Minutes of the

North Carolina State Board of Optometry                                                        

March 28 – 29, 2008                                                                                    

Wallace, North Carolina                                                                                   

 

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry met in Wallace, North Carolina on Friday and  Saturday, March 28 - 29, 2008, to determine the results of the Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum Examinations and for other purposes.  Present on Friday were Drs. David Anderson ,  President, William Hendrix, Secretary/Treasurer,  Joel Banks, Michael Clark,  and Mr. Roger Mitchell and Ms. Mary Richardson, Members of the Board.   Dr. William Rafferty joined the meeting on Saturday.   Also present were Dr. John Robinson, the Board’s Executive Director, Janice Peterson, RN, the Administrative Secretary (Friday evening only), 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 10:35 AM (10 minutes earlier than the time certain hour of 10:45 AM appearing on the agenda)  on Saturday March 29, 2008 by conference telephone to update the Board on current litigation. Following Mr. Loper at 10:50 AM on a second conference call was Mr. Jim Wilson who had been asked to be available for questions from Members of the Board concerning the upcoming hearing.

 

The President called the meeting to order at 4:16 P.M. on Friday evening following which he offered an opening  prayer.  He then read the “Conflicts of Interest Statement” prepared by the North Carolina Board of Ethics before announcing that Dr. Rafferty would not be present until Saturday morning because of flight delays out of Sarasota, Florida where he had gone for a previously scheduled appointment on Friday morning .

 

Approval of Minutes  On a motion by Mr. Mitchell, seconded by Ms. Richardson the minutes of the  February 14 - 17  , 2008 meeting as corrected were unanimously approved.

 

The Report of the President   Dr. Anderson’s report was brief.  He touched briefly on: current Board policy related to the unlicensed practice of optometry and the fact that an ongoing investigation in this regard may be coming to an end; the need to update Board policy regarding spectacle prescriptions in light of an increasing number of issues arising from internet sales of prescription eye wear; and the need to build a larger pool of Clinical Examiners. 

 

Before concluding his report Dr. Anderson noted that there were lingering questions as to the remaining effect (if any) of the 1994 Agreement on the practice of optometry in North Carolina today.  In the interest of clarifying the Board’s authority to properly regulate the practice of optometry in North Carolina, Dr. Anderson called everyone’s attention to the “Settlement Agreement” between the Boards of Medicine and Optometry dated August 13, 2005,  particularly to paragraphs 7 and 13 of that Agreement wherein it is stipulated that the 2005 Agreement supersedes the 1994 Agreement (and its amendments).   In short the earlier Agreement (1994) is no longer of any force and effect.

 

On a motion by Dr. Hendrix and seconded by Mr. Mitchell the report of the President was unanimously accepted.

 

The Report of the Secretary-Treasurer  The Dr. Hendrix presented the Budget Report for the period covering July 1, 2007 through March 25, 2008.     With the Executive Director Dr. Hendrix pointed out that the financial report with only three months left in the fiscal year reflects income and expenses to be comfortably in line with funds budgeted for fiscal year 2007-2008 with the exception of: 1) the software development being somewhat over budget, and 2) the legal expenses being considerably under budget.  Following the answering of questions from Members of the Board Ms. Richardson moved and Mr. Mitchell seconded a motion that the financial report as presented by the Secretary-Treasurer be accepted. The motion carried unanimously.

 

Report of the Executive Director   In his report the Executive Director:

 

On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Clark the report of the Executive Director was unanimously accepted.

 

On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Ms. Richardson the amendment to Board Policy on the release of spectacle and contact lens prescriptions drafted by the Executive Director and modified during the discussion by the Board was unanimously adopted.

 

On a motion by Mr. Mitchell seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the amendments to the Board Policy on the ‘Use of Board Certification’ was adopted.

 

On a motion by Mr. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Clark and carried unanimously the Board approved the posting on the Board’s web site a general statement on the Board’s Clinical/Practicum Examinations as information for those persons interested in or applying for licensure in North Carolina.

 

Dr. Clark moved and Dr. Banks seconded the following motion: “Beginning with the Summer 2008 Clinical/Practicum examinations the Board will accept from accredited Schools and Colleges of optometry ‘Certification of education and training in the performance of peri-ocular and chalazion injections’ that conform to and are consistent with those requirements for credentialing currently licensed North Carolina optometrists in these procedures (as adopted by the Board on June 1, 2005*) for those applicants graduating on or after May 1, 2008 as proper evidence that once licensed by the Board to practice optometry in North Carolina will be credentialed to perform peri-ocular and chalazion injections in the practice of optometry”.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

*See ‘injections’ under Board Policy on the Board Web Page at www.ncoptometry.org .

 

On a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Mr. Mitchell that carried unanimously the Board approved reimbursement for travel by automobile at the current rate approved by the Internal Revenue Service,  50 ½ cents/mile.

