Thursday, September 26, 2013

President’s Message : A New Look

As students and faculty members returned to the campus for the beginning of the fall 2013 trimester they were greeted by a new look in several of the busiest areas of the Yo San University (YSU) Building. The lead story in this edition of Communi Qi recounts the significant expansion of the YSU Community Clinic, the relocation of the University’s Administrative suite to a remodeled space on the third floor and the installation of new carpeting in the lobby and corridor areas of both the second and third floors. While these completed projects are obvious and concrete reminders of change and renewal, we all need to keep in mind that in a dynamic university environment, such as exists at Yo San, there is more subtle change that is taking place in the form of the never ending refinement of curricula, courses, syllabi, teaching methods, facilities, equipment and administrative procedures. Yo San University is committed to a process of continuous quality improvement on all levels. Refinements in content, process and facilities result only from a comprehensive and cyclical system of assessment where all aspects of University function—academic, social, spiritual, physical, financial, administrative and more —are engaged in a feedback loop of evaluation, data analysis, and improvement. At Yo San we refer to the process succinctly as “Assessment and Action.” That brief phrase affirms that not only are content and process examined and evaluated, but also subsequent changes are proposed, approved and implemented. The assessment loop must be continuous and complete. You are the most important part of the assessment loop. Yo San University faculty, administrators, student government leaders and others depend on your honest and candid feedback so that they can authentically actualize their roles consistent with the University’s commitment to continuous quality improvement. The next time you are asked to participate in a course evaluation, a survey, a focus group, or other assessment process, know that the data and/or narrative feedback that you supply will be a valued part of the University’s commitment to improvement every year, every trimester and every day at every level of our operation. At Yo San University there is a” new look” every day!

- Larry Ryan

You are invited to TOW Open House

Tao of Wellness Open House 

Friday November 1, 2013 at 3-5 pm.

Dr. Daoshing Ni, Dr. Mao Shing Ni and Associates invite Yo San University students and alumni to visit our new Santa Monica office. Dr. Dao and Associates will be discussing our Fellowship Program, Internship Program and other opportunities available at Tao of Wellness.

 Call 310 917 2200 to RSVP

Five New Bills You Need To Know

AAAOM Details Push For Five New Bills To Help Acupuncturists 

 Throughout the last year, AAAOM (American Association of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine) has been busy working on drafting a series of five new federal acupuncture bills. These five bills will have a direct impact on acupuncturists around the country as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rolls in. AAAOM leaders answered a few pressing questions about the bills for Acupuncture Today and detailed how you can get involved.

Read More at Click Here

Cooking with Shuilan : A Special YSUSA Event

On Thursday September 26, 2013 the Yo San University Student Association (YSUSA) sponsored a special event, “Cooking with Shuilan.”   How did the student group know that our University Bursar of nearly 24 years is also an expert cook with a specialty of utilizing fresh ingredients—especially  raw herbs in her recipes?  The sure answer is “word gets around,” or better yet, the aroma of quality cuisine always draws a crowd.  The aroma factor is especially on target since for years, Shuilan May has used the cooking facilities of the second floor student lounge to prepare her lunches.   The “Cooking with Shuilan” event, organized by YSUSA president Emily King, was a decided hit!  More than 25 students were captivated by the menu of the day all prepared quickly and easily before their eyes, and with samples of all dishes for the discerning student palates.  The menu began with the preparation of a black fungus and cucumber salad—a sure heart healthy meal starter, and proceeded with the secrets of chicken Danggui soup, a favorite that is especially conducive to women’s health.   Within that quick hour of demonstrations  (Hey, this woman could easily be the next Martha Stewart), Shuilan also shared the multiple ingredients of red bean porridge—with is unmistakable lotus seed and tangerine peel flavoring.  For dessert the group was awed by the Eight Treasure Ba Bao Fan dish, flavored with “eight jewel toppings” including (among others ingredients) walnuts, ginko, lotus seeds, longan and red bean paste.   Now that is healthy eating!

