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History

We couldn’t imagine back then what is here now.

In ways that could not have been imagined a few decades ago, the field of complementary medicine now commands more attention by the consumer and the medical communities. Our current trillion dollar healthcare system is undergoing a profound change towards a consumer-driven model based upon choice, results, affordability, and service. Integrating conventional and complementary modalities, this emerging era in healthcare emphasizes integration, prevention, wellness, personal empowerment, and quality of life. Maryland University of Integrative Health continues to be on the leading edge of this movement by creating programs that prepare the practitioners, leaders, and advocates of the future, while providing clinical care and consultation to improve health and vitality of individuals and communities.

Looking back on more than 40 years of our history is both humbling and inspiring. Here are a few of our milestones:

2016

With the growth of our programs, student body, and staff and faculty, institutional infrastructure also grew. In May, the University expanded into its Maple Lawn Campus to accommodate its growing space needs. The 10,070 square foot space includes administrative and academic offices, as well as community and meeting spaces. Read more about the expansion here.

In June, the Board of Trustees announced the retirement of President and CEO Frank Vitale after nearly a decade of distinguished service to the University. Under Vitale’s leadership, MUIH achieved university status, launched its first doctoral programs, set enrollment records, and expanded clinical care. The Board appointed long-time Board member John A. Palmucci to act as Interim President and CEO while the search for a new executive took place. Read more here.

The University community mourned the passing of Robert “Bob” Duggan, co-founder and President Emeritus of Tai Sophia Institute, now Maryland University of Integrative Health, in October. Read more about Bob’s legacy here.

2015

In January, our very first class of doctoral students entered MUIH. We had received approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and permission from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to offer doctoral level education. These three professional doctoral degrees are in acupuncture, Oriental medicine, and clinical nutrition and were met with much enthusiasm. Learn more about our doctoral programs here.

At our commencement in June, we honored our first group of graduates from online programs.

In August, the first class of the Master of Science in Yoga Therapy completed their rigorous two-year degree and moved into the world as the only graduates of a program in this field from an accredited university.

2014

The New Year began with the announcement of the addition of five new members to MUIH’s board of trustees. These new members all share a deep passion and commitment to the field of integrative health and to the future of MUIH. And Adele Wilzack, MUIH board chair noted that “It was, and still is, astonishing to find such an affinity for the work and efforts of this great institution.” The new board members will provide strategic guidance and support to the University’s ambitious strategic initiatives, which include doubling the number of academic programs over the next five years. Complete information about the new board can be found here.

In January and April, we enrolled our first online students in the Master of Science in Health Promotion, Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching, and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching programs.

On February 10, MUIH kicked off a yearlong celebration of our 40th anniversary with the event HEALTH CARE: Critical Questions. Integrative Answers. The event brought together prominent leaders working at the forefront of healthcare reform to discuss the current state of integrative health, plus emerging trends and future opportunities in this expanding area of health care. The forum’s panelists also explored how the Affordable Care Act affects integrative health care. Read more about this event here.

2013

On March 1, our institution officially achieved university status and our name changed to Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). With this landmark achievement, MUIH became one of a small number of regionally accredited universities in the country exclusively committed to integrative health. As noted by President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Vitale, “This designation validates our academic excellence and is a significant milestone. We strongly feel that Maryland University of Integrative Health is on its way to becoming the preeminent institution in this country in the field of integrative health.” 

MUIH began offering courses online in September in order to make our unique programs available nationally and internationally. Our first online offerings enabled students to complete the Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health, Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism, and Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Herbal Studies and Medical Herbalism either primarily or completely online. For more information on the online offerings, including answers to some frequently asked questions, click here.

In September, MUIH also launched the nation’s first Master of Science in Yoga Therapy. This unique program offers its students a rigorous academic experience that also embraces all lineages of yoga. Students explore science-based topics such as biomedicine and physiology while also learning about the history and philosophy of yoga and how that informs yoga therapy in today’s world. Speaking about the future of the yoga therapy program, Mary Lauttamus, the program’s academic director, said that she wants MUIH “to be the place where yoga teachers can realize their full potential as healers and together create a supportive and nurturing yoga community.” Read on about our Master of Science in Yoga Therapy here.

2012

The Institute announced the nation’s first Master of Arts in Health and Wellness Coaching, with specialty areas in Nutrition, Herbal Studies, and Medical Herbalism.

