Beth Howlett


    Saturday Topic
    “The Frontier of American Chinese Medicine: Exploring The Medical Archives At Kam Wah Chung”

    The Kam Wah Chung Clinic was a Chinese medical clinic, general store, community center and residence. Kam Wah Chung gives you an incomparable glimpse into the past. This remarkable site, now a National Historic Landmark, is located in the town of John Day, OR and includes a museum and a separate interpretive center.

    The clinic was built in 1865, possibly as a trading post and stage stop. This tiny, unassuming building became home to two Chinese immigrants, Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On in 1888. Both became locally famous:  Lung On as a general store proprietor and businessman, and “Doc” Hay as a practitioner of herbal medicine. For over 60-some years the building was a social, medical, and religious center for Oregon’s Chinese community. Beth’s talk  will discuss her research into the medical records and herbs found in the clinic when it was “rediscovered”.

    Beth Howlett, DAOM began her study of things Chinese in 1994 at Bryn Mawr College, enticed by the prospect of learning a language with no verb tenses. After graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies, she was selected to participate in Princeton-in-Asia’s teaching fellowship program in Ningbo, China. Upon returning to the USA, Beth deepened her study of Chinese language and culture by pursuing a MAcOM and a DAOM at OCOM in Portland, OR. Her passion for the medicine and translating source texts led her to help facilitate an ongoing relationship between OCOM and the Kam Wah Chung Co. museum in John Day, Oregon, culminating in her doctoral capstone research project and the creation of a publicly searchable database of the medicinal materials catalogued at the site.  Her work was instrumental in securing a grant from the State Library of Oregon and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote further research into the collection, resulting in an open online database that allows scholars to access its treasures in digital form. Dr. Howlett currently serves as the Vice President of Academics and full time faculty member at AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine and previously served as the Vice President of Communications and Academic Services and adjunct faculty at OCOM. In addition to leadership and teaching roles in the field of Chinese Medicine, Dr. Howlett also serves as the Education Working Group Co-Chair for the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH).

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