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Vet Newsletter 1-9-08
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Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans Project
Upcoming Call Information
January 9, 2008 Conference Call Highlights
Call Participant Updates
Program Updates
Doing Outreach
Training Dates and Locations
Call Instructions
Quick Links
Trainings Registration

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January 17, 2008
As the Veterans Project grows and evolves, the conference calls are AWB's way to connect project volunteers and create a forum for sharing ideas, resources and information.

We encourage all individuals, whether just starting out or already managing clinics to join in on as many calls as possible.  On this next call, we encourage those who have already or who are in the process of finding clinic space to join in and share their experiences.

Next conference call time:
Sunday, February 3, 2008

Call Topic:
Finding and Securing Clinic Space

Local Times:

12:00 pm - AHST (Alaska Hawaii Standard time)
2:00 pm - PST (Pacific Standard time)
3:00 pm - MST (Mountain Standard time)
4:00 pm - CST (Central Standard time)
5:00 pm - EST (Eastern Standard time)

Instructions for Joining the Call

Please read the article on Call Guidelines at the bottom of this email before joining the next call.

1.  Dial the conference call number: (616) 597-8000

2.  You will be prompted to enter the Pass Code: 1017686 followed by #
3.  Follow any other prompts, as they are self-explanatory
4.  Please wait to announce yourself unless the intros have not yet begun

Other keys to know:

Press *4 for more instructions
Press *6 to mute (like if your dog is barking), and *6 again to un-mute.

*You will be charged whatever your long-distance rates are for this phone call and nothing more.
Call Participant Updates

Marie Arnberg - Verona Island, ME
She is working on networking and attended the Maine training.  She is looking for general guidance on opening a clinic.

Audrey Barrett - Grand Junction, CO - First Call
Audrey is setting up a community acupuncture clinic and is hoping to set up specific hours in her new clinic for veterans. 

Dr. Charles Hall - Red Boiling Springs, TN - First Call
A clinical psychologist who has used acupressure for many years as part of his practice.  He is interested in helping with the project if a group were to start in his area.

Judith Kenen - Atlanta, GA
Judithis in the process of talking to local acupuncturists and getting them interested in the Veterans Project.  She was interstested in how the trainings relate to the Veterans Project.

Megan Kingley - Virginia Beach, VA - First Call
Megan is a Navy wife and and Army sister.  She wants to find ways to help out veterans through acupuncture and is interested to see how AWB's Veterans Project is set up. 

Christine Lee - Framingham, MA - Framingham Team
This team of three acupuncturists has located a site.  They are committed to now starting outreach and have already started fundraising.   The team needs to settle on a schedule for the clinic. 

John MacDonald - Levittown, PA - Advisory Board
Trying to urge fellow realtors in his firm to pledge an amount that comes out of each real estate commission and goes to the Veterans Project.

Colleen Ragan - Rapid City, SD -  First Call
Colleen has been involved with AWB since her student days at the SWAC Boulder campus.  She is currently trying to make contact  with veterans in the area through the local VA. 

Meredith St. John - Boston, MA - First Call - Framingham Team
She is working in the western suburbs of Boston and is in the beginning stages of clinic development.

Laurie Solomon- Portland, OR
Laurie just found out that there is a free veterans clinic happening in Portland.  She would also like to see a training happen in Portland.

Maureen Tetelman - New York City, NY - New York Team
The New York clinic is still in its beginning stages.  The team has had two meetings.  There are 3-4 core acupuncturists on the team and they are looking to bring in more volunteers.  The team is also looking for the right space, discussing liability issues, doing some outreach and working with Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.  Right now, they are focusing on the nuts and bolts of running a clinic and are becoming clear on the material in the manual and the trainings.  The team is interested in training those volunteers who have not had NADA or AWB's training. 
*Update!  The New York City Team has found a wonderful clinic site!

Program Updates

AWB is excited about where the vets program is going and there are many seeds that have been planted and are waiting to sprout.  We're hoping that the New Year will motivate people to become involved with the Veterans Project in their communities. 

