Acupuncturists Without Borders -  Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort
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AWB Board of Directors

Diana Fried, M.Ac., L.Ac., M.A. NCCAOM Dipl. Ac. - President
Diana Fried is the founder and President of the Board of Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), which she founded in 2005. Diana has worked in disasters and under-served communities doing community acupuncture healing in Louisiana, Haiti, Nepal, Mongolia, Ecuador, and Mexico along with supervising disaster relief work in multiple locations worldwide. Diana developed AWB's Healing Community Trauma training program and has trained over a thousand acupuncturists in the United States in how to do mobile community service field work with acupuncture. Diana envisioned and fostered AWB's Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP), establishing free community clinics serving active duty military, veterans and their families. The goal of the program is to provide free and low cost trauma treatment to help heal the wounds of war, and to stem the passing on of trauma from one generation to the next. Diana's vision has actualized into 27 affiliated MSRP clinics around the U.S. providing many thousands of treatments to active military and veterans each year. Diana Fried has many years of experience and training in emotional/trauma healing work, along with years of work in international grassroots community development (Oxfam America, Grassroots International), including travel and work in Mexico, Central America, Asia and Africa. She graduated from the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture with an M.Ac. (1999), and is a certified Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist trained by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) and a certified Qigong Instructor. She has studied traditional medicine of Mexico and the Southwest, Curanderismo, at the University of New Mexico, and is studying Buddhist chaplaincy at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe. Diana is also a video producer, writer, meditation practitioner, and has worked as a media consultant. Diana received her B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from Bowdoin College and her M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin/ Institute of Latin American Studies where she did a video documentary on economic development strategies among the Huichol Indians to fight the deforestation of their land. She was on the staff of Spring Hill in Massachusetts where she co-facilitated "Opening the Heart" workshops, and is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management, Plant Spirit Medicine, and Acutonics. She also produced a radio show that was aired on National Public Radio about the Miskito Indians in Nicaragua. She has numerous written and published articles about the work she has done with Acupuncturists Without Borders.

Carla Cassler, DAOM, L.Ac. – Vice President
Carla Cassler has practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for over 25 years, specializing in women's health, pediatric, orthopedic and trauma treatment. Her interest in trauma treatment began in 1992 when she practiced acupuncture on an Israeli kibbutz, where many of her patients suffered from physical and mental health problems related to multiple wars and the Holocaust. For the past five years she has worked with Acupuncturists Without Borders, receiving advanced training in disaster relief and trauma treatment. In 2010 she co-founded the Bay Area Veteran's Acupuncture Clinic (BAYVAC) which provides free weekly acupuncture treatment to veterans, military personnel and their families for pain and PTSD. She recently completed a clinical doctoral degree (DAOM) at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. Doctor Cassler's DAOM dissertation proposed a clinical model for integration of acupuncture into the VA Medical Care System. Her private practice is in San Francisco Bay Area where she lives with her husband and two children.

Abba Anderson, L. Ac. -Treasurer
Abba got involved with Acupuncturists Without Borders in 2011 when the EF5 tornado hit Joplin, MIssouri, 70 miles down the road from her home in Springfield, Missouri. At Abba's request, AWB was in Springfield a week later to do a training for Missouri acupuncturists and acupuncture detox specialists, and Abba subsequently coordinated more than 20 volunteers who provided almost 1000 acupuncture treatments to survivors and relief volunteers in Joplin in the month following the tornado. She coordinates AWB's disaster relief working committee whose goal it is to integrate acupuncture into disaster relief efforts. She is a Community Emergency Response Team volunteer in Springfield, Missouri, and is currently taking volunteer training classes with the Red Cross' Great Ozarks Chapter. Abba is a licensed acupuncturist in California and Missouri, and received her Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine from Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley in 2005. She served as Editor in Chief of the California Journal of Oriental Medicine from 2006 through 2011 and was was Admissions Director for AIMC Berkeley. Abba has worked in a variety of settings, including the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic serving low income women with cancer in Oakland, California, the Center for Elders Independence in Berkeley and Oakland, California and in community acupuncture clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks to her experience in Joplin, she is currently at work on a dissertation with Holos University in which she plans to survey US disaster relief organizations about how we can integrate acupuncture into their relief efforts. Abba's private practice is in Springfield, Missouri.

