Development News

June Alumni Donor Spotlight

Ella Woods, MSTCM ’05, DAOM ’08

ella woodsDr. Ella Woods has the pleasure of providing medical care to three species; homo sapiens (humans), canines (dogs) and felines (cats), and an occasional bird or bunny. Dr. Woods took some time away from her practice, Acupuncture Works, located in the beautiful Rockaway Beach area of Pacifica, CA to share her thoughts.

On her current practice and goals for the future…

I spend about 60-75% of my practice time treating people, and 25-40% treating animal companions. I practice with dogs and cats at A Well Adjusted Pet in Pacifica.  I spent many years practicing at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists, a large hospital offering 24/7 emergency services and specialty care. My dual practices have brought unanticipated depth to my practice by exposing me to an enormous variety of diseases and pathologies and by giving me intense and deep exposure to the allopathic medical world, its language, practice, and effects.  The only true goal I have is to love my work thoroughly, including my space, location, and patients.  After 10 years, I am still happy to work five days a week, precisely because I have insisted that everything about my work be completely lovable, from MY perspective.  Everything I give my patients comes from a place of contentment and satisfaction.

On her advice for students…

Not one of the teachers you will encounter is as important to your learning journey as is your own attitude.  True education is self-education. A true scholar’s responsibility is to respect the professor’s role as guide and be true to the student’s own responsibility to absorb all that is meaningful to oneself. Stay true to the course of perpetually seeking knowledge from different sources for the sake of deepening understanding and comprehension. Vet every bit of knowledge for truth and accuracy before incorporating it into one’s practice. The teacher guides.  The student actively seeks, not only through the teacher, but through all sources possible.

On her favorite memories of ACTCM…

During my time at ACTCM, I served as the student representative on the Board of Directors. Upon learning of my passion for animals and my intention to include veterinary TCM in my future practice, Lixin Huang invited me to accompany her to a regional executive management meeting of the World Wildlife Fund. I chose ACTCM over another TCM school in part due to ACTCM’s ethically and environmentally responsible position that the health of mankind need not rely on destroying entire species of kindred beings. At the WWF meeting I learned just how critical ACTCM’s role was in quite literally saving species.  I heard from executive leaders of the WWF that the organization’s efforts to influence the herbal practices in China and other Asian countries were stunningly and significantly impacted when ACTCM joined their efforts. Lixin influenced clinicians in China when no one else could.  This was a powerful revelation to me, to see yet another way in which our community can make a very real difference in the world.

On why she gives to ACTCM…

Simply put, ACTCM represents ideals that I care about quite deeply.  This college has been on the cutting edge of introducing our medical modality to a skeptical society and educating the community at large and takes a stand on animal welfare issues on our planet that I respect and appreciate. ACTCM provides low-cost clinic access which allows many people in the Bay Area to experience the benefits of TCM in their recovery and quest to maintain good health.  ACTCM does its best to offer the highest quality education possible for its students at both the Masters level and Doctorate levels while offering an excellent continuing education program for its graduates to take advantage of courses close to home without sacrificing quality education. Lastly, as an alumna of ACTCM, I want it to survive and thrive.  Many of the first and second generation of California LAcs, when asked about their alma mater, must confess that it no longer exists.  I would much prefer to point to ACTCM’s place on the map, historically and geographically, and say “ACTCM is my alma mater!”

Are you also proud to call ACTCM your alma mater? Unrestricted giving from generous donors like you and Dr. Woods supports ACTCM’s mission to educate the next generation of ethically and environmentally responsible leaders in traditional Chinese medicine.  For more information on how you can support ACTCM, contact Lauren Sauer, Development Officer, at, or make your gift today.

May Alumni Donor Spotlight

Tracy Ye, MSTCM ’09

Tracy Ye_Alumni Spotlight_May 2015

Dr. Tracy Ye found her passion in life while learning acupuncture and Chinese medicine at ACTCM. She credits her time at ACTCM as the seed for her growing tree of success. Dr. Ye took some time out from her thriving women’s health and fertility clinic in San Mateo to share her thoughts.

On her current practice and goals for the future…
I am inspired by the five branches of Chinese medicine to conduct a patient-centered practice, focusing on total wellness and treating the root cause of patient issues. Due to the high cost of living, women in the Bay Area often face the dual pressure of contributing to their families both as breadwinners and caretakers. I help them with not only their physical health, but their general wellbeing. I’ve had my patients tell me the side effect of acupuncture is a job promotion! My goal is to help as many people as possible through my own practice and through promoting acupuncture awareness and education in the greater community.

On her advice for students suffering from exams and clinic overload …
Learn as much as you can, because soon it will pay off when you are out on your own. This is the era for our medicine and all natural medicine. If you learn well in school and strive to be the best doctor, be patient; you will achieve all of your dreams. Start from today to appreciate every minute you have in school, because soon your practice will not only be your livelihood, but also your pride. The best rewards are patient trust, love, and smiles!

On her favorite memories of ACTCM…
As a student, I knew the staff and faculty at ACTCM truly cared about me. The support they provided made it possible for me to be where I am today. JoAnn Bennett and Lena Liu went the extra mile for me. Jim Hable not only registered me, but talked me out of my stress.  Lixin Huang helped me to find a position as an assistant to Bingzeng Zou when I was transitioning from student to graduate. There are too many great professors from my time at ACTCM to name! My Chinese professors taught me the classic medicine, my American professors taught me how to think independently! ACTCM combines both eastern and western styles of education and teaching elegantly and effectively. My current practice would not exist without the school’s education style!

On why she gives to ACTCM…
I am so proud of this new generation of students. They are even more creative and energetic than I imagined. They already want to give back to society! I support ACTCM because I want to help bring in the best doctors to transform this field.  I began by giving only $20 when I was working part-time at ACTCM and now support the annual Yes Acupuncture Clinic Scholarship. I hope to continue to give more as I grow my practice. It is a joy for me to give to ACTCM because I was given so much.

Do you also want to make a difference in a current student’s life? 85% of ACTCM students depend on some type of financial aid to cover their tuition and living expenses. Scholarship support from generous donors like you provides the opportunity for ACTCM students to become next generation of leaders in traditional Chinese medicine.  For more information on how you can support our students, contact Lauren Sauer, Development Officer, at, or make your gift today.

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