncture, dedicated to the preservation, advancement and integration of the art, science, and practice of all branches of acupuncture medicine into the modern healthcare model, in a caring and ethical manner, thereby enhancing the health and well-being of the general public.
Principles of Professional Ethics:
As a practitioner of Oriental medicine and a member of the California State Oriental Medical Association (“CSOMA”), I pledge to:
- Always act in a manner that best serves the interest of my patient.
- Provide competent health care with integrity, compassion, and respect for human dignity.
- Continue to advance my clinical knowledge to maintain high professional standards.
- Safeguard my patients’ rights to privacy by protecting information of a confidential nature, in accordance with the laws and regulations governing health care providers in the State of California.
- Deal honestly with patients and colleagues, and to expose those licensed acupuncturists who jeopardize a patient’s safety or who engage in deception or fraud.
- Perform only those services necessary to return patients to a maximum state of good health, and to bill patients or third-party payers only for services actually performed.
- Utilize only those techniques in which I am trained and competent and are within the scope of practice of licensed acupuncturists in the State of California. I will not misrepresent my credentials, training, experience, ability or promise of results.
- Be nondiscriminatory in hiring, employee relations, patient selection, or provision of services due to a person’s age, race, color, gender, ethnic origin, or religion.
- Support the right of my patients to choose therapeutic modalities and to refer them to other health care specialists when appropriate.
- Abide by CSOMA’s Peer Review Process in the resolution of all disputes regarding patient complaints or questions of ethical and professional conduct.
- Request all patients with complaints to submit them in writing to CSOMA, under the conditions of peer review.
- Specifically release CSOMA, its peer review entities, and all individuals participating in the peer review process, including witnesses, from any claims or liability provided they act in accordance with CSOMA’s Peer Review Process and have a reasonable factual basis for information provided or recommendations or actions taken.
CSOMA oversees legislative and regulatory matters at both state and federal levels.
We keep abreast of actions of the California Acupuncture Board (CAB) and represent CSOMA membership and the wider AOM profession at CAB quarterly meetings.
CSOMA drafts legislative and regulatory agendas to protect and enhance the AOM profession, and stays alert to other government affairs, healthcare issues, educational standards and broad-based public policies that affect California acupuncturists.
Strategic Planning & Partnership
CSOMA stays on top of current and future trends in AOM with a deep understanding of the unique challenges of California-licensed acupuncturists.
Our duty is to work as a strategic partner with the AOM profession to become even more relevant, vibrant and strong. We work with alliance organizations and regularly identify and engage industry leaders to assist us in these efforts.
CSOMA is a trusted voice among the AOM community, and the public at large.
We monitor and respond to relevant public health issues in a timely yet judicious manner. Our leadership regularly gives public comment at CAB meetings and at all Sunset Review Hearings. CSOMA writes position statements on complex issues such as the NCCAOM / CALE, and more recently, in our open letter to Assemblymember Evan Low regarding unification.
We communicate regularly with the AOM profession through Action Alerts (email), CSOMA Updates (monthly email), social channels, and through live events and speaking engagements.
CSOMA works hard to maintain a high level of transparency, and to create a culture of inclusion, camaraderie and professionalism.
Journal of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine
JAIM (formerly the California Journal of Oriental Medicine) is CSOMA’s peer-reviewed journal in its 31st year of production.
Each issue of JAIM is a coordinated effort among CSOMA’s Publications Advisory Committee, editor-in-chief or co-editors, peer-review authors, copy-editors and staff.
Continuing Education, Webinars & Events
CSOMA regularly hosts events and conferences to support and nurture the AOM profession.
Ranging from 4-day annual conferences to 2-day regional events and live webinars, CSOMA events are designed around the educational needs of members while showcasing a current theme, such as our May conference on acupuncture’s role in the opioid epidemic.
CSOMA conferences and events provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer interaction; exhibitor participation with raffle prizes; lunch and refreshments; and when possible, dancing or other entertainment.
CSOMA Committees and advisory bodies meet regularly to create positive changes in AOM policy, strategic planning, continuing education and more. See something that speaks to you? Get involved!
Public Policy Advisory Committee
Is public policy your passion? Do you understand how the legislative and regulatory process either strengthens or diminishes our profession, or would you like to learn more about it?
