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Community Acupuncture finds new home

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: May. 22, 2013 | Modified: May. 22, 2013
Community Acupuncture finds new home

Boone Community Acupuncture practitioner Michael Goopta prepares to see patients at his clinic’s new location on the second floor of the Hunger and Health Coalition.

Photo by Jesse Campbell



By relocating to the Hunger and Health Coalition’s offices, Boone Community Acupuncture is looking to better meet the needs of patients with affordable pain relief options.

The clinic began operating in its new home, located on the second floor of the coalition’s offices at the end of Health Center Drive in Boone, last Wednesday.

“We were looking for a place to sell to more people and not charge too much,” BCA founder Michael Goopta said. “We had to cut down on costs, and the Hunger Coalition was kind enough to give a sufficiently large space to run the clinic.”

Compton Fortuna, HHC executive director, said Goopta’s clinic is a welcome fit, considering the coalition’s services.

“It was mostly because we had some available space, and we are trying to create an area of people helping people,” Fortuna said. “I think that Michael had expressed interest in making acupuncture accessible to people, even to those without a whole lot of income, and I think it fits well with Community Care Clinic and the Hospitality House, which are next-door neighbors.”

The need for affordable acupuncture services in the High Country stems from a national problem, Goopta said.

“Health-care costs are very high in America,” he said. “There is too much specialization, including acupuncture. The previous style of doctors going to a patient’s home and developing a relationship is gone. We are trying to build that (back up), so patients can come and stop by anytime.”

BCA can treat conditions related to discomfort, such as minor aches and pains related to stiff backs, knees and ankles, as well as minor digestive problems.

“Many of these are problems that doctors have cleared by pathological causes, but still might be suffering (in other ways), like palpitations of the heart or high blood pressure,” Goopta said. “We can treat more patients in a shorter period of time, reducing the costs.”

Out of the approximately 25 acupuncturists in the High Country, Goopta said BCA is the only one that provides $15 professional services without needing an appointment.

“We are a pioneer in health care, considering that we are incorporated as a for-profit organization,” Goopta said. “Therefore, (we) do not get any help in form of public donations or volunteers.”

Goopta’s arrival in the health-care industry traversed half the world and two very different and distinct industries.

Born in India, Goopta came to the United States in 1983 to complete his master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He later worked in Silicon Valley as a systems programmer. In 1992, Goopta came to New York City to work as a consultant.

“Just before 9/11, I moved to New Jersey, because I had a premonition to move away from New York City,” he said. “After 9/11, I needed to find some way of finding new meaning in life, because I was depressed.”

He decided to join Hospice, a palliative care organization, for two years, while working his corporate sector job.

Finally, in 2004, Goopta joined an acupuncturists’ school in New Jersey, before relocating to Boone in 2007.

For more information on the clinic, visit http://www.booneclinic.org or call (828) 278-0045.

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