We are very pleased to announce that Emperor’s College has signed an academic affiliation agreement with the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration (VA), one of the largest VAs in the United States, serving 80,000 veterans. Under the supervision of Dr. Jeremiah Krieger, an Emperor’s College alumnus who is the first licensed acupuncturist to be hired on staff at the Greater Los Angeles VA, Emperor’s College DAOM students will treat patients in the PTSD/Mental Health Clinic starting in 2023. Deans Jacques MoraMarco and Bruce Gustafson will also supervise the DAOM students. This is a historic partnership that we have been working toward for over a decade.
In 2017, the VA system launched its “Whole Health” initiative, bringing complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies to veterans. To date, the VA has approved eight CIH therapies as part of the standard VA medical benefits package: acupuncture, biofeedback, clinical hypnosis, guided imagery, massage therapy, meditation, Tai Chi/Qigong, and yoga. The VA stated that the decision to offer these therapies was based upon “mounting evidence of the effectiveness of these therapies for many conditions that, in turn has led to their inclusion in national pain management guidelines and strategies, increasing demand from Veterans, increasing need to offer non-pharmacologic pain management strategies to counter the opioid epidemic, and significant support from Congress and VA leadership.” The “Whole Health” initiative is truly a remarkable program for the largest integrated medical system in the United States.
We express our gratitude to Dr. Krieger and to Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, Chief of Integrative Medicine at the Greater Los Angeles VA, for their commitment to bringing acupuncture services and the highest level of care to our veteran community. We also thank the numerous Emperor’s College faculty, staff, and alumni who have volunteered at the veteran outreach events over the years, including at the Los Angeles Veterans Standowns, the Women’s Veterans Summits, and the West Los Angeles Veterans Health Fair. Finally, we recognize all the veterans currently attending Emperor’s College who are dedicated to becoming brilliant healers and to bringing health and wholeness to our society. Emperor’s College has always worked to bring acupuncture to underserved and underrepresented communities, and we are honored to serve these deserving veterans who have sacrificed so much to serve our country.