Public Policy Advisory Committee Responsibilities:
- Oversee legislative and regulatory matters at state and federal levels
- Follow actions of the California Acupuncture Board and represent CSOMA membership at quarterly meetings
- Draft legislative and regulatory agendas to protect and enhance the AOM profession
- Stay alert to other government affairs, healthcare issues, educational standards and broad-based public policies that affect California acupuncturists
- Recommend disbursement of AcuPAC funds and candidate endorsements
Public Policy Advisory Committee Details:
Welcomes up to 7 people
Chaired by Gabriela Pierre Partridge
Send your letter of interest to: email@example.com
Publications Advisory Committee
Do you love writing and editing and want to positively impact CSOMA’s scholarly contributions to the profession?
Publications Committee Responsibilities:
- Guides JAIM’s editorial policy and strategic direction
- Ensures quality assurance of journal content
- Selects editorial board members and editor-in-chief (as needed)
- Reviews all published materials for compliance with CSOMA’s policies
Publications Committee Details:
Welcomes up to 7 people, including JAIM’s editor-in-chief
Meets monthly (or weekly prior to release of new JAIM issue)
Chaired by Jordan Wheeler
Send your letter of interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Futures Advisory Committee
If you are a visionary and activist who can see current and future trends in AOM, who enjoys strategic planning, who knows how to better support CSOMA’s members, and who can identify and engage industry leaders, we want you!
Futures Advisory Committee Responsibilities:
- Guide the board on strategic planning
- Strengthen membership
- Develop creative new programs and initiatives
- Futures Committee Details:
Futures Advisory Committee Details:
Welcomes up to 7 people, including CSOMA’s Student Director
Chaired by Bruce Gustafson
Send your letter of interest to: email@example.com
CE & Events Advisory Committee
Do you love writing and editing and want to positively impact CSOMA’s scholarly contributions to the profession?
CE & Events Advisory Committee Responsibilities:
- Determine current and future educational needs of membership
- Plan and help implement CSOMA-sponsored classes, webinars and events
- Oversee annual conference
- Advise on educational partnerships and co-sponsorships
CE & Events Advisory Committee Details:
Welcomes up to 7 people
Meets weekly on Friday mornings, 8:15-8:45 am via teleconference
Chaired by Julie Tran
Send your letter of interest to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the people who are working hard to advance the AOM profession.
Dr. Ra Adcock, DACM, LAc
Read about Ra
Robyn “Ra” Adcock, L.Ac., DACM served on the CSOMA Board of Directors from 2014-2016. During that time, she focused on engaging students and schools, developing a faculty membership category, offering continuing education events, and creating a series of regional conferences to help gather together the profession. She served as the California representative to the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) in 2016 and attended their first annual conference in New Mexico. She also serves on the California Acupuncture Coalition (CAC).
Ra practices at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital where she serves on the progressive Integrative Pediatric and Palliative Care Team (IP3) and also participates in clinical research in the pediatric oncology department.
Currently, she is the lead clinician for a 3-year, $3 million dollar PCORI study that will access the efficacy of acupressure to relieve the most common symptoms associated with cancer treatment. It is the largest TCM pediatric oncology study ever conducted.
“This is such an exciting time to be part of the acupuncture profession! It’s like Big Wave surfing right now. Every day, our medicine receives more attention and greater acceptance in America, which creates both amazing opportunities and tremendous responsibility. It is our duty to ensure that this medicine is integrated into the West with respect to its rich, 2000-year heritage and that it is positioned to support the next generation of practitioners and patients. There is no better way to do that than by engaging in our state and national professional associations and connecting with each other. Take action! Go deeper! Join CSOMA today!”
Dr. Nell Smircina, DAOM, LAc, Dipl. OM
Read about Nell
Dr. Nell Smircina is a practitioner, educator, and advocate in the integrative medicine arena. Initially starting her education in Health Sciences with a western medical focus, she transitioned in order to expand her scope of practice and completed her Masters and then Doctorate from Emperor’s College in Santa Monica, CA. As a Co-Founder of PIQUE Integrative Medicine, a private practice in Beverly Hills, CA, she offers an exclusive experience for those wishing to reach optimal health, with the use of many integrative therapies such as acupuncture and functional medicine.
