Who We Are

OUR VISION

A world where people in underserved areas have the tools and capacity to care for their own communities with minimal dependency on outside aid.

WHY BARE FOOT?

Acupuncture as “Barefoot” means “feet” on the ground.  People on the ground in given place are able to offer care for that community.

OUR STORY

The Barefoot Acupuncture Movement has evolved over the past decades through projects in Africa and Latin America in response to violence, poverty and refugee displacement.  Acupuncturists in Uganda and Guatemala partnered with refugee care programs to address community trauma and taught their model to our partners responding to violence in Ciudad Juarez Mexico.  Since 2011, our partnerships in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, and Nicaragua have allowed us to continue to innovate acupuncture-based community health training programs.

OUR MISSION

Barefoot Acupuncture Movement (BAM) partners with underserved communities to build resiliency through acupuncture.  Global in scope, Barefoot Acupuncture Movement is an umbrella project within  Crossroads Community Supported Healthcare, a 501c-3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to make healthcare accessible and affordable to people of all income levels through the support of local communities.  Through our international Barefoot Collective of trainers, we work to replicate models of training community health workers in areas of high need around the world.

OUR ROOTS

The Barefoot Doctor movement offered care for millions of people in rural and underserved areas in Asia starting in the 1950’s, filling a need where urban-trained doctors would not work. 

 

The World Health Organization adopted this model and started similar community health training projects. Over the past 50 years, a variety of global health programs cultivated this model in addiction and recovery, refugee, and community health projects.  

MOVEMENT

Our work was born out of the revival of the Barefoot Doctor projects in the Americas, including the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) and the Guatemalan Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project.   Replicating these models of popular acupuncture education, our Barefoot Collective has designed and refined a core curriculum to replicate these models within global healthcare.   

ACCOMPANIMENT

For over a decade we have carefully worked to support existing humanitarian aid projects, mobilizing our volunteer network to assist migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border, providing treatment to survivors of the El Paso, Texas 2019 mass shooting, and aiding indigenous health workers throughout Latin America to address trauma, addiction, and a variety of other health issues in their communities. 

BAREFOOT ACUPUNCTURE

OUR TEAM

Ryan Bemis, DOM

Executive Director

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Co-founder of the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement and Executive Director, teacher and acupuncturist for our non-profit organization, Crossroads. Ryan has over 20 years of experience working in community health and outreach. He is licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and as a Supervisor for behavioral health programs using acupuncture in New Mexico. His past counseling and acupuncture organizing experience includes working within U.S. military and VA healthcare, Catholic Charities, disaster relief in El Paso, as well as refugee migrant care, addictions, indigenous and homeless healthcare in North and Central America.

Jean-Paul Dedam , MD

Teacher and Project Developer

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A Family Medicine doctor who is also board certified in Medical Acupuncture, Jean-Paul grew up on the coast of Maine and did his medical training at Greater Lawrence Family Medical Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts with a focus on healthcare for the underserved. After residency, he moved with his wife Tamara to New Mexico to work for Indian Health Service at ACL Hospital. While in medical school, Jean-Paul started Herman@s Por la Salud, a nonprofit working in Nicaragua to address the socio-economic determinant of health. Along with Tamara, they still run Hermanos from their organic farm, Micelio in Carazo, Nicaragua. Hermanos was one of the supporting partners behind Barefoot Acupuncture Schools in Mexico and in Nicaragua. He and Tamara live in Albuquerque, NM with their niece Patricia.

Megan Yarberry , MAcOM, LAc

Middle East/African Coordinator

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Megan is co-founder of our Barefoot Acupuncture Movement. She also works a project manager for a health and wellness initiative in Hawai’i. She holds a Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and has 22 years of clinical experience. She is a National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) Registered Trainer, and has specific acupuncture experience in HIV/AIDS clinics, prisons, mental health centers, and detox facilities in Oregon and Hawaii. Since 2005, Megan has provided NADA and other training in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Congo, Tunisia and Haiti. She has received an award from the U.S. NADA organization for her work in East Africa.

Mallory Harman, MAcOM, LAc

Teacher and Immersion Coordinator

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Mallory is an apprenticing teacher for our Barefoot Schools in Latin America, and coordinator for Immersion programs. She is a graduate of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in 2018 with a Masters degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She has volunteered and coordinated programs for the Acupuncture Relief Project in Bajrabarahi, Nepal, and worked as a teacher and clinician in the Portland, Oregon area with addictions and indigenous recovery work.