Melanie Rubin, M.Ed. –Board Member                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Melanie Melanie has been providing training in a variety of health care and alternative health care settings for the last 16 years, including hospitals, bodywork schools, and continuing education programs. She has worked with acupuncturists, chiropractors, naturopaths, kinesiologists, nurses, homeopaths, and massage therapists, with a focus on helping them manage stress and maintain balance while succeeding in business. She has also been a writer for Massage Magazine on topics including Trauma Awareness for Bodyworkers and Managing Personal Beliefs for Success. Melanie joined AWB in 2009 to support the organization with growth, systems administration, marketing, and the national training program, and has since been involved in supporting coordination of disaster relief efforts in Haiti and New Zealand, internationally, and in Tucson, Arizona, Joplin, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her B.A. from Brown University, M.Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and coaching certification from Coach University.

Celia Hildebrand, M.S., LAc, NCCAOM Dipl. Ac.– Board Member                                                                                                                                                                                                    A long-time AWB member, trainer and volunteer, lives and works in Tucson,  Arizona. Celia graduated with an M.S. from the International Institute of Chinese Medicine (Santa Fe, NM) in 2002 and has worked in the fields of health care delivery, strategic planning, community development, and health project financing with Native American tribes of the Southwest for more than 25 years. She maintains a small clinical practice in Tucson as well as an active consulting business, and will graduate in 2013 with a Doctorate of Asian and Oriental Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Her doctoral studies focus on cultural approaches to cardiovascular health and disease, including Oriental Medicine’s public health role in this critical area. In April 2013, Celia organized and inaugurated the newest of AWB’s community clinics in a pilot project with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), an international non-profit devoted to the resettlement of refugees in the U.S. The IRC works with refugee communities that have experienced trauma from political conflict, natural disaster, torture, and war.

Cynthia Neipris, L.Ac. – Board Member                                                                                                                                                                                          Cynthia Neipris is licensed as an acupuncturist in New York and California.  She has been involved with AWB since its inception in 2005 on the Advisory Board and the Board of Directors. She is Director of Outreach and Community Education for the New York campus of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, where she educates and supervises students doing community style acupuncture.  Ms. Neipris is an Acu-Detox Specialist in New York, and has held a NADA certificate since 2001.  She previously served as Assistant Academic Dean at Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  In addition to private practice, she has provided acupuncture services at Step Up on Second for Dual Diagnosis clients and at the Clare Foundation Drug Court program in Santa Monica, California.


AWB Advisory Board

Catherine Niemiec, J.D. L.Ac.
Catherine Niemic is the President and Founder of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture. After her studies (University of Arizona, University of California-Hastings), she practiced law in California and served as director for a national legal education company. She co-authored Arizona's acupuncture law which was enacted in 1998. She has served as Arizona President of the Arizona Society of Acupuncture and Arizona Society of Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture (AZSOMA). She recently completed 5 years as Vice-President of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) and served as a representative to the National Education Dialogue and the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Healthcare (ACCHAC). She currently serves as Commissioner and Site Visitor for the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) and is the current President for AZSOMA.

Carroll Dunham, B.A.
Carroll Dunham is a medical anthropologist based in Kathmandu, Nepal for the past 25 years. She graduated from Princeton University with a BA in anthropology and has spoken worldwide at conferences about the issues of sustainability of sacred Himalayan medicinal plants. She has studied traditional Ayurvedic medicine with the late Dr. Mana Vajracharya, priest of the Seto Machhindranath temple and 12th generation healer. She has studied Tibetan medicine with Amchi Tsewang Ngudrup Rinpoche of Riwoche, incarnation of one of Padmasambhava's 25 disciples as well as with her son-in-law, esteemed Menrampa Amchi Sherab Barma, who studied with Trogawa Rinpoche, considered one of the greatest Tibetan healers of this century, who founded the Tibetan Medical College in Darjeeling. Founder of Wild Earth Pvt. Ltd, a social enterprise working with women and income-generation, Wild Earth produces handcrafted herbal products based on indigenous knowledge sourced sustainably from rural communities and promotes training in indigenous healing therapies. Carroll is on the board of the Himalayan Amchi Association, Aryuvedic Association and Nepal Spa and Wellness Association. Committed to the flourishing of indigenous healing traditions, with a concern for the health and wellbeing of people and the earth, Carroll also sits on the board of Ethical Traveler and the Nekhorpa Foundation promoting mindful pilgrimage to sacred sites of Asia and working on waste management projects at sacred sites. She leads National Geographic Expeditions in Bhutan and Mongolia from Lapis Sky Camp, a wilderness retreat camp. Her spiritual teachers are Lama Wangdu, Trulshik Rinpoche and Yangsi Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche. Carroll has traveled with traditional medical doctors and the Red Cross on a medical expedition to eastern Tibet region of Nangchen, treating monastic communities while compiling crucial medical data. She has helped organize AWB Nepal and Mongolia training clinics and developed the "National Living Treasures of Indigenous Healing Knowledge" Awards Ceremony with the Nepal Tourism Board to recognize the unsung heroes of living healing knowledge of the Himalayas.