There is no set pattern for how clinics should happen and we're looking for people to take initiative and be creative with this process.  Building teams and networks with other acupuncturists and determining the "hows"and "wheres" of you clinic are the first steps and will be different for every group.  AWB is available to help however we can!

As clinics begin to get going the newer clinics will be able to work off of the older clinics experience.  We commend those flagship teams that are paving the way for others!  As publicity and knowledge of the program increases there will be a circular effect and we expect the program to really start to take off in the next few months

New Resources for Your Use

National Guard Websites: State by State
A complete listing of National Guard websites.

Veterans Project Donation Sign
Download this .pdf file from the AWB website and use it to collect donations at various locations in your community.

VFW Family Support Centers
A great resource for outreach!

Down Range:  to Iraq and Back
By Bridget C. Cantrell and Chuck Dean
Megan Kingsley of Virginia Beach, VA recommends this book.  Here's what she has to say.
"So, I've read and reviewed books on this subject.  The best book that I've come up with is Down Range:  to Iraq and Back by Bridget C. Cantrell and Chuck Dean.  The information in this book is exactly what I was looking for to understand PTSD and post-combat stress reactions from a layperson and an acupuncturist's view.  It so happens this book ended up also being the book my brother was given in his reintegration training (deployed to Iraq 2 years, returned July 2007, National Guard, protected convoys, saw plenty of action, etc).  Later this fall, when talking with the psychologists key in setting up the PDHRA programs at NMCP (Navy hospital here), the director gave me a copy of this book."
*AWB has not reviewed this book.

Recent Articles About Veterans Issues
AWB regularly posts news articles in the "Public Health Articles" area of our Newsroom on the AWB website.

Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles
New York Times, January 12, 2008
*One of the most important articles we've seen so far.

Letter from Home: The Battle Mask
NPR, January 15, 2008

Vets Project Field Manual

Tha Veterans Project Field Manual is a 70 page document full of information about implementing and maining a veterans clinic, complete with all the forms and paperwork you'll need to start a clinic.  It is a strongly encouraged document for all individuals working with AWB and the Veterans Project.
The cost of the manual is included in the registration fee for trainings and is $75.00 for non-trainees.

To obtain a copy of the manual please visit:
AWB Veterans Project Page

Issues Addressed in the January 9th Call

Topic: Doing Outreach in Veterans Communities

There are specific things to consider when working in the veterans community.  We are in the midst of incredible stress and trauma happening within the veterans community and as acupuncturists we are able to offer our medicine to this community and outreach on a large scale.  Veterans are not the typical demographic that seeks out acupuncture and so there are challenges in reaching this population.

As with any sub-culture there are cultural issues we want to be sentivie to.  We are trained as practitioners to approach people and meet them where they are and working with the veterans community is just an extension of that of that training.

We don't over-emphasize trauma in our language and materials, but do talk a bit about PTSD as this is becoming a more prominant and well-known diagnosis to the lay community. AWB tends to focus on language such as "relieving anxienty and stress" and "increasing performance" as these tend to carry less of a stigma and may be more welcoming to an individual who has not been exposed to acupuncture before.

It is important to go to the gatekeepers - leaders in the military community.  Military structures work in leadership structures and lots of times others will join the clinic if the leaders give it an OK.  Reach out to military leaders and military counselors.

So far, Veterans Project teams have not have much luck with the VA. Try focusing on other organizations such as, Legions, Elks Clubs, USO, family associations, and grassroots organizations such as Veterans for Peace.  You may also want to look for women's associations.  These avenues have been more fruitful than the VA and things may be able to happen more quickly.

It was suggested by call participants that military counselors and military pastoral counselors are also excellent resources.  These individuals may be more willing to refer individuals for treatment at your clinic.  All veterans and military hospitals have psych departments, wellness departments, pastoral care and stress management resources.  These areas of the hospital or VA may be more open to using acupuncture and other modilities.

To get the word out in your community and to targeted groups, you may want to put together a presentation.  Use your experience as an acupuncturist, AWB materials and information from the manual to talk to your presentees about your clinic and the project.  It helps enormously to actually give treatments during these presentations if you are looking for some type of support or funding.  These presentations are a public service and will also help your private practice. 

