Weekly Address from Mary Faria: Winter Week 2

AOMA weekly updates (week of 1/04/20)

1. AOMA’s desire to combat racism and healthcare disparities –

- I’m excited to announce that we’ve hired a wonderful individual for the Student Services role. I’ll be sending out a formal announcement soon. This individual has a great deal of experience in Student Services and with Diversity and Inclusion in higher education. I think everyone will enjoy working with the new Sr. Director of Student Services. Special thanks to Robin Banyasz and Latossha Tifre who were part of the interview and selection team.

2. Plans and issues related to COVID-19 crisis including clinic and campus re-openings

- COVID rates in Austin/Travis County are at crisis level and our hospitals are becoming overwhelmed. At this time we continue to offer students clinics to ensure those needing hours to graduate, get them. There are a few hands-on classes but most have been postponed. Doing anything on campus at this time poses risk that is why anything we can do virtually we must do, as this helps us reduce risk. We are continuing to monitor. This is a very fluid time and our ability to continue will depend on what is happening with COVID and hospital rates in the community. I truly appreciate everyone’s understanding. This is a remarkable time in our history and the risk is very serious. For those on campus or in clinics it is critical that we do all that is required to stay safe. You cannot come on campus or enter clinic without undergoing the proper screening, please remember that!

3. Key operational issues or updates

-Announcements will be made shortly regarding key positions that have been filled.

-We’ve had a few exterior door left unlocked. If anyone notices an unlocked door please notify facilities or anyone in Administration. This is an important safety issue

-Below is an email I sent late Wednesday after the event at our nation’s capital on Wednesday.

4. Important announcements or answers to questions sent in by students, faculty or staff

- From: Mary Faria <mfaria@aoma.edu> Sent: Wednesday, January 6, 2021 8:37 PM Subject: AOMA's commitment to safety

Dear AOMA Community,

One of our amazing doctoral students, Koa Balany-Tahkine asked today if I would take time to reaffirm AOMA’s commitment to the safety of our community. His need for reassurance came after he learned of the unbelievable event at our Nation’s Capital today. Our students never seize to inspire me and Koa’s reaching out today is no exception.

2020 was such a challenging year, we were so very glad to have it behind us. Our hope for a better year in 2021 was tested today. But I don’t want us to lose our hopefulness. The very sad event of today should remind us that we must all do our part individually and collectively in the ways we can to support peace, hold dignity for all humans, hold tight to our values and to put those values into action, and as school of integrative medicine, continue to fulfill our mission of transforming lives.

Please be assured AOMA is committed to our mission, one that includes compassion and service and health and safety. Safety, both physical and emotional, must start with each of us being individually committed to creating and supporting a safe environment. Please do your part to protect each other during this time when COVID rates are surging at crisis level, the highest rates since the pandemic started. Let’s all follow best safety practices and let’s all take care of each other in all ways, mind, body and spirit. Let’s remain strong and safe and calm through many more storms we will no doubt face in this new year. But we’ll face them together and continue our journey to make a difference in this world through the very special beauty of acupuncture and TCM.

Please know if you feel your safety is at risk (mind, body, or spirit) don’t hesitate to reach out to any leader at AOMA. All of us are committed to your safety and will work with you to ensure we can support you through the internal and external resources we have available.

With Love, Peace and Gratitude,


Got a question for Mary? Don’t hesitate to send her an email at mfaria@aoma.edu and you will receive a response in a timely fashion. If your question involves another department, we will make sure they receive the question and respond.

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