Below is a small introduction to the new coop of which Providence Community Acupuncture is  founding member. Please read if you have not had a chance.
Here are links to a couple other interesting and inspiring pieces on the coop.
Acupuncture Can save the World
Are We There Yet? On the Road from CAN to POCA


Providence Community Acupuncture, to many of us, feels like a one-of-a-kind thing. Well, it is definitely a special place. But its actually part of an international movement of acupuncturists and community acupuncture clinics who are committed to changing the way health care is created and sustained in our world. We’re very excited to introduce you to The People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA is the multi-stakeholder cooperative of which we are a member and which we also helped to create, thanks to you. From the POCA handbook:

The purpose of the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture is to create a stable and
sustainable economic foundation for the delivery of affordable acupuncture, and to establish and maintain structures to that end. POCA is a Cooperative owned by patients, acupuncturists, students, community acupuncture clinics, and their supporters, that organize collective investments of time, energy, participation and money, to further its vision. POCA serves a variety of member interests, including access to affordable, quality acupuncture and the creation of living-wage jobs in the acupuncture profession.

Part of the reason for the coop’s existence is so that clinics and their patients can keep creating this movement together, and so that it grows in ways that real people need. Both Cris and Korben were involved from the beginning with the  Community Acupuncture Network.  As founders of clinics in Providence and Philadelphia that began at the same time as CAN,  they both connected with other acupuncturists and clinics like this one to share information and give and receive support  through the network.

As a professional organization the Community Acupuncture Network has engaged and mobilized acupuncturists to serve the needs of their patients and communities. But it is clear that the success of community acupuncture clinics is directly linked to the support given to them by patients. A multi-stakeholder cooperative (POCA) recognizes the interdependent connections between consumers and
producers and is a way to organize these groups to work together to insure that benefits to both groups remain ongoing. One of the purposes of a multi-stakeholder cooperative for community acupuncture is to provide a vehicle by which patients can invest their time and skills into the movement, in a legal structure that recognizes them as owners of the cooperative….

So, not only do we want you to know about the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, we are inviting you to be an active participant. In the following weeks, we will be letting you know the specific ways you can be involved in POCA, as well as the benefits you’ll receive as  members. Keep in mind that if you’ve been coming to PCA and/or other community acupuncture clinics, then you already are deeply involved; and, you’re the reason this movement exists. But, for those of you who want to participate by, for example, volunteering at the clinic, or voting for decisions which will affect the coop and therefore the clinic, or serving on a project committee, or helping create a newsletter, we’ll be talking soon.

Stay tuned at the clinic and here on our website, (and on our facebook page if that’s your style.), for information about upcoming events related to launching POCA. We plan on hosting a movie night soon at PCA, where we’ll get to screen the new documentary about the community  acupuncture movement, talk about POCA, and meet folks involved with the clinic.
For more information about POCA, check out the POCA Handbook.

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