Minutes of the

North Carolina State Board of Optometry                                                        

March 24 – 25, 2006                                                                                     

Wallace, North Carolina                                                                                  

 

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry met in Wallace, North Carolina on Friday and  Saturday, March 24 - 25, 2006, to determine the results of the Winter 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations and for other purposes.  Present were Drs. David Baxter, President, William Rafferty, Secretary/Treasurer, David Anderson, Joel Banks, William Hendrix, and Ms. Trudy Mitchell and Ms. Mary Richardson, Members of the Board.  Attending as a representative  of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was Mr. Thaddeus W. Swank, Director – Patient Initiatives.  His offices are located in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Swank sat thru the entire meeting except for those portions that were closed in accordance with the provisions of NCGS 143-318.1(a)(3).  Also present were Dr. John Robinson, the Board’s Executive Director, Janice Peterson, RN, the Administrative Secretary, Mrs. Sara Roberts, the Administrative Assistant and Mr. John Dixon, the Board’s software programmer and data systems manager (Saturday morning only).  Mr. Johnny Loper, the Board’s attorney, joined the meeting while in closed session at the time certain hour of 10:30 AM on Saturday March 25, 2006 by conference telephone to update the Board on current litigation.

 

The President called the meeting to order at 5:30 P.M. on Friday evening and opened the meeting with prayer.

 

Approval of Minutes  On a motion by Mrs. Richardson, seconded by Mrs. Mitchell the minutes of the  February 17 - 20  , 2006 meeting were unanimously approved.

 

The Report of the President  The President confined his remarks to the progress being made in the re-writing of the Board’s software and the current status of its data management systems.  The work is being done by Mr. John Dixon, our data systems manager and software developer,  who has worked diligently to preserve all of the data that existed in the old d-base system and the 2005 data  entered into what proved to be a  windows system developed using “off the shelf” software by the previous team of programmers of the Board rather than software uniquely written to manage  our licensing and data management as we had been lead to believe.  Progress has been slow but steady and no data has been lost.  The new website is now up and accurate data accessible to third parties who want to verify a license or to those wishing to locate an optometrist or optometric office.  Other information available includes Board meeting dates, agendas and minutes, board policy statements, examination dates and more. Additional informational resources are forthcoming, including individual optometrist’s ability to access their personal current and historical continuing education files.  On a motion by Dr. Anderson and seconded by Dr. Banks the report of the President was unanimously accepted.

 

The Secretary/Treasurer asked that his report be delayed until Saturday.  Without objection the President so ordered.

 

Report of the Executive Director  The Executive Director added to the President’s remarks detailing the frustrations endured by the Staff and Mr. Dixon in working through the “software maze”  left behind by previous programmers while attempting to find ways to salvage information and in attempts to build upon a system that was found not to exist in the end.   The project quickly turned into one of saving information while writing a management system from scratch.  He announced that Mr. John Dixon would be meeting with the Board at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning to provide more information concerning the work he has done, that he will be doing over the course of the next several months, and to answer questions.  In closing he shared a memorandum received from the secretary to David Work, the long time Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy,  announcing his retirement after 30 years in that position. The purpose of the memorandum was to not only share the news of David’s retirement but to inform those to whom it was sent that a “Memory Book” was being prepared and that they would welcome our thoughts or memories regarding our relationship or friendship with David over these many years.  On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Hendrix the report of the Executive Director was unanimously accepted.

 

Dr. Hendrix then moved and Ms. Mitchell seconded a motion that the Board express its deep appreciation to Mr. Work for his many years of service to the citizens of the State of North Carolina as the Executive Director of the North Carolina State Board of Pharmacy; further, that a resolution  to go in the “Memory Book” be prepared for presentation to Mr. Work be drawn on behalf of this Board thanking him for his diligence in the pursuit of the betterment of the delivery of more comprehensive health care services to all of the people of our state and for his cooperation in working with this Board to achieve that goal.  The motion carried unanimously.   

 

Review of Complaints.  The Executive Director reported on several complaints previously reported to the Board that remain under investigation.  One new complaint concerning the possible use of injections by a licensee without being credentialed to perform them was brought to our attention since the Board’s last meeting.   Upon review of the evidence by the Board’s attorney, it appeared to him that the evidence received is sufficient to conduct a Probable Cause Hearing.  The President appointed Dr. Anderson to serve with the Executive Director and the Board attorney to investigate the matter further and to conduct a hearing into the matter. 