Military Stress Recovery (formerly Veterans) Project Advisory Board

Daniel Bruce is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. He graduated from SAMRA University of Oriental Medicine in 1982 and became a Charter member of the New Mexico Acupuncture Association. For the past 25 years he has participated in promoting the profession by serving as a board member from 1990 – 1998 and eventually as the association president. From 1990 - 1993 he served as a faculty member at the International Institute of Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In April of 1999 he was part of the Acupuncture Brigade that traveled to Honduras to work with survivors of Hurricane Mitch. Due to that life changing experience he decided to seek out opportunities to serve in under served and post disaster settings. In January of 2000, he and fellow acupuncturist Michael Zucker began training Traditional Medicine practitioners as part of the MettaDana project in Burma, returning again in 1/02 and 1/03. His work abroad has taken him to Tanzania in 4/04, to southern Thailand, India and Indonesia in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2005 - 06. As a Vietnam combat veteran, serving in the Marine Corps from 1966 - 1969, Daniel can well appreciate the challenges returning veterans face. As a trauma survivor he understands the need for early intervention that acupuncture and related therapies can offer returning veterans and their families.

Daniel Craig is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. He graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in 2001 and gained his license in New Mexico in 2003. He works in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the Santa Fe Recovery Center as an Addiction’s Counselor and also uses acupuncture with patients in the 28-day residential program. He uses the 5-Needle Ear Protocol regularly with patients in the program. He also has a private practice in Santa Fe. Daniel is a 12-year veteran serving in the Regular Army for 7 years both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer. He served in the New Mexico National Guard and as an ROTC Cadet at New Mexico State University while attaining his B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. Daniel fought in the 1991 Gulf War as a Lieutenant of Field Artillery with the 1st Infantry Division. He is a member of Veterans For Peace since 2003 and is currently serving as the Chapter President. Daniel is also a native New Mexican born and raised in Springer, New Mexico.

Megan Kingsley Gale graduated with a Master’s of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSAOM) from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA, in 2006 and holds a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine from the NCCAOM. She received her undergraduate degrees in Biology (B.S., premed) and English (B.A.) from the University of Minnesota. She is licensed to practice Acupuncture (L.Ac.) and Massage Therapy (L/CMT) in the state of Washington and the Commonwealth of Virginia. From Brenneke School of Massage, she was trained in Western bodywork. She received extra training in Asian bodywork, Chinese herbal medicine, Acutonics, and integrated medicine through Bastyr University. She completed clinic shifts in the Seattle metro area at the integrated medicine school clinic (Bastyr Center for Natural Health), Harborview Hospital, Puget Sound neighborhood clinics, and Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. Her husband is in the Navy, and brother is in the Army. She is currently stationed in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Her passion is to help bring acupuncture and oriental medicine to all members of military service and their families. She sees a great need for it in this population, especially recently with Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF and OIF). Even without war, deployments are a unique challenge for active duty, reservists, national guard, and their families. Acupuncture is a great complement to the standard available resources for service-members and their families to help ease these transitions and emotional roller coasters (deployments, work-ups, field trainings, etc). Currently working as a full-time instructor at a local college teaching in the massage and medical assisting programs, she volunteers her acupuncture skills part-time.











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