DAOM Program Earns Full Accreditation

Yo San University is very pleased to announce that effective September 16, 2013 its Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) Program has been awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). The announcement of accreditation by ACAOM followed more than ten years of development of the program and four years of its implementation. The accreditation process included significant examination of the program at the stages of “Substantive Change” achieved in 2009, and “Candidacy” achieved in 2011, and culminated in the March 2013 site visit by four distinguished doctoral level peer site visitors, who again scrutinized all aspects of the program. Their observations resulted in the generation of a report that designated “compliance” regarding each of the fourteen rigorous program standards specified by ACAOM.
The Yo San University DAOM Program, which has already graduated two cohorts, has two specialty areas: Reproductive Medicine/Women’s Health and Healthy Aging/Longevity. Besides advanced training in the specialty areas, the program provides intensive didactic and clinical work in integrative medicine as well as a carefully supported component that facilitates the on-time completion of a quality original research project by each candidate. For nearly a decade and a half the Yo San University Board of Trustees has provided the vision for the planning and implementation of the program. In addition to the institutional support, all DAOM students, alumni, faculty and staff members, and especially DAOM Program Director, Dr. Andrea Murchison, deserve hearty congratulations for making this milestone achievement a reality.

Clinic Expansion Heralds a New Model for Clinical Supervision Interactions

Both new and returning students arrived on campus on September 3, 2013 to a greatly transformed Yo San University environment.   Steady enrollment growth in the past several years necessitated the expansion of the Yo San University Community Clinic on the second floor of the building so it will more comfortably accommodate the rising number of MATCM and DAOM candidates who gain supervised experience as interns at the on-campus facility.   The clinic expansion was accomplished through the relocation of the YSU Administrative offices to the space formerly occupied by the Playa Physical Therapy offices on the third floor.   The expanded clinic provides five new treatment rooms, two generous storage spaces, plus a large “work room” specifically designed to facilitate enriched interactions between interns and supervisors.   The expanded space adjoins the existing clinic corridor near the east end of the clinic facility.   One of the most obvious changes in the expanded arrangement is that no longer will interns and supervisors have separate work and “hanging out” spaces.   With the start of the Fall 2013 trimester, while on duty in the YSU Community Clinic, both interns and clinical faculty members will engage in clinical supervision interactions in a single large common space.  The new supervisor/intern work room will greatly enhance the quality of clinical supervision interactions. While increasing opportunities for collaborative learning between students and clinical faculty members, our interns will experience increased instances of professional role modeling, a factor that is essential for successful entry and advancement in the profession.  The expanded spaces are fully data cabled, an important upgrade in preparation for the fast approaching 2015 requirement for the Community Clinic to engage Electronic Medical records.  The original clinic spaces will also benefit from data cabling in the near future.   All of the new clinic spaces have been decorated with fresh soothing colors and equipped with brand new furnishings, heat lamps, storage cupboards and other amenities.  The expanded Community Clinic Space highlights Yo San University’s commitment to quality education and community service by providing state of the art facilities.
 Because of the need for second floor clinic space, the hard working members of the Yo San University administration moved to a completely remodeled space on the third floor.  The new administrative office space boasts a open look with extensive glass panels along the third floor corridor as well as inside the new suite.  The central area of the administrative suite is furnished with attractive cubicles finished in sound absorbing materials providing a quiet dignified presentation to students and visitors.   Two reception counters provide easy access for inquiries and the engagement of routine academic transactions.   The central area is surrounded by the relocated Bursar’s Office, the President’s Office and offices for the Financial Aid Coordinator, Academic Deans and Director of Enrollment Management.   The overall result is a bright and airy environment that provides necessary privacy for student advisement and financial counseling while providing easy communication and staff interactions.   The relocation of the Bursar’s office from its former remote second floor location to the new third floor suite offered the opportunity to create the doctoral program center in the suite formerly occupied by the Bursar at the end of the second floor corridor.
In addition to the major build out and remodeling of the clinic and administrative spaces, both the second and third floor corridors and the clinic corridors have been re-carpeted in a cool and sophisticated charcoal/blue  tone.   The expanded clinic, the relocated administrative suite and the new corridor floor coverings greatly enhance the overall presentation and comfort of our campus.

"A Day on the Queen Elizabeth" with Dan Danforth, Class of 2012

It is nine AM and the Queen Elizabeth has just cleared immigration and customs.  A seeming formality for small islands like this...clearing bigger ports is much more bureaucratic.  Five of us from the spa are in the crew-line to get off ship, waiting for guest tours to finish disembarking.  It was nice to sleep in a couple hours extra...I really don't like waking up to alarms.  A few of the spa folk decided to sleep in all morning and get off in the afternoon, but after two thirteen hour work days at sea, I want some tropical beach time, and away from the metal box.  Sea days are long.  Fortunately, yesterday, the receptionist recognized my omission in scheduling lunch and dinner and did it for me.  The day before I wound up working through lunch and had half a own fault really, since I control my own schedule.  Perhaps if the food in the staff mess was consistently palatable, I would be less inclined to overlook eating.  Food quality in the passenger areas is much better, but the red tape of getting permission to eat there, and then dressing up in the attire of the evening sometimes just isn't worth it.  Some friends here say other ships aren't nearly as political and rigid about such matters...yet others don't allow staff to eat in guest areas at all.  In actuality, the fare is not always bad, but lets face it I am a food snob...and organic?...forget about it.  This is another reason we are in line early to get off...real food is calling us from the outside world!

