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Gratitude for the Life of Dr. Michael Smith

Mike Smith, founder of NADA, passed away on December 24, 2017. I met him when I was an acupuncture student in 1992 and he came to do a lecture at my school, which for me was like rain on a desert. And that’s what he continued to be throughout my


2017, like 2016 before it, was a hard year for a lot of people. I’m a big fan of year-end gratitude lists, *especially* when it was hard.

At the top of my gratitude list is POCA, particularly for its most recent donation to POCA Tech -- $14,500. $10,000 of

I Am Closing My Clinic -- Guest Post by Michelle Rivers

I am closing my clinic. I’ll be joining another community clinic just two miles down the road, as an employee. After more than six years, I am grieving my emotional attachment to this place. As is always the case with grieving, though, amidst all of the intangibles

Student Circle at POCA Tech -- Guest Post by Shelby and Sonya

Recently POCA Tech has been tasked with a Self Study for ACAOM, where we analyze the effectiveness of our school. Student circle was asked to contribute a paragraph or two on how we “see student organizing efforts benefiting [us] as individuals, as cohorts, and also the school itself.

Thank You, Yes, and Thank You

This post has two parts.

First, prayers answered.

Back in 2012, something I wondered every other day or so, was, how on earth is POCA Tech going to come up with the fees we need to get through the accreditation process? In 2014 we applied for our

Falling in Love

This is a guest post from Shelby in POCA Tech's Cohort 3.

Falling in love

You know that feeling when you just feel excited and happy and light? When you’re sitting on the bus staring out the window and just smiling at nothing?

Love your coop, Work for your coop

Over the years, the predominate way that projects have come about in POCA is when needs are identified. "If you have found a need, then congratulations, you've found yourself a job." It's a good system. So many creative projects have been accomplished through this motto: POCA Calendars

A Long History of Cooperation

Like so many people I know and encounter through my work as a punk, I have been feeling uneasy and anxious for many months leading up to the election. Post-election it’s been much harder to keep my worries under wraps. One of the ways I’ve

What Would POCA Tech Do without POCA? No, Seriously

The occasion for this blog post is yet another donation from POCA to POCA Tech of $10,000. And in addition to thanking all of our members, and particularly those who participated in the May Membership Drive (thank you! thank you! thank you!) I wanted to expand this post into a

Healing my grief through Community Acupuncture

I went to a funeral in Florida this month. It was for my best friend Jenny’s mother, Diane.  It was important for me to go because Jenny died over 5 years ago and I couldn’t attend her funeral. 

Florida is a difficult

Thank You, FSPA

So it’s 8 days and counting to POCA Tech’s Candidacy site visit. If I told you how much paperwork we’ve generated for the site visitors to look at, you probably wouldn’t believe me; a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed

POCA's newest, coolest, most co-operative member benefit: The POCA Passport

Just in time for our Spring Member Drive, The POCA Membership circle offers our newest coolest, most cooperative member benefit, The POCA Passport.  It won’t get you out of the country, but hopefully it will inspire you to travel to more Community Clinics on (and even

Too Much All The Time: Ask Uncle Andy

Thanks to all who wrote with great hiring questions, to share difficult circumstances (not fit for this blog, unfortunately) and to ask for a bit of clinic space-searching advice.  I loved hearing from you all.

This question is submitted by a reader

Nothing Like a 2-Alarm Fire to Give You Some Perspective

Over the last twelve years or so I’ve gotten to see a lot of community acupuncture clinics in a lot of different phases. I’ve gotten to see the newly-rented storefronts with nothing in them but potential; the newly-painted rooms with piles of half-assembled IKEA furniture;

Remembering Ann

I’ve lost three people to cancer this year. All women, all around my same age, all business owners. First was the sister of one of my dearest friends, back in the spring. Last week it was our beloved POCA comrade Ann Rich. Then a few days ago,

Thank You, POCA

Dear POCA,

thank you for the $10,000 donation -- your second one this year. That’s $20,000 total in 2015 you’ve given to our school.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the October Membership Drive: all the volunteers, all the new and renewing POCA

POCA Tech Accreditation is Sexy

Dear POCA comrades,

If you need a reminder of why Community Acupuncture is important, please check out this article from Reuters titled “Arthritis may boost the risk of poverty, generally for women.”

“Women who developed arthritis were 51 percent more likely to fall

A Self-Organizing Parade

POCA Fest is over for now but I’m still floating in the POCA Over-Flow- the abundant heart-felt, head expanding, energetic surge that comes from getting together with all of you. POCA Fest is what I want the world to look like: groups of friends, old and new,

Annual Election for Board of Directors - VOTE VOTE VOTE

It’s election time! Emails went out today to open this year’s election for POCA’s Board of Directors.  In case you missed it you can use the link below to cast your vote.  Voting will be open through Sunday, 7/12. Thanks for taking

10,000 Thanks to POCA from POCA Tech (and a Word about Nerds)

To everyone who contributed to the May Membership Drive, thank you. 10,000 times thank you. In so many ways, this is a huge deal to POCA Tech.

Just 4 years ago, I was basically banging my head against a series of walls, trying to convince somebody outside of POCA

We Get Mail - Sliding Scale

Here’s a recent email from a soon-to-be patient who wants to do the right thing, but is confused by the sliding scale:

“I'm interested in becoming a (patient) member but have a question about the sliding scale for the membership fee. Is there

We Are So Lucky, Post #3

You have been hearing a lot from me lately about POCA Tech’s Sustainers, in part because POCA Tech needs to raise money and so we need to keep talking about it, but also because I just think the whole thing is so cool. The more I learn

We Are So Lucky, Post #2

The POCA Tech library has been the recipient of a great deal of generosity. It seems like just yesterday that we posted a picture on the POCA Facebook page of a sad, empty bookshelf with a sign, “POCA Tech Library” -- and now the library has over 900

We Are So Lucky, Post #1

As we say on POCA Tech’s website, “POCA Tech is the beneficiary of a massive endowment of goodwill, social capital, knowledge, skills, competence, and volunteerism via its relationship to the POCA Cooperative.” We’ve known about this for a while. But seriously, you guys,

Why We Belong to POCA

People need community and human connection and while the physical community is slowing shrinking the online community grows.  I've been told that the average person spends 1 hours each day on Facebook.  Even though people are not physically seeing each other as much, we as humans still

Membership Drive Post: Not Just Some Random CA Clinic

Last night WCA’s management collective voted to convert WCA into a 501c3 nonprofit. At this point in time, there are all kinds of benefits to doing that  -- but that’s actually not what this blog is about, it’s about how grateful I

Talkin' 'bout a Revolution

Yesterday in our Oversight meeting, we were talking about POCA Tech and Cortney launched into an a cappella rendition of Tracy Chapman’s Talkin' bout a Revolution. “And finally, the tables are starting to turn...”

That was definitely the best part of the whole

It's for Real

POCA Tech is happening. I know it’s for real, because I’ve started having anxiety dreams about it.

In the first dream I had, I arrived at school to find out that POCA Tech had been moved. It was no longer in a classroom

POCA Tech Donations Cross the $50K Mark

We are delighted to announce that POCA Tech has now raised more than $50,000 in just over a year!

We'd like to thank our comrade Ellen Rudolph and her family foundation for their most recent donation -- actually their second to POCA Tech, and the one that

POCA’s Punks Need Patients as Much as Patients Need Punks, P-P-P-Part 2

I am stealing POCA volunteer Kristie Danis’ excellent title for some reflections I’ve got.  It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. As you may know, at the beginning of November a bunch of POCA Circle volunteers converged in Portland for a leadership retreat.