Service through training, access
Crossroads Acupuncture offers affordable care and support to providers
By Craig Massey
For the Las Cruces Bulletin
Whether it’s using acupuncture to relieve pain, seek behavioral health solutions or provide a venue to promote artists, Crossroads Community Supported Healthcare is about serving people.
Established three years ago by Ryan Bemis, the nonprofit organization does business as Crossroads Acupuncture at its clinic at 130 S. Main Street. Bemis moved to Las Cruces from Portland, Ore. because “there were too many acupuncturists in Portland” and because he wanted to help provide affordable healthcare in a region that included many who couldn’t afford it.
“Our mission is to provide low-cost service to the under- servedand also to help train health providers,” he said.
The organization is strong on community action and partnerships. Its consultation has offered support for churches, recovery programs, shelters for the homeless and mentally ill, orphanages, and for free medical clinics such as St. Luke’s Health Clinic at Las Cruces’ Community of Hope. Consultation is anything from technical support and curriculum development to public policy research and guidance for regulatory issues. Crossroads Acupuncture’s flat fee for the first acupunc- ture treatment is $30 and follow- up visits cost $20.
Krishna Chari, a clinical psychologist at the University of New Mexico, is one of many in the region who have shared Bemis’ vision of helping those in need.
“The greatest thing is he’s helping create access to health care for people who wouldn’t normally have access to it,” said Chari, who has consulted with Bemis and has traveled to Las Cruces to offer his expertise in the border region as a volunteer. “It’s community- based intervention and the stronger your community is, the stronger the individuals are.”
The organization also is serving and assisting in Juarez through the Crossroads Border Project. Healthcare training is part of the mission there and the hope is sustainable clinics can be developed.
“We want to respond to the needs there as well, and a lot of our trainees there are women,” he said. “It’s provided us a way to help empower women in Juarez.”
Crossroads also helps sell “prayer flags” and other artwork created by Juarez artists at the Las Cruces Farmers Market, and displays art for sale in a gallery at its clinic. “It’s just one small way that we can help support some those in our region,” he said. “We’re a small business that still has a lot to prove,” Bemis said. “We’re just trying to make it to year five and then we’ll see if we can make it sustainable.”