Nancy Ortiz-Gonzalez

Latin American Coordinator

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Nancy is Co-founder and teacher of our Barefoot Acupuncture Schools in Nicaragua and Mexico, and Coordinator for the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement in Latin America Nancy holds an MA in Psychology and has worked as a psychologist since 2007. She has extensive experience in Human Resources within non profit and international humanitarian aid organizations. Nancy lives with her family in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where she volunteers in her parish church leading choir, in social ministry, and offering NADA acudetox and community acupuncture after mass and as part of refugee care within Diocesan migrant shelters.

Rhonda Coleman, DAOM

Teacher

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Rhonda is a licensed acupuncturist, certified herbalist, life coach, community health activist, and public speaker currently living Aurora, CO where she works at the Center for Neuromuscular Therapy. She serves as the Chair of Representative James Coleman Health Cabinet, Vice President of the Black Acupuncturist Association, and as as a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the EDI committee for Integrative Medicine for the Underserved IM4US. Rhonda is originally from New Orleans, LA and is first generation Afro-Honduran-American.

Will Hall, MA, DiplPW

Teacher

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Will is a therapist, trainer, and community development worker focused on experiences labeled bipolar, schizophrenia, and psychosis. He is author of The Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness . Will also is the host of Madness Radio, and is currently a PhD candidate in psychiatric epidemiology at Maastricht University. He is trained in Open Dialogue and Jungian Process Work, and was certified in NADA ear acupuncture at Lincoln Recovery in 2006.

Tracy Thorne, MAcOM, LAc

Teacher

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Tracy is a teacher for our Barefoot Acupuncture Movement, and developed our Moxa curriculum for health promoters in Mexico. She earned her master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM) from the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) in Massachusetts. Prior to that she received her MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She specializes in Keiraku chiyro acupuncture, Japanese moxa, and Classical Chinese herbalism and pediatric and adult care in Portland, Oregon. She has been a faculty member at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine for 10 years.

Isaac (Ike) Trevino, MPA, CADS

Teacher

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Ike has worked as a volunteer and teacher since 2013 within our refugee care program and with our indigenous community partnerships. As a curent graduate social work student, he works as a hypnotherapist and acudetox specialist at Treviño Hypnotherapy and with Las Cruces Integrative Counseling Services. Ike has over 25 years of experience working with Native communities and within community development in Latin America.

Jay Renaud , MPA

Teacher

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Jay is the co-founder of Guidepoints: Acupuncture in Recovery for addictions professionals, and former manager of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA). For two decades, he served in various counseling and management positions at treatment facilities in Oregon and Washington State, and served as a founding board member of the counselor certification organization now known as NAADAC, editor of its initial member newsletter. Jay holds an MA in public administration from Portland State University.

Francela Nohelia Morales Gazo

Teacher

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Nohelia assists with coordinating our Barefoot School in Nicaragua, where she serves as a Barefoot Health Promoter offering acupuncture for farming communities. She is a longtime youth leader for Tierra y Vida (Earth and Life), which assists with agricultural and environmental education in rural Nicaragua. For many years she has been involved with similar Base community projects, working to promote community development in her country.

Sara Ibarra

Teacher

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Sara is an assistant teacher and co-founder of our Barefoot School in Mexico. She has been working as a volunteer Barefoot Health Promoter offering acupuncture in her home town of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico since 2011, after helping found our projects in response to violence in the border city. She also volunteers in her local church in community education and offering care and food supplies for low-income families.

BAREFOOT ACUPUNCTURE

ADVISORY BOARD

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Bob Quinn: Associate Professor and Clinical Supervisor, National University of Natural Medicine, School of Classical Chinese Medicine, Portland, Oregon
  • Molly Molloy: Former Professor of Latin American and Border Studies, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces
  • Dalila Bothwell: Former Deputy Director of New York Insight
    Meditation Center, New York City
  • Laura Bemis: President of American Association of United Women
  • Sara Hychca: Former Office Manager, Mesilla Valley Physical Therapy
  • Vickie Hale: Retired Executive assistant, High Desert State Prison,
    California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)

ADVISORY COUNCIL

  • Dr. Subhuti Dharmandanda: Founder and Director, The Institute for Traditional Medicine and Preventive Health Care, Inc. (ITM)
  • Mark Farrington: Retired Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Department of Veteran’s Affairs
  • Jay Renaud: Former Office Manager, National Acupuncture Detoxification Association
  • Carol Taub: Former Dean of Academics, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
  • Aaron Sharratt: Co-founder, La Semilla, Las Cruces, NM
  • Peter Goodman: Attorney at Law, Founder of Las Cruces Community Radio
  • Blake Gentry: Co-Founder, Guatemalan Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project
  • Herman Garcia: Retired Professor of Education, New Mexico State University
  • Veronica Lynch: Billing Director, University of Nevada Las Vegas Medical Clinics
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