AOMA Receives Reaffirmation from SACSCOC through 2024

Published Dec 12, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas, December 12, 2014 — AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine received the maximum 10-year reaffirmation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges(SACSCOC) at the annual meeting in Nashville, TN. This is the highest level of regional accreditation that can be granted.

“This validates the fulfillment of our mission: transforming lives and communities through graduate education in Oriental medicine. It affirms the quality and integrity of our academic medical programs,” reported AOMA President William Morris. “The rigorous standards required by SACSCOC allow students, graduates, and patients to feel confident about the quality of education received at AOMA.”

AOMA offers both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The regional accreditation allows for graduates to participate as learners and faculty within the university and college educational systems of the United States.

As part of the reaffirmation process, AOMA developed a carefully designed and focused clinical experience that will improve student learning outcomes. According to Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree Program Director Lesley Hamilton, “Clinical education will more closely align with real-world experience, providing students with a staged clinical experience at the very busy AOMA clinics.”

AOMA Appoints New Governing Board Member, Michelle Sierpina, PhD

Published Nov 17, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas, November 17, 2014 — AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine announced the appointment of Michelle Sierpina, PhD as its newest member of the board of governors. The AOMA governing board consists of five members who are elected based upon their ability, skills, and experience to set the strategic plan and policies that ensure the institution will achieve its mission.

“Serving on AOMA’s board allows me the privilege to participate as the college sets an ever-higher national standard for promoting clinical excellence through education, research, and professional and community collaborations,” said Dr. Sierpina. “I am proud and grateful to be a part of an organizational team that produces exceptional leaders in evidenced-based Oriental medicine.”

Dr. Sierpina is the founding director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). She is also an assistant adjunct professor at the UTMB School of Nursing. AOMA will find Dr. Sierpina’s experience in medical education curriculum and program development to be invaluable at the level of governance.

AOMA President William Morris states, “Michelle Sierpina is an excellent fit for the governance of AOMA. She brings wisdom and experience in higher education, and a passion for learning. AOMA is fortunate to have her in our community.”

Dr. Sierpina is a pioneer in the development of integrative healthcare in Texas, and her commitment to lifelong learning will be an asset to the future of AOMA and healthcare.

AOMA Named to 2015 Military Friendly® Schools List

Published Sep 24, 2014


AOMA Named to 2015 Military Friendly® Schools List

AUSTIN, Texas, September 24, 2014 — AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced today that it has been designated a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds.

Now in its sixth year, the Military Friendly® Schools designation and list by Victory Media is the premier, trusted resource for post-military success. Military Friendly® provides service members transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success in   the classroom and after graduation. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past six years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.

AOMA's master's and doctoral degree programs are approved by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the training of veterans and other eligible persons. In order to receive Veteran’s Benefits, the veteran must first establish his/her eligibility with the VA directly. Once eligibility has been established, AOMA certifies the veteran’s enrollment.

In addition, AOMA has an active Student Veteran Organization whose purpose is to provide education to our peers, practitioners, and the community on the needs and challenges facing our nation's Veterans. The group provides support and resources to ensure continued success and the well-being of our student Veterans and AOMA. For more information about AOMA’s commitment to attracting and supporting military students, visit

Read AOMA Student/Alumni Veteran Spotlight

AOMA strengthens leadership team with strategic hire of VP of Finance & Operations

Published Sep 16, 2014


Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA joined AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine senior leadership

AUSTIN, Texas, September 17, 2014 — AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced today the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations.“We at AOMA are excited about the new perspectives that Donna LaPoint Hurta will bring our operations and financial management. Donna’s strong background in educational management will assist AOMA in fulfilling its mission,” expressed President William Morris.

In this newly established executive position, Donna is responsible for caring for AOMA’s financial resources and accounting methods in a professional, responsible and safe manner while providing the highest quality of service to students, faculty and staff.

Donna Hurta brings more than 20 years of experience in finance and operations. She has a diverse background in accounting, GAAP compliance, payroll and reporting, multiple entity reporting, budget management, and audit oversight. During her career Donna has developed a high skill set in evaluating and developing policy and procedures as well as human resource, facility management, and software conversions for companies.

In her most recent position as the Director of Finance at Texas Congress of Parent and Teachers, Donna led the state-wide non-profit association in all aspects of financial management, including supervision of 401k, insurance benefits and payroll, and responsibility for annual budgets including working with department heads and communicating to board of directors. Prior to that Donna served as Director of Finance and Operations at Austin San Antonio Corridor Council, Inc. There she was responsible for the non-profit organizations daily operation, internal control, policy and procedure, as well as staff management.

Donna’s experience is enhanced by her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Management following by her MBA in Accounting from the University of Houston at Victoria.

AOMA announces 2014 commencement speaker Dr. Victor Sierpina

Published Sep 10, 2014


AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine announces 2014 commencement speaker

Victor S. Sierpina, MD to deliver keynote address to AOMA graduates on September 14

AUSTIN, Texas, September 10, 2014 — Victor S. Sierpina, MD will deliver the keynote address at the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine’s 18th annual commencement ceremony on September 14. Dr. Sierpina joined University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’sDepartment of Family Medicine in 1996. He attended medical school at the Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine at the University of Illinois–Chicago. He completed his internship and residency in Family Practice at the MacNeal Memorial Hospital in Berwyn, Illinois. After completing his residency, he did advanced study in Medical Acupuncture for Physicians at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Sierpina is board certified by both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. Dr. Sierpina’s interests are in medical student education in Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Integrative Oncology. His practice includes acupuncture, nutrition, botanical medicine, and mind-body therapies. Dr. Sierpina was named one of the “Best Doctors in America” 2005-2013.

Dr. Sierpina will address an expected thirty-eight graduates of the Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Degree program who will be attending the exercises on Sunday, September 14, at the Omni Hotel at Southpark in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Qianzhi (Jamie) Wu, VP of Faculty, will lead the procession of graduates, starting at 1:30pm. Proceedings will include the presentation of the Calvin Key Wilson Community Leadership Award, faculty speakers, awarding of degrees, and a healer's oath lead by program director Lesley Hamilton, followed by a reception in the lobby.

Completing a rigorous four-year master’s degree program which includes more than 900 hours of clinical internship, AOMA graduates are at the forefront of their field, integrating Eastern and Western medicine in clinics and hospitals. Upon graduation, these thirty-eight professionals will work in independent private practice, multi-disciplinary clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospice programs, oncology centers, community acupuncture clinics, military/veterans facilities, and corporate wellness programs.