 

The President asked the Executive Director to contact the Board’s current pool of Clinical Examiners to ask that they recommend ‘peer acquaintances’ they believe have the potential to become clinical examiners based upon personal knowledge of their clinical skills, interests and willingness to give the time required to prepare for the examinations . 

    

The Executive Director was assigned the task of preparing a “Position Statement on Endorsement” on behalf of the Board for its consideration at its meeting in Myrtle Beach.

 

While aware of its existence and distribution, the Board determined that it would take no position on the ‘Student’s Guide to the North Carolina Board Examinations’

 

Executive Session At 6:15 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 143-318.11(a)(1) to conduct the initial review of the results of the Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum Examination.  At 6:35 P.M. the Board returned to open session.  No motions were made and no action was taken while in closed session.

 

The meeting was recessed until 8:30 A.M. Saturday, March 29, 2008

 

At 8:45 A.M. on Saturday the meeting was called to order and on a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Mr. Mitchell and carried unanimously the Board again went into closed session in accordance with NCGS 143-318.11(a)(1)  to  continue the review the scoring of the Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum Examinations. At 10:00 A.M. the Board returned to open session at address other items on the agenda prior to the time certain meeting with the Board’s attorney, Mr. Loper  at 10:30.

 

Review of Complaints.  There were no new complaints reported.

 

Report of the Probable Cause Committee in the Matter of Christopher Reynolds, OD.   Mr. Mitchell reported on behalf of the Committee.  A Consent Order has been negotiated by the attorneys for Dr. Reynolds and Mr. Loper that has the approval of the Members of the Committee.  Dr. Reynolds is currently bound by a Consent Order that took effect shortly after his arrest last fall in which he agreed that he would not engage in the practice of optometry until after conclusion of his trial in the Courts of Mecklenburg County.  Having pled guilty and sentenced by this Court, Dr. Reynolds now faces disciplinary action by this Board.  A copy of the Order is before you.  After brief discussion and the answering of questions by both Mr. Mitchell and the Executive Director, Dr. Clark moved and Dr. Rafferty seconded a motion that the Consent Order in the matter of Christopher Reynolds be approved, and that the President be authorized sign it along with Mr. Loper on behalf of the Board.  The motion carried (with Mr. Mitchell, as a  Member of  the Probable Committee, abstaining).  A copy of the Order is appended to these minutes. 

 

Closed Session   At precisely the hour of 10:30 AM on Saturday on a motion by Dr. Banks, seconded by Mr. Mitchell and carried unanimously the Board went into closed session in accordance with the provisions of  NCGS 143-318.11(a)(1) and NCGS 143-318.11(a)(3)  to discuss in detail  procedural matters related to a possible conflict in the timing  of the upcoming hearing for M.  Scott Edwards, OD and the likelihood of its having to be delayed.

 

Upon entering closed session, the board contacted its attorney Johnny Loper by phone.  Mr. Loper informed the Board about a  possible conflict in the timing of the hearing in the matter of  M. Scott Edwards, OD and another matter he is handling, and how such a conflict would need to  be resolved.  During the remainder of the time spent in closed session with Mr. Loper he answered procedural questions from the Board.

 

While remaining in closed session a call was placed to Attorney James Wilson, special counsel to the Board for the Edwards matter,  so that Board Members might ask any questions they might have concerning the upcoming hearing scheduled for April 21-22, 2008 in the matter of M. Scott Edwards, OD.   Board Members and Mr. Wilson discussed hearing procedures and prospects for a negotiated resolution.

 

At 10:50 AM the Board returned to open session.  No action or vote was taken in the closed session.      

 

Review Of  The Scoring Of The Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum Examinations  At 11:00 AM on a motion by Ms. Richardson  seconded by Dr. Hendrix  and carried unanimously the Board went into closed session in accordance with the provisions of GS 143-318(a)(1)  to complete the review the scoring of the Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum Examinations.   Upon completing a thorough review of the scoring of each applicant’s examination in closed session the Board returned to open session.

 

At 11:30 AM on a motion by Mr. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously the Board returned to open session.

