Our general membership elects a Board, approves an annual budget, and votes on any changes to bylaws.
The Governing Board, in turn, is tasked with making and implementing policy decisions, and coordinating the work of the committees.
Committees are tasked with carrying out the organizational goals.
The purpose of the Minnesota Acupuncture Association's Governing Board is to provide governance for the good of the Association. The Board and/or its members shall:
Current Board goals are to:
Aaron Schindler, M.Om., L.Ac.
Aaron is a licensed acupuncturist and holds a Diplomate of Chinese Medicine from NCCAOM. He is a 2008 graduate from the Masters of Oriental Medicine program at Northwestern Health Sciences University's College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and maintains a private practice in Minneapolis and works at Everspring Health Cooperative.
He is also has his Bachelors degree in Biology from University of Minnesota Mankato. He has been a Medical Laboratory Technician with 20 years experience in various clinical settings including at the U of M Diagnostic Andrology Laboratory, St Paul Cancer Center, Park Nicollet Clinic laboratories and the Neuroimmunology Department at Mayo Foundation working with myasthenia gravis testing and paraneoplastic disorders.
Received his instructors License in 2004 from Mankato School of Internal Martial Arts, and t Tai Chi, Baguazhang Kung Fu and Qi Gong for longevity and healing.
Aaron enjoys getting engaging the public by organizing volunteer efforts that bring acupuncture to the people. He has helped organize volunteers at events like the Yellow Ribbon Health Expo for Veterans of Lakeville, acupuncture booth at Women Run The Cities Marathon, acupuncture booth at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Marathon, acupuncture volunteers at the Red Ribbon Bike Ride, and also volunteers with the Freedom Fighters first Tuesdays free acupuncture for veterans with PTSD group.
He is also involved with working on legislative policy for the acupuncture profession. He organizes grassroots educational and communication trainings for acupuncturists and acupuncture students to get them engaged in protecting their scope of practice and the benefits of effectively building healthy relationships with our legislators and other professions.
Valerie Overby, M.Om., L.Ac.
Vice President / Membership Committee Chair
Valerie is a seasoned project planner, leader and team builder. As a result she has worn many hats in her career; lab assistant and researcher, project manager, clinic coordinator, and long term community volunteer. Valerie brings her passion for community outreach and healthcare to MAA. In a world of diverse populations and cultural backgrounds, Valerie seeks to support inclusive forms of healing that support the patient and utilizes complementary medicine.
Valerie earned her Masters of Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2014, and received her undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota in Biology and American Indian Studies in 2003. Valerie enjoys traveling and working with Acupuncturists Without Borders with their world healing exchanges and trauma relief efforts. Valerie also is co-founder of a local Minnesota non-profit, Traditional Roots Healthcare, and seeks to bring acupuncture and holistic care approaches to communities affected by trauma.
Rhonda Harbaugh Witmer, M.Om., L.Ac.
Rhonda developed an interested in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from a patient’s viewpoint. Really, it was quite by accidental discovery based on a suggestion after months of pain. Rhonda is a December 2014 graduate of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN. Previously, Rhonda work in quality and recruitment for a company in Southwestern, Wisconsin, and involved in local government, community projects. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
She looks forward to working together to move our profession forward and serving as your Treasurer. There is great future ahead ~ we need to walk in faith together blended with hope and trust in each other.
Rhonda’s interest outside of promoting alternative healing choices are vast and broad. Currently, Rhonda is completely her national boards certification. Rhonda is on the Board of Directors at Cannon River Watershed Partnership in Northfield where she lives. She also is a member of Emmaus Church, Northfield Prairie Partners, Northfield Herbies group and volunteering at the Carleton College Arboretum in restoration projects. When she is not volunteering, she is gardening, camping, and in particular biking on Luce Line Trail and spending time with her family. Rhonda is proud mom to children Ben and Rachel.
Nick Dougherty, DAOM L.Ac.
Nick is 2009 graduate of the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with his Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is currently working towards his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on Neurological conditions.
Nick found Traditional Chinese Medicine through his lifelong study of the Martial Arts which he now teaches and incorporates into the health plans of his patients, via Qi Gong, Tai Chi and other modalities, thereby connecting the physical body to the mind.
John Blaska, DAOM L.Ac.
Legislative Committee Chair
John is a leading researcher in the area of integrative healthcare clinic innovation with a vision for creating a viable, globally accessible primary care model that meets modern need. As President and Founder of Everspring Health, John lead the development and execution of this model at our clinic in Minneapolis, work with others to bring it to scale, and educate the public on its benefits; as a board-certified medical practitioner, John helps patients understand the spirit/mind/body connection and the influence stress, diet and sleep have on quality of life; as an advocate for patients, my focus is to create opportunities for better quality of life by integrating and delivering qualified health and healing resources.
Deborah Aurianivar, M.Om., L.Ac.
Deborah has been practicing one form or another of Asian therapies since 1993. It all began with acupressure! She discovered the wonder of pain reduction with acupuncture after a serious car crash in 1997. In 2002 she earned her Master's of Oriental Medicine from North Western Health Sciences University and enjoyed a successful practice in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2007 she moved to Arizona to assist family members. While there, she enjoyed the opportunity of being an assistant professor, clinic supervisor, clinic dean and the Assessment and Accreditation Officer of the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA).
She is a strong stand for public education regarding the benefits of acupuncture from Licensed Acupuncturists.
Donna is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University and will graduate in December of 2016. She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota in Biology.
Donna enjoys spending quality time with her children, family and friends. She enjoys volunteering and sitting on the board of a local boxing gym in South Minneapolis that focuses helping inner city youth to become future leaders of tomorrow.
Victoria has been licensed in the state of MN since 1997 after completing her MAcOM at OCOM in Portland, Oregon. Victoria has worked with patient care in multiple settings in the Twin Cities including Hennepin Faculty Associates, Health Partners in Inver Grove Heights, and in several private practice locations and is currently located at Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Minneapolis.
Victoria enjoys patient care utilizing acupuncture, herbal therapy, qigong, and TCM dietary recommendations. As a faculty member of the acupuncture program at Northwestern Health Sciences University for the last 12 years, Victoria has taken her love of teaching and translated that to patient care highlighting education in self-care and empowerment in healing for patients. Victoria sees the healing relationship as a partnership and find patients are very willing participants when given the resources and tools to heal.
Student Board Member
Angie is currently pursuing a master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture from Northwestern Health Sciences University; she is expected to graduate in August of 2019.
Since 2007, Angie has been assisting clients in transforming their lives as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Her undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science was completed at St. Catherine's University. Her passion for health and wellness started as a teenager working as a certified nursing assistant and then continued as a laboratory technician in the U.S. Army. She is excited to join the TCM community bringing her varied experiences to patients and the MN Acupuncture Association.
Student Board Member
Brett M Willis is a Masters level student at The Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Brett currently works as a paramedic at the Talecris Plasma Better in Fridley MN. With 10 years of experience in emergency medicine, Brett has developed a love of healing others and helping them find healthy alternatives such as Acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Brett is a nomad from birth as both his parents served in the United States Army. He himself has served in many capacities including serving a full time two year mission for his church, becoming an eagle scout, headed the first Spanish Scott unit in Indiana, resurrecting the Native American Student Alliance at IUPUI including helping create a certificate in Native American Studies. In high school Brett also spoke before his school board after participating in the first class to study Japanese in order to keep the program alive. His years of service now have lead him to seek ways to expand the knowledge and acceptance of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in both Minnesota and our country as a whole.
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