In June, Tai Sophia was reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for 10 years, after a rigorous and comprehensive review of the curriculum, faculty, governance structure, and student and institutional outcomes.

In October, Tai Sophia launched its first ACUTHON, providing free acupuncture treatments to all in celebration of National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day and in recognition of the Institute’s status as the first accredited acupuncture college in the country.

The new Post-Master’s Certificate in Nutrition and Integrative Health for healthcare professionals received endorsement from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) in August.

The new Master of Science in Health Education received MHEC endorsement in September, and is Tai Sophia’s first academic program to prepare graduates to work with both communities and individuals to improve health outcomes.

2011

The new Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health received endorsement from the MHEC in April. The innovative program emphasizes the vital and interrelated physiological, medicinal, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual roles of food in our lives.

Tai Sophia honors a record number of 233 graduates from nine academic programs at the commencement ceremony in June.

A first-of-its-kind Post-Master’s Certificate in Women’s Holistic Health is launched at Tai Sophia. The program provides acupuncturists with a holistic and integrative approach to respond to the comprehensive needs of women through all phases of the life cycle.

Tai Sophia announces a newly redesigned Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism, the nation’s only master’s degree in western herbalism, and the highest degree available in the field.

Tai Sophia launches a new Master of Oriental Medicine. Built on the foundation of Tai Sophia’s renowned Master of Acupuncture, the new program seamlessly integrates traditional acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

2010

In January, two new graduate certificate programs – Health Coaching and Wellness Coaching – are approved by MHEC (Maryland Higher Education Commission), firmly positioning Tai Sophia as a premier, anchoring academic institution for the emerging wellness-based health system.

2010 also marks the 10th anniversary of the name change from the Traditional Acupuncture Institute (TAI) to Tai Sophia Institute, a name chosen to reflect the Institute's expanding mission and graduate programs.

In May, Tai Sophia Institute celebrates 35 years since the opening of the Institute’s healing arts clinic, which was among the first in the state and the nation to offer acupuncture treatments. The Natural Care Center clinic offers acupuncture, herbal medicine consultations, and nutrition counseling.

In June, Maryland CHI, Inc. (Penn North Neighborhood Center) transitions from a subsidiary of Tai Sophia Institute to an independently operated entity. Tai Sophia continues to partner with Maryland CHI by providing acupuncture treatment as part of Penn North's daily schedule of services.

Tai Sophia CEO Frank Vitale is elected to the additional post of president.

In November, Tai Sophia hosts the Live Nourished Nutrition Conference, which features five of the nation’s top nutrition thought leaders and serves to kick off the curriculum design of Tai Sophia’s upcoming master’s degree in nutrition.

2009

As the nation assesses the current health-care system and government representatives begin to look deeper into the current “disease-care/sick-care model,” members of Tai Sophia Institute testify at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension’s February hearing entitled “Principles of Integrative Health: A Path to Health Care Reform," inviting the larger conversation of whole person health and wellness. 

Tai Sophia Institute enhances the Master of Arts in Applied Healing Arts program and, in September, is granted approval from the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to change the program’s name to Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Social Change.  In October, Tai Sophia receives MHEC approval to offer a new, 9-month, executive format Graduate Certificate in Transformative Leadership.

In November, Tai Sophia receives MHEC approval to offer graduate certificates in Herbal Studies and Medical Herbalism

2008

With a focus on expanding clinical services, Tai Sophia renames its clinical service sites as Natural Care Centers, offers nutritional counseling, launches several new clinical locations, and begins an important local partnership with the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, MD.  Through this joint venture, Tai Sophia offers complimentary acupuncture and movement classes to individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer but do not have the financial resources to seek treatment.

Institute faculty, graduates (many of them volunteers), and clinical interns provide more than 35,500 wellness treatments at Tai Sophia’s 11 clinical sites, including three new locations in the Baltimore-Washington corridor:

  • Herbal Clinic for All, Silver Spring, MD:  a collaborative effort of faculty, staff, alumni, and students to offer donation-based herbal and nutritional counseling to a population who typically would not be able to afford those services
  • Healthcare for the Homeless, Baltimore, MD:  a community clinic site, where our faculty and clinical interns offer services and support to Baltimore’s homeless population
  • N Street Village Wellness Center, Washington, D.C.:  Tai Sophia’s first community clinic site in D.C., where faculty and clinical interns work to empower homeless and low-income women

Tai Sophia hosts a number of extraordinary onsite lectures, including presentations by UCI Professor of Radiological Sciences Joie Jones, Ph.D., and Classical Chinese Medicine Scholar Heiner Freuhoff, Ph.D., L.Ac.  Stemming from the partnership building between the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Tai Sophia, Barbara Dossey, Ph.D., R.N., and pioneer in the holistic nursing movement and Mary Jo Kreitzer, Ph.D., R.N., and Director of the Center of Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota offer presentations at both Tai Sophia and Johns Hopkins.