In the AWB newsroom there are also articles that have been published about other acupuncturists around the country who are engaged in veterans work with AWB.  Take a look at these articles to get you thinking about publicity and outreach.

If you are looking for other individuals in your community to form a team with please email AWB.  We may be able to put you in touch with someone!

Megan Kingsley also enlightened callers to the existance of "Post-Combat Stress" as an alternative diagnosis to PTSD and to the "Post Deployment Health Reassessment Program"  (PDHRP) being implemented by the military for all veterans returning from the war.  More information about these areas will be coming soon and we encourage all participants to educate themselves in these areas.

Questions from the call:

Q: There are four acupuncturists in my community.  I have gone through AWB training and the others have not.  Is it OK to bring people in to my team who are not AWB trained?
A: Absolutely.  AWB trained individuals should hold mini-trainings team members that have not been to an AWB training.

Q: Can people attend AWB trainings who are not licensed acupuncturists?
A: People have come to the trainings who are not acupuncturists and we're happy to train anyone interested in doing this type of work. 

Q: Has anyone connected with reservists/national guard?  Is treating reservists part of the project?
A:  The Veterans Project is pretty loose in terms of who can be treated. We are treating veterans from all wars, family members, counselors, active duty personnel, reservists and individuals who work with the veterans community. 

Q:  When trying to contact someone about aquiring clinic space, is a letter or phone call better?
A: Do both.  Send a letter (along with the one page Veterans Project information sheet in the Veterans Manual) and then follow up with a phone call.

Q: What is the best way to get supplies?
A: One caller suggested having a local supplier "adopt" your clinic to supply the clinic in exchange for publicity.  AWB thinks this is a great idea.

Q: Has AWB done any outreach specifically to female veterans?
A: We have not.  If people have an interest in that area it may be worthwhile to look into it.  We encourage you to do some research and share what you find!
Upcoming Trainings from AWB:
Healing Community Trauma

If you  haven't yet attended a training and you sign up now we will send you the Field Manual,
at your request, promptly upon completion of your registration.
Miami AWB Healing Community Trauma Training: How to Do Mobile Group Acupuncture for Disasters and Other Traumatic Situations

January 26 - 27, 2008
Acupuncture and Massage College, Miami Florida

Phoenix AWB Healing Community Trauma Training: How to Do Mobile Group Acupuncture for Disasters and Other Traumatic Situations
April 19-20, 2008

Click Here to Register Now!
Instructions For Joining An AWB Conference Call

In order to streamline our conference calls we would like to ask everyone who participates to take a look at the following instructions and call format.  We hope this will help us avoid too much distraction and overlap on the calls and allow us to make the most of the time we have together.  We try to keep the calls to one hour in length.

Before the call:

  • Email your questions to prior to the call.  We will answer your questions during the call.
When you join the call:
  • Announce yourself if you arrive on time and the Introductions have not begun.
  • If you join the call after the start time please wait to announce yourself.
  • During Intros and Updates we will periodically check to make sure everyone who silently joins the calls gets to introduce themselves as well.
*Don't forget to mute yourself if you are hearing any background noise when you are not talking.  Press *6 to mute or use the mute button on your own phone.

Call Format:

     1.  Introductions and Updates - we will ask folks to introduce themselves one by one.
  • When it is your turn, please:
    • Tell us your name and location and whether this is you first call.
    • Give a brief update of what is happening for you in terms of the Vets Project.
    • At the end of your introduction, state any questions you have. (These will be answered after Intros.)
     2.  AWB Update - Diana Fried or the program coordinator will give a brief update from AWB about progress and news relevant to the Vets Project.

    3. Discussion on the call topic.

     4.  Q & A - Diana Fried and AWB staff will address the questions presented during Intros and offer time for further questions at the end.

  • During this time if you have helpful information to add from your own experience to address peoples questions please do so by announcing yourself during a pause.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Sarah Tewhey
Veterans Project Program Coordinator

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