Dr. Smircina is heavily involved in the integrative medicine community. After working for years managing the teaching clinic at Emperor’s College, she has honed those multi-tasking skills to serve the greater community. She works as a consultant for different herbal and supplement companies, as well as teaching orthopedics for acupuncturists and serving as a speaker to expand the public’s knowledge of integrative medicine. Working with the veteran’s community is one of her favorite ways to use her skills outside of her practice. She’s excited to add serving on CSOMA’s board to the list of being heavily involved in this important community!
Tiffany Tuftee, LAc
Professional Director, Ex Officio President
Read about Tiffany
CSOMA’s immediate past president, Tiffany Tuftee, LAc has been an active member in both state and national associations for the past 6 years. She was the president of her school government for three years and an active student director of American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) for two years, as well as an active student member of CSOMA prior to graduation.
Tiffany has a passion for the politics and practice of acupuncture and East Asian medicine and wants to move the profession forward with her advocacy work and drive.
Dr. Bruce Gustafson, DAOM, LAc, Dipl. OM
Professional Director, Secretary
Read about Bruce
Along with his background in Men’s Wellness and Chinese Classics methodologies, Bruce has received post-graduate trainings in many aspects of Integrative Medicine, while keeping a balance in our traditional foundations. In addition to his private practice, Acumen LifeCare, he loves teaching and guiding students, having served as a clinic technical supervisor, and he is currently the Associate Dean of the Masters’s Program at Emperor’s College. Bruce was previously a student member of CSOMA for 3 years, and he continues to be very inspired as part of the CSOMA Board and the work being done to help empower our members and our profession forward, to achieve greater recognition and success for all.
“We have all worked hard and followed our passions to become acupuncturists, and this is both an exciting and a critical time in our evolution as healers. Our profession and our medicine need positive and cohesive representation, so that we can continue to educate legislators, policy makers, Western Medicine professionals, and the public, in order to gain greater acceptance and expansion within the insurance, public policy, and health field arenas. As a Board member, my goal is to continue supporting our members, as well as the students of this medicine who will soon become practitioners, to help move our profession forward and grow its acceptance, so that we can continue to be empowered, and so that more may be able to benefit from what we have to provide for health and wellness care.”
Dr. Julie Tran-Olive, ND, LAc
Professional Director, Treasurer
Read about Julie
Professional Director, Dr. Julie Tran-Olive, ND, LAc is a native of San Jose, CA. She earned a BA in Psychology from The University of Redlands in CA. During her undergraduate studies, she interned at the Loma Linda Behavioral Medical Center as a Behavioral Health Specialist. Inspired by the idea that there is more to healing than just changing brain chemistry, Dr. Tran-Olive decided to pursue a career in naturopathic medicine as an avenue to explore whole person healing.
Her studies took her across the country to Bridgeport, Connecticut where she earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and two Masters; one in Human Nutrition and one in Acupuncture; all from the University of Bridgeport. A firm believer in Hippocrates who said “Let food be thy medicine,” Dr. Tran-Olive trained with Dr. Peter D’Adamo, ND, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Eat Right for Your Type (The Blood Type Diet) at the world renowned D’Adamo Clinic. During this time she also became a Fellow of the Institute for Human Individuality (FIFHI). Dr. Tran-Olive is happy to currently be back home in San Jose, CA; where she completed her Masters of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from Five Branches University.
An avid researcher and clinician, Dr. Tran-Olive enjoys writing articles and keeping patients abreast of new treatment methods. She is the author of the eBook The Best Book on Naturopathy, a guide for starting a career in naturopathic medicine. When not researching or seeing patients she enjoys relaxing, music and spending time with her husband.
Christy Vitiello, LAc
Read about Christy
Christy Vitiello is Nationally Board certified and a California state licensed acupuncturist. She earned her Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco in 2008. She runs a private practice in San Francisco, with a specialty in non-drug pain management and sports injury rehabilitation.
Christy joined the CSOMA board to help educate the public, grow the profession, and advocate for the profession. She looks forward to the great work that can be done by a small group of people who care about advancing the profession in California, and nationally.
Dr. Karen Villanueva, DAIM, LAc, RN
Read about Karen
Karen Villanueva, DAIM, LAc, RN has been a health care professional for over 20 years. Throughout her career, she has had an abiding interest in social justice and serving low-income, underserved populations of color. She pursued her graduate and post-graduate studies at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in Berkeley, California. She completed her baccalaureate studies in Nursing at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. The focus of her Doctorate of Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine (DAIM) studies was on best practices for bringing Chinese medicine to urban School Based Health Centers. She is a current post-doc Fellow at the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine.