2007

Enrollment in Tai Sophia’s graduate degree programs reaches a new high as does participation in our community wellness programs.

Tai Sophia purchases its 32,500 square-foot building and strengthens its financial position, a move made possible by the confidence placed in the Institute by the Howard County government (which authorized a bond issue for the purchase) and the Institute’s new banking partners, United Bank and Howard Bank.

Faculty members give keynote talks and lead seminars, including a gathering for healthcare professionals at Schumacher College in England; the American Herbalist Guild Symposium in Columbia, Maryland; Baltimore Bioneers Conference; Complementary and Alternative Medicine Exposition in New York City; and the 25th anniversary celebration of the founding of national acupuncture organizations in Portland, Oregon. 

2006

Tai Sophia Institute adopts a new five-year strategic plan, which includes both a new vision and a new mission statement. The Howard County Chamber of Commerce honors the Institute, naming Tai Sophia the Howard County Large Business of the Year; and the Baltimore Daily Record acknowledges the Institute's work at our Penn North Neighborhood Center (part of our Community Health Initiative) with a Health Care Heroes award.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants initial accreditation to Tai Sophia Institute. As well, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine renews its accreditation of the Institute's Master of Acupuncture degree program for five years, the maximum time period. The Institute honors Jim and Peggy Duke in a ceremony at their "Green Farmacy Garden"; in a life estate arrangement, the Dukes agree that Tai Sophia will inherit this national and natural treasure. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Tai Sophia hold their second annual retreat, continuing their collaborative venture to improve the American healthcare system.

2005

In the 30th anniversary year, Tai Sophia awards degrees to the first graduates of its Applied Healing Arts program (now called Transformative Leadership and Social Change), making this ceremony the first to include graduates of all three master's programs. Other highlights: The Helen M. and Annetta Himmelfarb Foundation awards a $1 million grant to Tai Sophia, the largest donation in Tai Sophia's 30-year history.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission approves a title change for the herbal program to Master of Science in Herbal Medicine. Two thousand people attend the Institute's Second Festival of the Healing Arts. With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute's Penn North Neighborhood Center joins two other organizations in a collaboration that makes services available 24/7 to persons living with drug addictions and HIV/AIDS in Baltimore's inner city.

Tai Sophia expands its partnerships to include both the Wellness Center at Howard Community College (which it helped establish) and the Chopra Institute, hosting the Chopra Center's First Annual East Coast Mind-Body Conference. The year ends with a formal gala, which concludes the year-long celebration of Tai Sophia's three decades of service.

2004

Tai Sophia graduates its first class of students from the Master of Arts in Herbal Medicine program; furthers its work with the Kennedy Krieger Institute (an internationally recognized facility serving children with special needs); completes an affiliation agreement with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; secures public policy support to continue its Baltimore inner-city clinic; and, on the passing of Haig Ignatius, M.D., celebrates the life and contributions of a beloved teacher and friend.

2003

At a ceremony in February, the Institute honors ten years of Meridians magazine, subsequently conceiving a new "family" of publications to replace it. Tai Sophia holds its first annual healthcare provider workshop day, which brings together almost 200 healthcare providers. The community celebrates the lives of Pere Claude Larre, Ivan Illich, and J. R. Worsley, all of whom passed away in 2003, commemorating the profound impact these individuals had on the work of the Institute.

2002

The first classes of the new master's programs in Herbal Medicine and Applied Healing Arts begin in January. At the end of April, Tai Sophia Institute moves to a new 12-acre campus south of Columbia in the Montpelier Research Park. The campus opens with a 32,500-square-foot building in a beautiful natural setting. In June, Tai Sophia celebrates the grand opening with a Festival of the Healing Arts.

2001

In November, the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accepts Tai Sophia as a candidate for accreditation.