 

Having reviewed the results of the Winter 2008 Examinations in closed session, it was moved by Mr. Mitchell and seconded by Dr. Banks that the following candidates be notified of their having achieved a passing score on the Winter 2008 Clinical/Practicum  Examinations and 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:

 

Rabia Yusaf Ali, O.D.                         #2077                  

          Julie Ann Belanger, O.D.                  #2078                  

          Jason Bradley Berkebile, O.D.                    #2079                  

          Lesley NeSmith Brooks, O.D.            #2080                  

          Neill J. Bulakowski, O.D.                  #2081                  

          Lloyd Allen Butler, II, O.D.               #2082                  

          Kathleen Christensen, O.D.              #2083                  

          David Marc Cohen, O.D.                             #2084                  

          Stephanie Peitz, O.D.                        #2085                  

          Jason Lee Diamond, O.D.                 #2086                  

          Holly Carringer Gutierrez, O.D.        #2087                  

          Catherine M. Earl, O.D.                     #2088                  

          Aleque S. James, O.D.                       #2089                  

          Sarah Q. Kirkpatrick, O.D.                #2090                  

          Kimberly Rene´ Lavin, O.D.              #2091                  

          Christine E. Lemley, O.D.                 #2092                  

          Jay Paul Lizyness, O.D.                     #2093                  

          Macey Erin McAleer, O.D.                 #2094                  

          Christopher Mark McCann, O.D.      #2095                  

          J. Suzanne Parker, O.D.                             #2096                  

          Nisha Patel, O.D.                               #2097                  

          Travis L. Pickens, O.D.                      #2098                  

          Stacy M. Schorner, O.D.                             #2099                  

          James Patrick Sickler, O.D.              #2100                  

          Tanapol Sirithavee, O.D.                             #2101                  

          Tracy J. Waner, O.D.                         #2102                  

          Nicolette L. Zawilinski, O.D.              #2103                  

 

The motion carried unanimously

 

Report of the Board’s Software Consultant and Data Systems Manager.   Mr. John Dixon informed the Board that he had encountered a problem with the ‘sql’ (sequel) server (a Microsoft product) at in mid-October of 2007 when he thought he was right at verge of starting the testing stage of the new system.  He discovered the ‘sql’ software would not allow two different systems to run on the server at the same time  (the old CPY system which had to be maintained and running at the same time the new system was being created).  This required him to rewrite a lot of the core code, setting him back by at least three months.  Because he promised the Board that the new system would be up and running by October 31, 2007, he has not billed the Board for his time since that date.  In so doing he has assumed full responsibility for time lost by his not having recognized early on that the ‘sql’ software prevented two systems to co-exist on the server.  He concluded his report by saying that he is approaching the point now where he thought he would have been last October. 

 

Mr. Mitchell moved and Dr. Hendrix seconded a motion that Mr. Dixon’s report be accepted.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

Revocation of Licenses.  On a motion by Ms. Richardson seconded by Mr. Mitchell and carried unanimously the following licenses were revoked for non-payment of the 2007 renewal fees:

 

          Gilbert B. Alexander, O.D.

          Julie B. Anderson, O.D.

          Annette Jurado Astuto, O.D.

          Patrick S. Conn, O.D.

          Ted H. Dunnagan, O.D.

          Jamal J. Fox, O.D.

          Adam Herold, O.D.

          Easton C. Kelsey, O.D.

          Robert M. Szypczak, O.D.

 

Old Business.  There was a brief discussion and review of the ‘Continuing Education Course Forms’, copies of which Dr. Rafferty had furnished the Board at its meeting in Asheville in November.  There was concern that some might consider the use of these forms as ‘mandatory’ replacing those currently in use by the Board.  There seem to be problems of communication between the State Society and its Districts as to what if any requirements there are as to their use.  Further, it was pointed out that the Board has posted on its web site forms that have been approved for use by vendors and lecturers offering courses for continuing education course approval.  There are significant discrepancies between the forms; therefore, it was the consensus of the Board that its Staff take the two versions of the forms in question  and attempt to reconcile the differences.  The revised forms will be presented at the upcoming meeting in Myrtle Beach in June.

 

New Business.  Dr. Clark stated that he would like to see the Board grant a maximum of 3 hours of Continuing Education Credit per year to lecturers who prepare and present COPE approved courses.  Any given course could qualify only one time for credit.  During the brief discussion CE credit for Clinical Examiners was brought up and  it was pointed out that they were currently eligible for 2 hours CE credit for each examination for a maximum of 4 hours a year.   No action was taken.

                                            

Examination Review Committee  The President appointed Dr. Clark as a Member of the Examination Review Committee at its last meeting to serve with the Executive Director to review the results of any candidate failing the Winter 2008 Examinations requesting such review.  Candidates were instructed that the review would be held in the Board’s office on Tuesday, April 29, 2008.

 

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be at the Kingston Plantation and Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. with arrivals on Wednesday afternoon, June 4, 2008 with the meetings starting at 8:30 A.M. on Thursday, June 5, 2008 and ending no later than 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, June 8, 2008.    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 of the Board for the purpose of electing officers for fiscal year July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009 will be held in the Eton Room at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Kingston Plantation  in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at noon on Thursday, June 5, 2008.

 

There being no further business at 1:40 P.M. Ms. Richardson moved and Mr. Mitchell seconded a motion that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

                                                                                     

                                                          Approved 06/05/08

                                                          Myrtle Beach, SC