Dr. Villanueva currently works as a Pediatric Acupuncturist at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, in the outpatient Primary Care Clinic, a federally qualified health center, in addition to the Hematology/Oncology floor and Complex Care clinic. She is a co-investigator in a pilot feasibility study exploring best practices for establishing and expanding acutherapy and integrative medicine at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.
Dr. Villanueva also works at her alma mater as a Project Manager. Her current projects include the AIMC off-site hospital clinic internships at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (Doctoral Clinic Interns) and at the Geriatric ACE unit at Sutter Mission Bernal Hospital in San Francisco (Master’s Clinic Interns).
Dr. Villanueva is honored to join the CSOMA Board of Directors and contribute her energies in positively shaping how health care is practiced. Health Equity and upstream healthcare is of particular importance to her, and to that end her committee work will be focused on public policy, legislation, and regulatory advocacy.
Dr. Villanueva lives in Oakland, California with her wife. In her spare time, you can find her baking pan de sal, preparing delicious foods, tending her numerous houseplants, reviving the lost art of letter writing, playing guitar and singing, and listening to audiobooks (formerly known as books-on-tape).
Dr. Justin Shin, DACM, LAc, MS Pharm
Read about Justin
A growing leader in the field of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Shin was the first acupuncture intern at UCSF. He is now a medical resident at Highland Hospital’s Integrative Medicine Department in Oakland, California.
Dr. Shin is trained in both Eastern and Western medicine. He has a background in Pharmacy and working experience with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for his pharmacological research in neurology.
Dr. Shin is a passionate provider who cares for each and every patient. He aims to grow awareness for his profession on a national level through CSOMA.
Sarah Hart, LAc
Read about Sarah
Prior to becoming a licensed acupuncturist, Sarah worked as a legislative aide in the Maine Senate and House of Representatives. She was a field organizer for the House elections and has experience as a grassroots organizer to pass legislation for healthy consumer products. She is now applying her legislative experience to further the acupuncture profession by serving on the Board of Directors for CSOMA.
Sarah has a B.A. in Biology from Colby College and her M.S. in Oriental Medicine from the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College-Berkeley. She completed clinical internships at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. She has a private practice in Berkeley, CA.
Dr. Chris Goodman-Smith, MD
Read about Chris
Student Director, Chris Goodman-Smith, MD is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM) at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco. Chris is particularly driven by his interests in the intersections between Chinese and Western medicines and opportunities to integrate the two systems of healing.
Chris studied acupuncture and theory at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing, China before receiving a medical degree at UERM Medical Center in Manila, Philippines. Throughout his studies, he’s been inspired by practitioners, teachers, and mentors who have modeled the kind of compassionate, patient-centered care that he hopes to provide one day.
Read about Sarah
Recently, Sarah has become heavily involved with her local Healthcare Coalition for Emergency Management. This important work has shed light to the lack of accessibility to Eastern medicine during a disaster. Sarah hopes to further lead the TCM community to discover how they can further become involved with disaster relief.
Dr. Jordan Wheeler, DACM, LAc
Read about Jordan
Dr. Jordan Wheeler, DACM, LAc has been studying natural medicine for the last 10 years, first obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Herbal Sciences from Bastyr University in Seattle. He then earned his Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco in 2013. Having completed the didactic portion of the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from ACTCM, Jordan has since switched to the transitional Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to focus on integrative medicine care.
Dr. Wheeler served as AIMC Berkeley’s Herbal Pharmacist and faculty member for several years before relocating to Colorado in 2019. A former CSOMA Board Director, Dr. Wheeler continues as editor in chief of the Journal of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine (JAIM).
CSOMA collaborates with many organizations to achieve our goals.
Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM)
8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Phone: (952) 212-2434, Fax: (952) 657-7068
American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM)
PO Box 96503 #44114, Washington DC 20090-6503
American Organization for the Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA)
PO Box 343, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Phone: (856) 809-2953
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
P.O. Box 65120, Baltimore, MD 21209
National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP)
108 Hessel Blvd., Suite 101, Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 355-0063
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
76 South Laura Street, Suite 1290, Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 598-1005 Fax (904) 598-5001
Apply to the CSOMA Board
Help create positive changes in the AOM profession, both in California and nationally.