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Vet Newsletter 10-4-07
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Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans Project
October 4, 2007
Dear ,

Monday's call was another great sharing of progress and ideas.  Please join us on one of our future calls as your schedule permits to share your thoughts, ideas, progress and questions.
Next Call Date:

Thursday, October 18th


At 5:00pm Eastern Time



Instructions for Joining the Call
 1.  Dial the conference call number: (641) 715-3300
 2.  You will be prompted to enter the Pass Code which is: 789816 followed by "#"
 3.  Follow any other prompts as they are self-explanatory
 4.  When prompted to announce yourself please tell us your name and where you are calling from.
 *  Press 6 to mute (like if your dog is barking), and 6 again to unmute.



Vets Project Informational Conference Call on October 1, 2007


Highlights
  • Who is doing what and where
  • Questions and Answers
  • Diana Fried's Comments
  • Articles and links
Who is Doing What and Where?

Karen Garber - Washington, DC
    • Had a few meetings so far with various people at each.
    • Clinic planned for Vets Day - Joanne Wu in Tacoma Park, MD will host event at her clinic.

Kirk Moulton - Chicago, IL
    • Going to do a vets day event in conjunction with Whole Foods Market (next door to his clinic)
    • Hopes to do a big push with the media in next month or so.

Jean Dombroski - Rochester, NY
    • Has an opportunity to do a Vets Day Event in conjunction with a local photographer friend's Opening for a show of his photos from a recent trip to Iraq.
 
Christine Lee - Framingham, MA
    • Looking to start a Vets Clinic in Marlboro, MA - has some interest brewing there.
    • Plans to hold something for Vets Day at her office.

Jennifer Downs - Baltimore, MD
    • No site yet but many options opening up.
    • 6 people on board for the Baltimore area clinic.
    • Plan to launch on Vets Day with a fundraising event.
    • They have made commitment to each cover 1 week once they find a site.
    • They have found that military sites are not willing to host this type of clinic.
 
Diane McCarty - Colorado Springs, CO
    • Hopes to get something going for vets day.
    • Spoke w/publisher of military newspaper in her area and they expressed interest in doing a piece on her event.

Ellen Leonard - Grants Pass, OR
    • Started a Vets clinic in April out of her clinic - Sat. mornings from 10-12 - sometimes full sometimes no one.
    • Invited to join military health fair next spring - they want to know that outside groups are going to stay committed to the Veterans community before accepting them into their organizations.
    • Has County Board member she is doing outreach with.


Questions and Answers:

Q:  If someone donates items or funds to a particular Clinic, can we get receipts to them for tax deduction?
A: If someone makes out a check to AWB and gives it to a Clinic then you send the check to us and we will send the donor a thank you letter which acts as a receipt for tax deduction purposes.  If someone wants to donate items (aka: in-kind" donations) then you need to contact Executive Assistant Sarah Tewhey at: info@acuwithoutborders.org to get details on the process.

Q: Do you have literature to display at clinic sites?
A: The Veterans Project One Pager is a great intro to what the project is about and can be on display at clinics as well as our AWB  brochures (available for a small processing fee)  and an 'About AWB' document that you can print out yourself.  Contact Gretchen to get any of these items: veterans@acuwithoutborders.org  There was an excellent article in the Military Officers Association Newsletter in June about the use of alternative therapies to treat PTSD.  This would be a great article to have on hand for outreach as well as on display at your clinic site.  The link to the article is at the bottom of this email and you can get a PDF copy of it from Gretchen if you want to have it on file for printing and emailing.  There is a Patient Welcome/Information Sheet available in the Field Manual and each clinic should have cards and/or flyers from treating acupuncturists and information on local vets resources available for clients.

Q: If we are not an "AWB Approved" clinic then can we still the AWB name on literature?
A: We are not doing "AWB Approved" sites anymore.  This is our new Grassroots approach and you can just use the wording we sent out in the Legal and Financial notes document.  Please request this from Gretchen ( veterans@acuwithoutborders.org ) if you have not received it.

Q: Have you had any problems with the political charge around returning soldiers, veterans and PTSD?
A: Not really.  Remember that we are about treating the trauma experienced by vets, their families and communities - by treating individuals we impact the community.  Best to stay out of the politics since that is not what our mission is.

Q: Do you keep track of how people are feeling with treatments?
A: Post-Treatment Evaluation forms will be available for all ongoing clinics.  AWB will be collecting these forms for research purposes so we encourage all clinics to participate in this data collection process.
In ABQ we have found that  personal relationships are developed with regulars and tracking their progress is not that difficult as a result.  There really is no time for full intake and interview in this type of setting.
An additional option is to have a guestbook for patients to report anything they want to in.

