Passion for Our Profession Shows in Everything We Do 

About Us

FSOMA is a 501(c)6, not-for-profit professional association, serving Florida Licensed Acupuncturists since 1994. FSOMA's precursor, Florida State Acupuncture Association (FSAA), was created in 1982, only 1 year after Acupuncture was legalized in the state of Florida. 

We invite you to learn more about us and to get involved in advancing the practice of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. 

FSOMA employs a full-time lobbying firm, Rutledge and Eceniaon behalf of our profession. This firm is employed to investigate all legislation and rules that may have an impact on the profession. Rutledge & Ecenia and FSOMA create coalitions with legislators and other professions to protect and promote our profession through cooperation, mutual understanding, education, and teamwork. Through their hard work & that of the volunteer Board of Directors, FSOMA has become a respected source for legislators needing information about AOM.

Purpose by-lawsbrief history

FSOMA’s Purpose

  1. To serve as a representative membership organization of the Oriental medical profession.
  1. To maintain the practice of Oriental medicine as a separate and distinct member of the healing arts professions.
  1. To protect in every way not contrary to law the philosophy, science, and art of Oriental medicine, and the professional welfare of its members.
  1. To serve as an official spokesperson for and representative of the Oriental medical profession in the State of Florida and to assist all reputable organizations of the profession throughout the world in carrying out compatible purposes, when such purposes are deemed compatible by the Board of Directors as expressed in these By-Laws.
  1. To develop and maintain, when deemed necessary, and in the manner deemed by the Board of Directors, standards of education, ethics and professional competency, health research programs, and inter-professional relationships and to promote public understanding of Oriental medicine.
  1. To do all things necessary and proper in the interest of the Oriental medical profession and its members in carrying out the foregoing purposes.


A Brief History

The early history of FSOMA is strongly tied to the founding of the profession of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the State of Florida.  Early Board members lobbied for the statutes that govern us and went on to serve on the Board of Acupuncture crafting rules that translate those laws into a full practice of medicine.

A Brief History

The early history of FSOMA is strongly tied to the founding of the profession of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in the State of Florida.  Early Board members lobbied for the statutes that govern us and went on to serve on the Board of Acupuncture crafting rules that translate those laws into a full practice of medicine.

1981     Acupuncture was legalized in Florida.  Some of the early licensees were Linda Chin, William Huang, Robert and Vivid Chung, Su Liang Ku, and Joseph Hou.  Apprentice process established which required working under and MDs and DOs. 

1982     First Acupuncture Exam was offered and 30+ APs were licensed.
Florida State Acupuncture Association (FSAA) (precursor to FSOMA) was established with 30 members, among them were Barbara Mitchell, Anna Lee, Joseph Hou, David Bole, and Harvey Kaltsas.   Joseph Hou was president.

1984      Practice of Acupuncture was established to “certify acupuncturists”.  BOA was established with Terre Larsen as Chair.  New Licensing exam was established.

1985      Harvey Kaltsas became president of FSAA 

1987      James Maguire (then known as James Pinkman) was elected president.  Harvey Kaltsas, David Bole, Luis Celpa were appointed to the Board of Acupuncture and worked to expand the scope of practice.

1992     Dr Yen attended Acupuncture day in Tallahassee in 1992 and cured the headache of a  Florida representative.  He was impressed and wanted to give back.  Two weeks later Dr. Yen got a letter from Governor Chiles inviting her to join the Florida Board of Acupuncture.   Two years later she was chairman.  

1993     Danny Quaranto became president, and the name of the association was changed from FSAA to Florida State Oriental Medical Association (FSOMA).  There are about 1000 licensees in the state.
Carol Bates elected secretary and dedicated many years including writing and publishing the first journal

1994     FSOMA established as a 501(c)6 Florida Not for Profit professional association 

1996     First FSOMA Conference, they were initially held every 2 years. Today they are held yearly with Nationally and Internationally known speakers.  Richard Brown is FSOMA President with yearly terms

1997     Mary Riggin was elected president and re-elected in 1998.

  • Carol Bates elected Vice President.
  • First Acupuncture Education Day was held in March, planned by Mary Riggin.  Mary Riggin and Carol Bates attended many Acupuncture Education Days.
  • Membership doubled, at 50% level. 
  • Legislation was passed in 1998, 1999 and 2000.


