Veterans Benefit from Emperor’s College and VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Partnership

Nov 18, 2023 | Press Releases

Emperor’s College, ranked as the number one acupuncture school in California, has launched a doctoral residency program in collaboration with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS), one of the largest VA facilities in the United States, serving over 80,000 veterans.

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Emperor’s College, ranked as the number one acupuncture school in California, has launched a doctoral residency program in collaboration with the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS), one of the largest VA facilities in the United States, serving over 80,000 veterans.

The partnership allows Emperor’s College Doctor of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine residents to treat combat Veterans in the PTSD Clinic at the West LA VA Medical Center under the direction of Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, MD, Chief of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Jeremiah Krieger, DACM, LAc, an Emperor’s College alumnus and the first licensed acupuncturist to be hired on staff at VAGLAHS, and Dr. Jacques MoraMarco, DAOM, OMD, LAc, Academic Dean at Emperor’s College, supervise the residents.

This historic partnership is a significant step forward for VA’s “Whole Health” initiative, which brings complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies to Veterans. VA has approved eight CIH therapies as part of the standard VA medical benefits package, including acupuncture, biofeedback, clinical hypnosis, guided imagery, massage therapy, meditation, Tai Chi/Qigong, and yoga.

The first cohort of doctoral students began their residency in January 2023 by treating a diverse group of Veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain who are referred for acupuncture treatment by VA physicians and psychologists. Veterans have access to the standard evidence-based therapies for PTSD provided at VA and choose, in collaboration with their medical team, to add acupuncture for additional symptom management. According to Dr. Krieger, after just a few months of treatment, the Veterans are seeing tremendous benefits from this multi-faceted approach. “In general, the Veterans we treat are able to be more present, less reactive to stress, and less reactive to triggers that would have sent them into PTSD episodes,” Dr. Krieger reports. “We also see patients who find relief from other symptoms, such as pain, severe migraines, or sleep problems that sometimes went unresolved for years.”

“We are honored to serve these deserving Veterans who have sacrificed so much to serve our country,” said Dr. Yun Kim, EdD, LAc, President of Emperor’s College. “Emperor’s College has always worked to bring acupuncture to underserved and underrepresented communities, and this partnership with the VAGLAHS is a testament to our commitment to that mission.”

“As a model of how multidisciplinary Integrative Medicine can elevate patient care, this program is another sign of the incredible commitment VA and our local VAGLAHS leadership have made to advancing the Whole Health of Veterans. We are not only able to provide expert, specialized care to Veterans with PTSD in this collaboration with the professionals and students of Emperor’s College, but we are also able to help train the doctorate-level acupuncturists of the future,” said Dr. Kirsten Tillisch.

  • “At the West LA VA Medical Center, I get to treat conditions I wouldn’t normally get to see, like Gulf War Syndrome. Being able to watch our patients’ progress over the weeks and months has been amazing,” said Kirsten Thomas, a doctoral resident.
  • “Having the opportunity to participate in this historic program at VA is an honor,” said doctoral resident Jay Gunther, CMT, LAc. “Seeing patients weekly over the course of an entire year allows us to further our specialized clinic experience under the guidance of Dr. Krieger and Dr. MoraMarco.”
  • Doctoral resident Agustin Orozco, LMT, LAc, shared, “This has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career so far. It’s remarkable how much we learn and how the Veterans’ conditions improve over time thanks to this integrative approach to treating PTSD.”
  • “Of all the externships I have participated in, this is by far the most hands-on opportunity to work in an integrative clinical setting,” said Jennifer Haidenthaller, LAc. “Not only are we honing our needling techniques and diagnostic skills, but we are also becoming proficient at working with various physicians in an integrative setting while learning how to chart in a unified system.”
  • “I have learned a lot because we can treat PTSD patients with many different symptoms over a sustained period of time,” said Michelle Wan, LAc. “The impact we have on these Veterans’ lives is tremendous, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

One of the Veterans treated in the PTSD Clinic at the West LA VA Medical Center is Angel Yos. He shared, “There’s great communication between the physician and patient. It’s a comprehensive approach to care based on the unique mechanism of a unique injury. I have experienced above and beyond human behavior to support the rehab and recovery provided by the healthcare professional Jen (Jennifer Haidenthaller, LAc).”

Veteran Victor Buoz said, “I always look forward to Tuesdays. Tuesdays are when I get my acupuncture therapy done. I leave relaxed, less anxious, and relieved of a lot of pain. This therapy helps me sleep, which allows me to cope with day-to-day problems.”

“Emperor’s College has a long history of serving the Veteran community, including participating in Veterans Standdowns, Women’s Veterans Summits, and the West Los Angeles Veterans Health Fair. We are grateful to Dr. Tillisch and Dr. Krieger for their commitment to bringing acupuncture services and the highest level of care to the Veteran community,” said Dr. Jacques MoraMarco.

MoraMarco continues, “I have been in practice for almost 50 years, and serving our Veterans is one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I feel so fulfilled when patients tell me that after years of experiencing nightmares and disturbed sleep, they can achieve a good night’s sleep, feel less stressed, and feel capable of confronting problems in their lives.”

For more information about the Emperor’s College and VAGLAHS partnership, please visit:

About Emperor’s College

Emperor’s College is one of the oldest and most distinguished acupuncture colleges in the nation, specializing in a broad-based approach to the art and science of East Asian medicine. Founded in 1983, Emperor’s College has been leading the way for the integration of East Asian medicine into the modern healthcare system. Offering a master’s and doctoral degree program, Emperor’s College alumni are pioneering leaders in academia, clinical practice, advocacy, and research in the field. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Yun Kim, EdD, Emperor’s College, 1 3104538300, [email protected],

SOURCE Emperor’s College


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