 

At 6:20 P.M. on a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Dr. Banks and carried unanimously, the Board went into Executive Session in accordance with NCGS 143-318.1(a)(3) to conduct the initial review of the results of the Winter 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examination.  At 6:35 the Board returned to open session.

 

The meeting was recessed at 6:35 P.M. until 8:30 AM on Saturday morning at which time the Secretary/Treasurer will give his report.

 

The Board reconvened on Saturday morning, March 25, 2006 at 8:40 AM

 

The Report of the Secretary-Treasurer  The Secretary-Treasurer presented the Budget Report for the period covering July 1, 2005 through March 23, 2006.  There was discussion of the Board’s investment policy and the fact that the Firm of Legg Mason who held the Board’s investment portfolio had sold a major portion of its investment business to Smith Barney who in turn sold off a major portion of that purchase to Stifel Nicolaus. Further that Mr. Charles Bridgers had made the move from Legg Mason and was now with the investment firm of Stifel Nicolaus.  At the moment most but not all of the Board’s portfolio has moved with Mr. Bridgers to his new  firm.  There are portions yet to be transferred but are to be over the next few weeks.   When the process is complete Mr. Bridgers will issue a full accounting of all of the investments previously held at Legg Mason.  In the meantime, he has assured the Board that the moving of these assets will not result in any monetary loss to the Board and that any costs that might  be incurred in the transferring of the Board’s holdings will be borne by his firm.  In concluding his report it was agreed that after all of the transfers have been completed that he, Dr. Anderson and the Executive Director would meet with Mr. Bridgers to review the accounts and holdings of the Board.  On a motion by Dr. Banks and seconded by Mrs. Mitchell the financial report as presented by the Secretary-Treasurer was unanimously accepted.

 

At 9:30 AM Mr. John Dixon who arrived earlier to work on the Board’s computers and data management systems came before the Board to discuss the work that he had been doing and the progress he had made in writing reliable programs that will serve the Board’s data management needs far into the future and to assure the Board that data will be protected from loss of information in the future through  a series of backup systems now in place. He reported that the work had been difficult but challenging; further; that he now had a handle on the problems that exist and was working through them one at a time while making certain that no data is lost in the process.  He addressed the difficulty he was having in retrieving deleted e-mails in order to meet the requests submitted to the Board for files that include all e-mails during the period covered by the request under the open records laws of North Carolina.  Many hours of his time were required to retrieve and archive these files, a significant number of which were many years old.  After the answering of questions he returned to his work in the office where the servers and the work stations he uses are located when he works on the system.

 .

Closed Session   At 10:30 AM  on a motion by Dr. Anderson, seconded by Dr. Banks and carried unanimously the Board went into closed session in accordance with the provisions of  GS 143-318.11(a)(3)  to discuss litigation with the North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. Upon entering closed session, the board contacted its attorney Johnny Loper by phone.  Mr. Loper discussed the conclusion of litigation by SEPS against the Medical Board and the alternatives available to the Board in the event that litigation was revived, in light of the potential impact of such litigation on the Settlement Agreement between the Medical Board and the Optometry board.  He further discussed with them subsequent actions of SEPS and potential litigation that might arise as a consequence of those actions.  Mr. Loper answered questions from the Board on the foregoing subjects.  The Board then returned to open session.  No action or vote was taken in the closed session.

 

 

Review Of  The Scoring Of The Winter 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations

 

On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Mrs. Mitchell and carried unanimously the

Board went into closed session in accordance with the provisions of GS 143-318(a)(3)  to review the scoring of the Winter 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations.   After a thorough review of the scoring of each applicant’s examination in closed session the Board returned to open session.