1998     Mary Riggin re-elected president

  • Mary Riggin, Harvey Kaltsas and Delores D’Aprile was appointed to the Board of Acupuncture to help write the rules from just passed legislation. Legislation expanded our practice
  • Carol Bates became president when Mary Riggin left to serve on the BOA
  • First Professional management hired – Harris & Co
1999-2001     Carol Bates was elected President  of FSOMA and served 1 term (2 years) from 1999-2001. 
  • Our profession was sued by the Florida Medical Doctors in 4 different lawsuits.  Our profession, scope of practice and most importantly, our title in statue of “Acupuncture Physician” were under attack.  
  • FSOMA Legislative chair, Richard Freiberg was able to get Tom Gustafson, former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, to represent us as our attorney.  
  • Carol  Bates created The Legal Defense Fund to protect the profession.  
  • Harvey Kaltsas helped in raising funds and we received $80,000 for our legal fight.  FSOMA won all 4 lawsuits.  


2001     Growing pains.  The board fights and splits

2003     David Rindge becomes president.  

  • Professional lobbyist hired – Laura McLeod. 
  • A revitalized and restructured FSOMA emerges thanks to Isali Ben Jacob and David Rindge.

2005 Amy Sear becomes president.

  • The Conference is now a yearly event.
  • New management is hired. Mixon & Associates hired as lobbyists. 
  • Connections are made to Florida State government departments and other medical associations. 
  • Brought bank accounts to over $100K, made Annual Conference profitable, restored faith and trust in FSOMA, and began recording conference sessions. Established a vetting process for BOD members
  • Sear was a founding member of the nationally based Council of State Associations which later became the American Society of Acupuncturists

2009     First attempt by PTs  Dry Needling.  Acupuncture friend Representative Peter Nehr saw the attempt for dry needling.  Nehr took the fight personally and fought hard for our profession.  He even gave testimony on the House floor and was able to shut down dry needling completely and that torch kept going for many years. 

2011     Peggy DeLara elected president
  • FSOMA yearly Strategic Planning instituted.
  • The profession loses PIP – Acupuncture is removed from Auto Accident coverage. 
  • Connections in Tallahassee strengthened through our efforts to save PIP.

2013     Ellen Teeter elected president

  • FSOMA exhibits at medical conferences like Worker Comp Institute, Fl Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP), and Fl State Massage Therapy Association(FSMTA) promoting referrals and use of AOM. 
  • Over 60 APs and AOM Students attend AcuEd Day in 2016. A charter bus travels from Miami to Tallahassee to pick them up.  Educating the legislature about the problems with dry needling takes center stage.

2015     Ellen Teeter is hired to be the Executive Director and manage the FSOMA

2017     Sandra Kahn elected president. 

  • AcuEd Day 2017 focuses on how AOM can help with the Opioid epidemic and the problems with dry needling.
  • FSOMA offers a lecture at the Workers' Compensation Institute Conference.
  • Largest attendance at 2019 FSOMA Conference
  • Institutes Building Better Business webinars 
  • COVID webinars & support for the profession. 
  • Sends letters to 2 counties deeming us as non-essential and has us reclassified.

2021     David Bibbey is elected president 

  • wins the fight in court to stop dry needling. 
  • The Board of Physical Therapy had to pay FSOMA"s legal expenses.
  • They had too much support by the Speaker of the House to prevent them changing their statute the next year.  
  • FSOMA exhibits at the Florida Radiological Society to promote AP utlliization of their services

2023          Galina Roofener is president.

  • FSOMA exhibits at the Eczema Conference
  • Continues to hold AcuEd Day 
  • Insurance Committee established to fight for better coverage 
  • Legislation threatens Acupuncture Physician title and David Bibbey leads campaign to defeat bill. 
  • Bibbey introduces legislation to update our practice and protect our titles