Alumni Profiles

Dr. Daniel Geren is an ACTCM grad (MSTCM|DAOM) and faculty member. Hear about his special relationship to ACTCM in the video above.

About ACTCM Alumni

ACTCM graduates are respected clinicians, authors, innovators, and teachers practicing at the top of their field. Many are pioneering new therapies and integrative treatments, founding new professional organizations, and bringing the benefits of TCM into new areas of health care and new places around the world. Their paths are as diverse as they are distinguished, and they are committed to helping the next generation of ACTCM graduates attain equal achievements. They are:

Some of our alumni:

Joanna Claire L.Ac., ’80 practiced in her small clinic in Palo Alto until her calling to continue work and study Tibetan Buddhism took her to Nepal in 1984. She currently treats many high monastic Lamas, serves the poor and attends the late king of Nepal and his family in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, where she currently lives.

CaLarry and Carla_squrla Cassler L.Ac. ’85, DAOM ’11, is Co-Director of Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), a non-profit organization that trains clinicians to provide acupuncture in communities impacted by natural disaster, violence and war. She has practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine for 30 years, specializing in women’s health, pediatric, orthopedic and trauma treatment. Her interest in trauma treatment began in 1992 when she practiced acupuncture on Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, where many of her patients suffered1682carla2sq from physical and mental health problems experienced during multiple wars and the Holocaust. In 2010 she co-founded the Bay Area Veteran’s Acupuncture Clinic (BAYVAC) which provides free weekly acupuncture treatment to veterans, military personnel and their families for pain and post-traumatic stress. Dr. Cassler splits her time between AWB and a clinical private practice in Kensington, CA.

Harald Dienes, MSTCM ’87, has been in continuous private practice in the U.S., Austria and Canada since 1987.  He taught Chinese medicine at naturopathic and shiatsu schools for over 10 years and assisted in developing a professional course in Chinese medicine at a school affiliated with the University of Toronto. He also received a grant to develop a prototype of an expert system in Chinese medicine by the Canadian National Research Council.

Bob Damone, MSTCM ‘ 89, is the Academic Dean and chair of the department of Oriental Medicine at PCOM, San Diego.  He is Senior editor of Concise Chinese Materia Medica, teaches seminars internationally and is the author of Principles of Chinese Medical Andrology: An Integrated Approach to Male Urological and Reproductive Health.

Unterricht6squ2Urs Pretot, MSTCM ’91, is the founder of the Swiss Professional Organization for Traditional Chinese Medicine (SBO-TCM). He has been a teacher and clinical instructor for the past 20 years and has authored 3 books and endless papers on diagnostic treatments with Chinese Medicine. He has maintained a private practice in Basel, Switzerland since 1992.


Amir Kalay, MSTCM ‘91, has been involved with private and government research regarding the applications of Chinese herbs in the Dermatology field for the last 15 years. Today he teaches international lectures on TCM Dermatology topics and owns a private practice in Tel Aviv, Israel that specializes in TCM Dermatology Diseases.

Jennifer Ashby, MSTCM ’96, DAOM ’10, has practiced at The Lotus Center, an acupuncture and wellness center in San Francisco, since 1996. She has worked at Stanford on a TCM study, presented at many TCM conferences, and has worked in SF county jails, and currently teaches TCM Gynecology and Obstetrics at ACTCM.

Portia Barnblatt, MSTCM ’96, DAOM ’11, founded the Portia Chan Acupuncture Clinic in downtown San Francisco in 1997.  From 2011-2012, she spent one year studying and working at Shanghai TCM University. She finished translating two TCM textbooks from Chinese to English for the Shanghai TCM University which were published in 2013. She currently works at East West Integrated Health Center of the Chinese Hospital in SF as well as maintaining her private practice. She also volunteers at BAYVAC ear clinic.

Toby Daly 2sqToby Daly, MSTCM ’02, co-founded Traditional Healing Arts in Cloverdale, CA with his partner Laurie Martin MSTCM ’02. He is currently pursuing a PhD in classical Chinese medicine and developing a mobile app for practitioners of Chinese medicine. While Laurie is busy growing Chinese herbs at her work garden, as well as continuing her studies in Classical Chinese Medicine.


Ella Woods, MSTCM ’05, DAOM ‘08, founded Acupuncture Works in Pacifica, CA. She is an adjunct professor in ACTCM’s Doctoral Program, serves on ACTCM’s DAOM Council, and is a TCM consultant and guest clinician to several holistic veterinary practices in the Bay Area.

Richelle Speilman, MSTCM ’14 and Jon Whitehorn, MSTCM ’14, just two months after graduating from ACTCM Jon and Richelle are the proud owners of Red Door Acupuncture in Flagstaff, AZ.

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