2000

As the school enters a new era of service, it takes a new name, Tai Sophia Institute, which signals its expanding mission and encompasses its new programs. The name "Tai Sophia" links the Chinese word Tai, meaning "great," and the Greek word for wisdom, Sophia. The new name continues to honor the Eastern healing traditions, while the inclusion of Sophia signals the philosophy that underpins every program offered by the Institute.

Development of two new master's programs begins. Simon Mills, one of the world's leading herbalists, is chosen to lead the nation's first Master of Science in Herbal Medicine program. John Sullivan, professor of philosophy at Elon University and cofounder of SOPHIA® (School Of Philosophy and Healing In Action®), is selected to lead the Applied Healing Arts program.

1999

TAI adopts a new mission: "to enable all of us to practice the art of living and the art of dying." The board of trustees approves a plan to build a new campus for the Master of Acupuncture program and to offer new degree programs.

1998

TAI, with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, presents the first of the "Building Bridges" conferences for doctors, nurses, and public health officials.
TAI develops a partnership with Howard County Public School System, including a unique program based on SOPHIA principles for teens identified as "troubled," and programs through which public school students and teachers learn about complementary medicine.

1997

The Community Health Initiative (CHI), which began by treating people with addictions at the Baltimore Detention Center, expands to additional CHI sites, including Penn North Neighborhood Center in inner-city Baltimore.

1996

A new student teaching clinic opens at Belvedere Square in Baltimore, Maryland, giving clinical students additional treatment opportunities.

1995

A new student teaching clinic opens in Wheaton, Maryland, giving clinical students in the acupuncture program a space to treat patients in the Washington, D.C., area.

1994

The Master of Acupuncture program moves from one to two intake classes per year (September and January), enabling TAI to double new enrollment from 30 to 70 students annually - more than a 100% increase. SOPHIA is integrated into the core curriculum for all students.

TAI expands its library and creates the Meeting Point Bookstore Cafe.

1993

TAI launches a new magazine, Meridians, written for patients and practitioners. Led by faculty member Peter Marinakis, the Community Health Initiative (CHI) establishes a pilot program in Baltimore, where TAI students and faculty provide auricular acupuncture to people with addictions at the Baltimore Detention Center.

On PBS, Bill Moyers presents the "Healing and the Mind" series featuring acupuncture and other approaches to healing that recognize the interconnection of body, mind, and spirit.

After reviewing evidence of the effectiveness of acupuncture, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration reclassifies acupuncture needles as medical devices for "general use" by trained professionals rather than "experimental" devices.

A landmark survey by Harvard professor David Eisenberg, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that one-third of American adults use some form of alternative therapy.

1992

The board of trustees establishes a mission "to change the experience of personal health in America by the year 2000."

1988

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes NACSCAOM, thus allowing our students to apply for federal financial aid.

1987

At the request of patients, TAI begins SOPHIA® (School Of Philosophy and Healing In Action®) to teach laypersons the ancient wisdom - rooted in nature - that underpins its master's program in acupuncture.

1986

The Maryland Higher Education Commission empowers TAI to bestow the Master of Acupuncture (M.Ac.) degree.

1985

In May, TAI is the first school accredited by the National Accreditation  Commission for Schools and Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NACSCAOM, now known as ACAOM).

1981

On June 6, the first TAI acupuncture class begins with 23 members.

In Baltimore, Maryland, TAI hosts the first of five international conferences on acupuncture. This gathering brings together acupuncture leaders from across the U.S. and is the source point for the meetings that birth the three national organizations formed in 1982 - the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the Accreditation Commission, and the Certification Commission.

1980

TAI receives approval to teach acupuncture in Maryland from the Maryland State Board for Higher Education (now the Maryland Higher Education Commission).

1978

The college amends its charter, and the name is changed to the Traditional Acupuncture Institute (TAI).

1975

One of the first acupuncture clinics in Maryland, the Centre for Traditional Acupuncture, opens on May 1 in the American City Building in Columbia, Maryland, with practitioners J. R. Worsley, Jack Daniel, Haig Ignatius, and Warren Ross joining the founders.

1974

The institution is originally incorporated in Maryland as the College of Chinese Acupuncture, U.S., by cofounders Bob Duggan and Dianne Connelly. It is the outgrowth of a program begun in Kenilworth, England, in which U.S. students studied acupuncture with Dr. J. R. Worsley.

1971

Millions in the U.S. become aware of acupuncture as columnist James Reston describes in The New York Times his successful acupuncture treatment following emergency surgery in China.