The Current State of NMSAAM by President Yvonne Walston
Spring is moving quickly into summer, with its normal beauty, smells, and color to delight our senses. Spring also comes this year with hope that progress may well be occurring in our long battle with the pandemic. We on NMSAAM’s Board of Directors have been busy updating and fine-tuning our state’s professional association during the bleak Covid 19 pandemic winter and spring months of 2020-21.
Our current state of NMSAAM is full of hope, fiscally responsible, and anticipating more NM DOMs to join with us. Together we are advancing our profession, advancing relationships with other practitioners, working on continuing education, and having fun while doing it!
We are hoping to have an outdoor in-person party to celebrate our 2021 Forty years of acupuncture licensure in the state of New Mexico, now that restrictions from the Covid are starting to lift. Our PR committee is looking into possible options.
NEWS: We have looked hard at the use of our NMSAAM finances to best serve the members of NMSAAM and the profession of Acupuncture Medicine, which benefits all NM DOMs. To many of our NMSAAM members and our BOD, it has been apparent for a long time that professional lobbyists were needed to help make DOM acupuncture available to everyone, protect our scope of practice, and help our legislature to understand our value as primary care practitioners. Without raising NMSAAM membership dues and no hidden plans to do so, on April 15th we hired an experienced and excellent lobbyist team, which is busy making contacts, having interim legislative session meetings, and continuing to learn more about our field to best help us. Our own Bernadette Lujan, NMSAAM VP and Legislative Chair, found this team. She is our Liaison and Contact with them. This professional team is our eyes and ears, so that we can concentrate more on the practice of our medicine and NMSAAM functional needs.
As most of you know, when DOMs are members of NMSAAM, they are automatically members of our national Association, the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA), which is also busy behind the scenes. Both groups have committees who are working hard on their various passions to better our profession in each state and in the country. Each state has two delegates who work closely with the ASA Council, and both are involved with national communications in the ASA Listserve and Council meetings. There is one vote per state as a federation of states. NMSAAM members who are not delegates can also work on committees of the ASA.
On May 21, the ASA Annual Council Congress was attended virtually by President Yvonne Walston, Primary Delegate to the ASA, and one of our new NMDOMs, Robert Bibeau, substitute Alternate Delegate for Steven Malins. It was a lively meeting with an interesting group photo. At this meeting, we learned that several other State Associations also hired professional lobbyists to their State Legislative Sessions during the pandemic, just as NMSAAM has done. Great minds think alike! The state societies in IA, MA, and WY were approved during this ASA Council to be voting members in the ASA as they continue the vetting process, joining AK and HI. Soon there will be a total of 39 state members.
NMSAAM delegates have been attending some professional strategic planning for the ASA best function, and results are being assessed to use for each of the state associations. This helps us to prioritize resources, both monetary and people, in order to achieve our goals. Each state BOD is being assessed for strengths and areas needing improvement.
NMSAAM’s committees: Communications, Continuing Education, Exploratory NM AOM, Finance, Governance, Insurance, Legislature, Membership, Public Relations, and Website are at various states of progress. Keep your eyes open to find out the details as we continue.
Join NMSAAM now! Even if you do not have time to be involved much, you can know that you are supporting your profession in NM, and you know we are here. One benefit is to join the NMSAAM listserve, where you can communicate about techniques and questions about our profession with other DOMs across our great state.
Peace and safety to all of us!
Please note: This article expresses the opinions and research of the author, and does not necessarily reflect all views or policies of NMSAAM members, the NMSAAM BOD, or the ASA.