Crew and staff start disembarking in short order, and our small group is keen on finding a nice breakfast cafe...with wifi ofcourse.  The nicest cafe, if without wifi, will not be well patroned by ship's company.  It is ethereal gold to us.  Every once in a while I see one of my patients walking around, not uncommon with a passenger manifest of two-thousand and relatively small geography onshore.  Sometimes they don't recognize me in casual clothes, especially when I zip by on my longboard wearing a bandana and sunglasses.  On this cruise, like most, the majority of my patients are of the back pain category, with a handful of arthritic knees.  Surprisingly, I have one patient who is coming for maintenance and well-being, and not-too-surprisingly, one for weight loss.  Most of my patients are British, with a couple Australians and one American.  Brits are, by and large, much more skeptical than most.  Helping them understand how this medicine will benefit their health is a big task.  I have customized my seminar presentations to be efficient in bridging the gaps of understanding and practitioner trust.  Tough nuts to crack, but once they open up, are some of the most genuinely caring people I've met.  Most of my business on board comes from two seminars, about ninety percent actually: 'Introduction to Acupuncture' and 'Back Pain/Arthritis Solutions'.  Although I teach three or four a week, it is really the success and attendance of the first two of the cruise that set the tone for how busy I will be. 

After overly enjoying local food and wifi, we catch one of the ubiquitous van-taxis to the local beach.  The driver is a master at his craft, asking the right questions to keep a lively conversation going with laughter all around...a sure way to get well-tipped.  We filled up the eight passenger van with a couple more crew members we found wifi'ing at the cafe.  The beach is packed, understandably, given the turqoise waters, beach shack restaurants blaring Bob Marley, and a perfect, lightly breezing eighty degree day.  Moments like this, assisted by perpetual rose-colored lenses, wordlessly validate why I love this lifestyle.  It doesn't take long to realize half of the ship's company are at the beach with us.  Fresh coconuts, periodic swims, beach naps, rum-punch, gorgeous amazing day, which after several hours we are remiss to leave.  But alas, one drawback of this life is you never quite seem to have enough time at any port, unless it's an overnight call...which are very few.

Back on the ship, we all plan to meet up for sail-away on deck four.  That gives us time to shower and relax a bit.  Some people opt for a nap, especially the ones who got sunburned or over-indulged on rum punch.  A daily ritual I seem to have adopted is putting my hands together and looking up to thank the unknown entity who negotiated our contract on the ships, entitling us acupuncturists to have our own cabins.  I do so now as I get ready for the evening.  A knock on my door eventually brings me back to reality “doctor Dan, you ready?”  A designation which still makes me uncomfortable, but futile in trying to extinguish.  I helped out some colleagues with their seasickness, migraines, stress and the entire team calls me 'doc'.  I've gotten used to it.  The respect shown me for what I do here was a big shock at first, especially being my first job out of school; it is humbling to hold so many people's trust in store, consequently making me want to learn more and become a better practitioner.  Joining my colleague, we grab a quick bite, then head to the front of the ship, right about the time the engines start up, sending a quick, pulsing vibration all the way to the bow.  Slowly, we pull out of the natural harbor and back out to sea.  The island gets smaller and smaller and we scan through pictures on cameras and phones people took that day, alternately laughing and squinching.  I don't know what the date is or what day of the week it is...those concepts have little meaning here: it is either a sea day or port day.  The breeze gets stronger as the ship picks up speed on the open water.  The sunset is typically breathtaking.  I look around, sipping my ridiculously inexpensive drink from the crew bar, and try not to think about the thirteen hour work day at sea tomorrow.  Fortunately we have two more port days after, so I'll get more playtime.  Glancing to get one last glimpse of the island, I then turn attention to my very culturally diverse group of ship friends, deciding what to do this's just another day on the Queen Elizabeth.