Portland, April 5th, 2014. Over 200 community partners and supporters joined Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) at Montgomery Park for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Dinner and Awards. This second annual fundraising event honors the contributions of community leaders who are helping transform health care by advancing Chinese medicine, and raised more than $50,000 for 2014 the college’s annual fund. OCOM President Dr. Michael Gaeta and lion dancers from Portland Lee’s Association took center stage.

Patrick Quinton, Michael Gaeta, Mayor Charlie Hales and Scott Andrews

Patrick Quinton, Michael Gaeta, Mayor Charlie Hales and Scott Andrews

Dr. Charles Elder of Kaiser Permanente with OCOM President Dr. Michael Gaeta

Dr. Charles Elder of Kaiser Permanente with OCOM President Dr. Michael Gaet

OCOM trustee and Board Secretary Lisa Francolini served as master of ceremonies, introducing awardees and distinguished guests including Mayor Charlie Hales, Representative Jules Kopel Bailey, Metro Councilor Carlotta Collette, PDC Board Chairman Scott Andrews, and PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton.

Five community partners representing a diverse community of health care champions were honored at the dinner. The OCOM Alumni Association Scholarship was also awarded at the event.

Here’s more about the awards:

2014 Community Partner in Healing Award

Kaiser Permanente

Since 2009, Kaiser Permanente’s Volunteer Gives fund has awarded OCOM a total of $60,000 to support expanding access to health care to low-income communities. Thanks to Kaiser’s support in 2009, 2011 and 2013, OCOM has been able to deliver $15 health care visits to more than 500 low-income individuals in our intern teaching clinics. Their partnership has been instrumental in delivering much-needed care to a vulnerable population, and has supported OCOM clinics and students in providing accessible and effective health services to those who would otherwise be unable to afford care.

Michael Martinez, a patient who benefited from the Kaiser grant this year, introduced the award. Presenting sponsor The CHP Group CEO Michell Hay presented the award to OCOM physician and OCOM trustee Dr. Charles Elder.

2014 Legacy Award

City of Portland and Portland Development Commission

Offered for the first time this year, the Legacy Award was presented to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales by OCOM Board President Peter Martin.

This award recognized the City of Portland and Portland Development Commission (PDC) for their instrumental role in OCOM’s 2012 move to Old Town Chinatown. Thanks to their support, OCOM was able to meet a strategic vision of relocating to the heart of Portland to ensure the strategic vision of the college.

2014 Partner in Healing Award

Dr. Brad Malsin

OCOM President Dr. Michael Gaeta presented the 2014 Individual Partner in Healing Award to Dr. Malsin in gratitude for his unwavering support for OCOM’s relocation to Old Town Chinatown, and for his continued support for the mission of the college. Thanks to Malsin’s help, OCOM was able to double its educational space in a beautifully restored LEED Gold building designed to better serve students, faculty, staff and clinic patients. The impact of the new campus has allowed OCOM to develop important community partnerships to help advance and ensure the profession of Chinese medicine for the future.

2014 Scholar Award

Dr. Hong Jin

Dr. Joseph Coletto, the 2013 awardee, presented the Scholar Award to Dr. Hong Jin, OCOM Chair of Oriental Medicine. Jin was selected to receive the 2014 Scholar Award due to her visionary leadership over the last 21 years. Her work to advance Chinese medicine through exemplary teaching, national and international leadership roles, and innovative research has made substantial contributions to the field of Chinese medicine, as well as to the college.

A leader in the regional, national and international health care community, Dr. Hong Jin is a 1985 graduate of Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and a 2007 graduate of OCOM’s Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program

2014 Alumni Ambassador Award

Beth Howlett

Anna Lewis, OCOM Director of Admission, presented the 2014 Alumni Ambassador Award to Beth Howlett, who received the award due to her ongoing efforts to strengthen the statewide Chinese medicine professional organization, Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s (OAAOM).

As a former board member and now as president, Howlett helped increase membership while providing exceptional advocacy leadership at the state level, resulting in expanded Oregon Health Plan acupuncture benefits and a recent legal victory in the “dry needling” case, among others. This award also honors her work as a leader at OCOM as both a faculty and staff member, which has resulted in substantial, long-term contributions to the college’s outreach and community-building efforts.

OCOM Alumni Association President Lara Dilkes also presented a $1,500 scholarship award to current OCOM master’s student Patrick Gazzini. Gazzini is a second-year student and Vice President of the OCOM Student Association. He has a background in athletics and exercise physiology, with a BA in biology from Villanova University, and a master’s degree in health and human performance from McNeese State University.

OCOM thanks the many supporters, friends and community partners who made the 2014 Cherry Blossom Dinner and Awards a great success.

Founded in 1983, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) is a nonprofit single-purpose professional graduate school offering master’s and doctoral degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Named the number one acupuncture college in 2012, OCOM’s mission is to transform health care by educating highly skilled and compassionate practitioners, providing exemplary patient care, and engaging in innovative research within a community of service and healing.