 

Having reviewed the results of the Winter 2006 Examinations in closed session , it was moved by Dr. Hendrix and seconded by Dr. Anderson that the following candidates be notified of their having achieved a passing score on the Winter 2006 Clinical/Practicum  Examinations, that they be duly licensed to practice the profession of optometry in North Carolina and that their names be entered in the Board Registry with license numbers assigned as follows:

 

            Matthew James Bailey, O.D.                #2008             

Artis Lanard Beatty, O.D.                     #2009             

Lisa M. Bell, O.D.                                #2010             

            Ryan M. Beyer, O.D.                           #2011             

Ashley Holloway Bowers, O.D.            #2012 

            Amanda Dawn Britt, O.D.                    #2013             

            David Thomas Brown, O.D.                 #2014             

            Arthur Robert Child, Jr., O.D.  #2015             

            Jason Chow, O.D.                                #2016             

            Mala Chand Gundecha, O.D.               #2017             

            John M. Mills, O.D.                              #2018             

            Haleh Shafa, O.D.                                #2019             

            Blair Elizabeth Stone, O.D.                   #2020             

            Laura Lee PerlakYoung, O.D.  #2021

 

The motion carried unanimously.

                                              

Examination Review Committee  The President appointed Dr. Rafferty as a Member of the Examination Review Committee to serve with the Executive Director to review the results of any candidate failing the Winter 2006 Examinations requesting such review.

 

Report of the Injections Credentialing Committee  Drs. Anderson and Rafferty provided the Board with an update of the recommendations of the Committee.  Copies of the updated recommendations were in the Members’ notebooks.  After a brief discussion and the answering of questions on a motion by Mrs. Mitchell, seconded by Mrs. Richardson and carried unanimously, the recommendations of the Committee were approved and the Committee was instructed to continue to work with the Continuing Education Committee of the North Carolina State Optometric Society in the development  and offering of courses that meet the Board’s requirements for credentialing.. On a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Ms. Richardson an carried unanimously the report of the Injections Credentialing Committee was accepted.

 

Dr. Rafferty called the Board’s attention to an increasing problem with companies with pecuniary interest in the promotion of their product(s) who were avoiding the Board Policy in granting “certified credit” for continuing education courses by offering incentives to District Societies in the way of underwriting meeting space and meals for the members of   the respective Societies if they submit programs for which the company supplies the speaker for approval as “certified credit”.  This is a means of avoiding the program being given “general credit” if it were seen as being sponsored by the company.   Copies of policies followed by Universities in dealing with these types of issues whereby financial support from industry is not tied to the marketing of their product through the speakers appearing on educational programs were handed out.   It was the consensus  of the Board that Mr. Loper be asked to review the Board’s current policy in light of these developments.

 

Dr. Rafferty asked that the Board consider supporting him in attending a meeting being held in Chicago sponsored by the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry to which representatives of the major organizations in optometry involved in offering continuing education programs are invited to attend.  He would be attending as a representative of State Boards.  On a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Dr. Anderson  and carried unanimously travel, 3 days meals, and 3 per diems were approved for Dr. Rafferty to attend this meeting.

 

Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry  The Annual Meeting of the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry (ARBO) will be held in Las Vegas  on June 18 – 20, 2006 followed by the Annual Meeting of the American Optometric Association June 21 – 24, 2006.  Dr. Hendrix and the Executive Director will be attending both meetings. Representing the Board at the ARBO Meeting will be Dr. Rafferty, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Hendrix and the Executive Director. On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously the Board approved the travel, hotel and meal expenses for the Executive Director to these meetings  and the registration, travel, four hotel nights and 5 days per diem and meal expenses for Drs. Anderson and Hendrix for the ARBO meeting.  As a member of the ARBO Board of Directors Dr. Rafferty’s expenses to attend the ARBO meeting will be paid by that organization.

 

There being no further business to be brought before the Board, on  a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously the Board returned to closed session briefly to discuss the issue of the scoring of the examinations.  It was agreed that Drs. Anderson and Rafferty will work with the Staff to improve the organization of the scoring materials enclosed in the candidate’s station packets upon which the scores of the candidates are entered.

 

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at the Kingston Plantation and Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. starting at 9 A.M. on Thursday, June 1, 2006 and ending no later than 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, June 4, 2006.    On a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Dr. Rafferty and carried unanimously registration, travel, 4 hotel nights and 5 days meal expenses were approved for the Members of the Board and the Executive Director.  Board Members are entitled to 5 days per diem for their attendance.

 

The Annual Meeting for the purpose of electing officers for fiscal year July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007 will be held by way of conference telephone at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, June 7, 2006.

 

There being no further business at 11:55 A.M. Dr. Banks moved and Dr. Anderson seconded a motion that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

 

                                                                                    Approved June 1, 2006

                                                                                                                Myrtle Beach , South Carolina