Q: Is there a recommended treatment course length you suggest?
A: AWB recommends doing ongoing clinics allowing people to choose for themselves how many times they think they need to come for treatment.

Q: Do you have any suggestions for scheduling Vets Clinics?
A: ABQ clinic runs from 5:30-7pm every Monday.  We suggest anything that doesn't conflict with working hours, so - evenings & weekends.  This is up to you and your group in the end, of course, but try to find times that will work for everyone.

Q: Are you doing anything in particular when someone presents with issues other than PTSD?
A: NADA protocol seems to do wonders for other things as well.  We encourage you all to do NADA only for the following reasons:
    • It makes your records easy to keep
    • It is tremendously powerful as a group form of treatment for everyone to get the same treatment.
    • If you do other points you have to record the patients name and have individual consent forms and files on them.
    • If you set a precedent of offering unique treatments people may wonder "why so and so is getting that but I am not,"  and the clinic environment becomes a much more complicated place.
    • Simplicity makes all the difference for you and your patients when doing community style treatments.
    • Feel free to have your business cards available for a patient who may want a more comprehensive treatment.
    • If you participate in our national data collection it is necessary that everyone gets only the NADA protocol in your clinic.

Audrey Rice - Baltimore, MD: Treated 80 people using nothing but the NADA protocol at the VA.  Every one of them said their pain was gone after treatment!

Q: Do you want us to stay strict to the NADA protocol if we are associated as a vets clinic with AWB?
A: It is totally up to you ultimately, but for all the reasons already mentioned we highly recommend it.

Q: Is there any reason I should not do this clinic alone in my private clinic? Should I bring others into it?
A: We definitely recommend that everyone try to collaborate with others on the project if possible.  It is a great way to hook up with and network within the acupuncture community (which does not happen often as we get stuck in our own offices doing our own thing.)  We also recommend having more than one person on hand for safety reasons - the ABQ clinic always has two people on staff in case of any kind of emergency.  Lastly, having multiple people increases your outreach ability.
 
Gretchen Lorenson - Admin. Assist. AWB, ABQ, NM
One of our volunteers in LA was able to make contact with a local gov. official who is very supportive of his project and has offered him a site for his clinic.  Don't forget to do outreach to local officials too.


Diana Fried's Comments:

  • We will do national publicity for Vets Day so please be sure to send us details if you are putting on an event so that we can include the information in our PR work.
  • If you are in a big city - we can help with PR to big city newspapers.
  • Do outreach to local businesses for support of your clinic and the national effort.
  • Local government officials are a great resource.  They want the publicity and this is a great cause for them to hook up with.  They can help you in any number of ways from media to fundraising and site venues.  Don't forget to reach out to officials on the local (city/town councilors), state (representatives, mayors, governors), national (senators and congresspeople) level.
  • If you prepare any literature or documents of your own for your clinic and you use AWB's name on it anywhere make sure that you include the paragraph from the Legal and Financial Notes on your document (this is a legal necessity for AWB's protection)
  • Give your Vets Clinic a name that is, perhaps different from your private practices so that your whole group can take ownership of the project.  It is a good idea to include "Vets Clinic" in the title.
  • Briefly, if you do fundraising and want to be able to use some of the funds for your Vets Clinic costs, you can enter into a financial agreement with us that allows us to cut you a check for 50% of any funds raised in AWB's name for the Veterans Project by you and sent to us.
  • Field Manual is almost ready.  It is large and IN PROCESS! We hope to have it out by the end of the week (sorry about the delay but we are trying to make sure it is as comprehensive as possible before beginning to distribute it.)  This will be a "working document" with updates and addenda as we learn and grow together in this process.
The Field Manual for the Veterans Project will information on the following:
    • General philosophy of project
    • Clinical protocols
    • Outreach
    • Cultural sensitivity
    • Overview of how to do a clinic
    • Copies of forms needed from clinical perspective
    • Safety issues
    • And so much more!
The Manual will be available electronically for free to AWB training attendees and for a preparation fee of $75.00 if you have not been to a training.


A Few Important Articles Regarding Veterans:

Article F
rom the Military Officers Association of America Newsletter about treating PTSD with alternative therapies including Acupuncture.

NY Times article on the psychological impact on soldiers of long term deployment in Iraq.

Financial difficulties faced by returning wounded soldiers.


In the spirit of service.
 
Sincerely,
 
Diana Fried
Acupuncturists Without Borders

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