|Creating a Community of Service and Healing: OCOM Graduate David Adler|
In many ways, the seeds for our September move to Old Town Chinatown were planted years ago. One such seed blossomed in David Adler, DC, LAc — OCOM alum, supervisor and Central City Concern (CCC) acupuncturist — whose work at the CCC Old Town Clinic has helped build a foundation of health and wellness in Northwest Portland.
"I wanted to be more in service to people," said Adler. "And at CCC, I can do that: we do a lot of good for people. It's good work."
In 1984, Adler, a recent graduate of chiropractic school, wasn’t sure where his ultimate path as a practitioner would lead. But a little voice kept nudging him to search for something closer to his heart: That voice that whispered “this isn’t enough” led him to Satya Ambrose, co-founder of OCOM – and he quickly found the next steps on his path as a student and eventual graduate of the college’s master’s degree program.
Adler knew he wanted to use his education and training to help serve the greater good, so in 1989 began work as a part-time staff acupuncturist at what was then the downtown Portland Addiction Acupuncture Clinic. Housed in the Hooper Detox Center under the Central City Concern umbrella, the clinic piloted a 90-day drug and alcohol program at the invitation of Multnomah County. Modeled on a highly successful New York City alcohol addiction treatment program (group acupuncture treatment followed by group counseling sessions), it became a success for CCC, as well. It quickly expanded, becoming a foundation for the integrative medicine practiced at CCC’s recovery center at the Old Town Clinic. Eventually, Adler’s work turned into a full-time position.
Twenty-two years later, Adler continues to serve as a staff acupuncturist at CCC. He’s not alone: all six of the acupuncturists working at the clinic are OCOM graduates, and two OCOM interns work under his supervision each quarter. Today these acupuncturists work side by side with medical and naturopathic doctors at the Old Town Clinic, treating more than 3,500 patients each year in integrative drug and alcohol treatment program while helping to create a stable, healthy and drug and alcohol-free life for thousands of Portland community members.