Han University (formerly the Asian Institute of Medical Studies) began in the summer of 2000 when Alex Holland, MAc, LAc; Linda Joy Stone, MS, LAc; Leslie Romero, LAc; and Richelle Arsenault, MBA, CGFM decided to blend their expertise and energy towards the goal of developing a school of Traditional Chinese Medicine that took the principles of Mind/Body/Spirit to deeper levels of understanding. This vision formed the Asian Institute of Medical Studies, now Han University of Traditional Medicine (HUTM). We found a site for the school in a modern office complex with a beautiful courtyard located in Tucson at the foot of the Catalina Mountains.

The Asian Institute was approved by the State of Arizona Acupuncture Board of Medical Examiners on April 3, 2001 and was granted a provisional license by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education in May 2002 to offer our two masters level degrees: Master of Acupuncture (MAc) and Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM). We achieved candidacy status with the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) in November 2003 and achieved full accreditation on September 6, 2006.

In addition to providing excellent academic programs, Asian Institute has participated in research on a number of fronts. In 2005 we did a year-long pilot study with the local VA hospital to study the effects of acupuncture on GERD. Also in 2005 we started working with the University of Arizona and the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in an NIH funded study involving the effects of acupuncture on individuals suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. In 2006 we started working with the International Rescue Committee studying the effects of acupuncture on individuals with PTSD.

The school also has an ongoing relationship with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) the University of Arizona, a program developed by Andrew Weil to teach physicians about alternative and complementary medicines. Through this relationship, our students have been invited to participate in AzCIM Patient Conferences, a consortium of CAM practitioners who discuss cases and determine the best strategies for integrative therapy. AzCIM physicians also shadow our students in the school’s Community Clinic as well as attend lectures on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This relationship helps to bridge our medicines, bring out the best in each for the healthcare of all our patients.

From its inception, the school has had a strong focus on the continuing educational needs of the practitioners of Oriental Medicine in Arizona. To this end we provide a variety of continuing education workshops to our colleagues. We also present Friday Night Forums, a series of public education talks for the general public about the benefits of TCM and other health related issues.
The school has recently been experiencing the many benefits of an investor from China. This has transformed the school in many ways, including a change of name from the Asian Institute of Medical Studies to the Han University of Traditional Medicine. We are also changing our location and increasing the size of our facility in order to better house our expanding clinic, classroom space, library and administrative offices. This is a much needed and appreciated shift as we move into the next phase of the school’s growth.

We have also developed strong relations with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) schools and hospitals in China. This is resulting in what will be an extensive student and faculty educational exchange program with a number of TCM schools and hospitals in China. Our faculty and students will now have the option of visiting and studying in China and our connections will also bring both students and renown TCM faculty to Han University.

Han University is currently in the process of developing a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program (DAOM) that will allow practitioners with current masters degrees in TCM to return to school to upgrade to a doctoral level degree.

These changes are very much welcomed and we are very excited about them. Our vision is broad and extensive, touching all aspects of TCM healthcare in this country. Our work with AzCIM and the schools in China has given us the understanding and connections to create a truly integrative medical model, where East and West blend to form a healthcare system that is economical and beneficial to all.

Within its short history, Han University has become well established as a healing and educational center. Our approach to service continues to foster strong, healthy and expansive relationships that benefit many hundreds of patients, students, and physicians, from the local Tucson community to the far reaches of China.