We asked Christy Vitiello, LAc, CSOMA Board Member and ASA member representative about the ASA’s 2nd Annual Meeting that she attended in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in March 2017.

What is the ASA?
The American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) is a national association made up of member organizations like CSOMA that work to strengthen the AOM profession. Two representatives from each association make up the ASA, and I can tell you first-hand this is a group of passionate people who are extremely dedicated to making our profession become great!

How many state associations are in the ASA?
There are currently twenty-eight state associations.

What is CSOMA’s role with the ASA?

It’s really a collaboration. CSOMA and the ASA share the same goals – like protecting our scope of practice and educating the public and talking to legislators. Together, we are constantly communicating about laws, regulation and policy.

How does this partnership help CSOMA members?

People are doing exciting things in the ASA, and we all benefit from their efforts. A great example is Mel Hopper Koppelman who co-founded and participated in the development of the new ‘Rapid Response Network’ to handle negative press and misinformation campaigns directed towards all aspects of the profession. The more support we give each other and act as a united front, the more we will achieve!

What was your key take-away from the annual meeting?
We are not alone! Having so many associations like CSOMA together in one place was both a relief and empowering. We all shared our ideas and our struggles on how to be more effective, how to serve our membership, and how to solve challenges – from admin support to the opioid epidemic.

What can individuals do to strengthen the AOM profession?
There are so many opportunities to educate the public. Opioid addiction like I just mentioned, is a perfect example. Chronic pain accounts for $635 billion spent annually, with prescriptions for opioids quadrupling since 1999. Someone knows someone who is on painkillers, so getting the word out – with health talks, community events, postcards, scientific studies that you leave in your office – anything you can do, can help create change.

Any final thoughts?

Walking out of that meeting reignited my passion for our profession. I know it can be challenging to participate, or even think we can make a difference, but this is why it’s so important to be part of CSOMA. Definitely check out the professional development and leadership page – every effort truly does make a difference!

To read more about the ASA’s 2nd Annual Business Meeting, download the full report here.

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AdvocacyInterview with Christy Vitiello on the ASA