|OCOM Relocation Wins Key Support|
On Wednesday, November 11, 2010, the Portland Development Commission’s board voted unanimously to provide $5.5 million in loans to support Oregon College of Oriental Medicine’s renovation of the 1911 former Globe Hotel in Old Town Chinatown.
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) identified the 75 NW Couch Street building in Northwest Portland after a several year period of due diligence accessing the school’s future needs, including providing a location where the teaching clinic could make the greatest impact on the Portland community. But as with many development projects, the continuing economic downturn has slowed the pace of the process.
“No one knew the economic downturn would hit this hard, or that it would take so long to bounce back,” said OCOM President Dr. Michael Gaeta. “But we know it’s worth the wait: The Globe is an ideal location for our new campus – the Old Town Chinatown locale builds our connection to the historic Chinese community and culture of Portland; nearby public transportation options and eco-friendly redevelopment mirror our commitment to creating healthier communities; and the dynamic neighborhood of nonprofits and businesses provides great opportunities for future partnership projects like wellness programs and community classes.”
The idea behind OCOM’s relocation is to create a state-of-the-art academic, clinic and research center dedicated to greatly enhancing OCOM’s community impact. The building,” continues Dr. Gaeta, “will enable us to train more acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners, expand our medical care to the community, and further Traditional Chinese Medicine research. Relocating to Old Town Chinatown provides OCOM an excellent opportunity to bring healing into the heart of downtown Portland – and PDC’s decision brings the project one more important step closer to making our expansion a reality.”
Founded in 1983, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is one of the oldest Chinese medicine schools in the United States (there are currently approximately sixty such colleges in the country). Its academic enrollment has grown steadily over the last 27 years, expanding from a 20-person master’s-only graduating class to a 265-strong master’s and doctoral program that, in 2010, graduated 50 master’s students and 25 doctoral students.
OCOM’s academic programs include comprehensive training in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, East Asia therapeutic massage, meditative movement and clinical research. It has a history of excellence that includes being awarded the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in the United States to study acupuncture; of being the first Chinese medicine program to offer a doctoral degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine (DAOM); and the distinction of providing students and the greater community a robust teaching clinic that serves more than 30,000 patients each year with effective, affordable health care.