|More Than 150 People Attend OCOM Groundbreaking|
More than 150 people attended Oregon College of Oriental Medicine’s (OCOM) public groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, June 28, launching the transformation of the historic Globe Hotel into their new Old Town Chinatown campus.
Portland Development Commission Chair Scott Andrews emceed the ceremony. He was joined by Mayor Sam Adams; OCOM President Michael Gaeta; Anne Naito-Campbell; Stephen Ying, President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association; Dr. Rachel Solotaroff, Medical Director of Central City Concern; OCOM Board Chair Peter Martin; and project developer, Brad Malsin, of Beam Development.
“Given its already considerable involvement in Old Town Chinatown, we expect OCOM to become even more of a major force in this community once their new campus is open,” said PDC Chair Scott Andrews. “We look forward to seeing OCOM flourish, and to our continued partnership.”
The groundbreaking event marked the beginning of a year-long restoration project that will transform the historic 1911 Globe Hotel into a LEED Gold certified building. The new OCOM campus will provide the college with a state-of-the-art academic, clinic and research facility, double classroom and learning spaces, and expand the number of OCOM’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) master’s and doctoral graduates.
“Relocating OCOM to Old Town Chinatown,” said OCOM President Michael Gaeta, “offers the college a unique opportunity to bring healing to the heart of the city. By moving downtown, we will increase the availability of cost-effective and therapeutically-effective acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatments in a central location near convenient public transportation; provide low-cost treatments to meet the growing needs of the community’s underserved and aging populations; and provide excellent opportunities for partnership with other neighborhood service organizations and community members.”
Dr. Rachel Solotaroff, Medical Director of Central City Concern, agreed: “Collaborations, particularly those with academic institutions are the cornerstone of our work at Central City Concern, and the arrival of OCOM – on this side of the river, in this neighborhood, for this population, at this time – is the best possible thing that can happen at a very critical juncture, not only for our patients but also for the sustainability of a health care system for the vulnerable and poor.”
OCOM’s campus renovation project is the culmination of a multi-year planning process, supported by several community partners including Beam Development, Portland Development Commission (PDC), National Development Council (NDC), Metro, Lowe Enterprises, and US Bank. Beam Development and LCG Pence Construction will lead the renovation of the 100-year-old building, which will be gutted to provide full seismic and code upgrades and major structural renovation.
The $16.4 million project is funded through a complex financing package: 38 percent of total project sources come from federal and state tax credits, 19 percent through equity contributed to the project by Beam Development and the sale of OCOM’s current campus, 42 percent from loans, and one percent through Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development grant program. The development project will create an estimated 110 construction jobs, and, over time, help the college add 10 permanent full-time positions and up to 15 part-time positions.
Founded in 1983, OCOM is a single-purpose professional graduate school that offers two specialized degree programs — Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAcOM) and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM). OCOM’s mission and vision is the transformation of health care through the application of Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM). OCOM’s 1,050 graduates practice, teach and research Traditional Chinese Medicine in 37 states around the country, and have provided an estimated 10 million treatments over the past 28 years.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) is an increasingly popular health care option for people seeking safe, effective and low-cost health solutions. In its most recent report, the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cites more than 3.1 million Americans received acupuncture in 2007, a one-million person increase since 2002, and NIH studies have proven AOM treatments to produce positive outcomes for a variety of illnesses, including chronic degenerative conditions.
OCOM will move 129 staff and faculty and nearly 300 students into the new building in time for Fall 2012 classes. Upon completion of the building renovation, OCOM will launch a multi-year public campaign to build long-term, stable financial support for the college and its students.