North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry

June 2-6, 2004

Myrtle Beach , South Carolina

                                                                                                                       

 

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry met at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, June 2-5, 2004, for the purposes of approving the applicants to take the Summer 2004 Clinical/Practicum examinations, to finalize the examination schedule based upon the number of approved applicants, to review and adopt the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004 and ending June 30, 2005, to review complaints, to monitor continuing education during the Annual Spring Congress of the North Carolina State Optometric Society, and for other purposes.  Present were Drs. Scott Edwards , President, David Baxter , Secretary/Treasurer, David Anderson , Joel Banks , William Rafferty and Ms. Trudy Mitchell , Members of the Board .  Also present was Dr. John Robinson, the Board ’s Executive Director. Present on Thursday at the 10 A.M. time certain as posted on the agenda was the Board ’s attorney, Mr. Johnny Loper , who joined the meeting by way of conference telephone. Appearing before the Board at the time certain of 4 P.M. on Thursday as posted on the agenda representing Doctors Vision Center , O.D., P.A. were Drs. Peter Hollis and Dr. Chris Glendenning .  Appearing at 2:00 P.M. on Friday at the request of the Board was Dr. J. Pat Cummings , Vice President, Professional Affairs at Vistakon, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

 

On Thursday, June 3, 2004 the meeting was called to order by the President at 9:20 A.M. who then asked Ms. Mitchell to open the meeting with prayer.

 

On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Anderson, the Minutes of the March 24, 2004 Meeting were unanimously approved.

 

Report of the Secretary Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer presented the Budget Report that covered the period 07/01/03 through 06/01/04 .  With a month remaining in the fiscal year, Dr. Baxter noted those line items in the budget exceeding the amounts budgeted.  Most notable was the line item titled “legal;investigative” that is a direct result of the current litigation with the Medical Board .  On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the Report of the Secretary-Treasurer was accepted.

 

Report of the Investment Policy Committee:  The Committee consisting of Drs. Baxter, Anderson and Robinson reported on their meeting with Mr. Charles Bridges of Legg Mason, the Board ’s Investment Counselor and presented the recommendations of the Committee for changes in the current policy that would allow the Board to begin to invest a portion of its funds currently in Bank Certificates of Deposits and Money Market Accounts, whose earnings have been in a steady rate of decline over the past several years, to a number of Mutual Funds recommended by Mr. Bridges that have a history of earnings at or above the market over a long period of time.  Following discussion and the answering of questions by Drs. Anderson and Baxter, a motion was made by Ms. Mitchell and seconded by Dr. Banks that the Board accept the report of the Committee and that the recommendations for change in the Board ’s Investment Policy as recommended by the Committee be approved, said changes in Policy to take effect at the beginning of the 2004-2005 fiscal year.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

Report of the Executive Director.  There are 55 applicants for the Summer 2004 examinations.  This number will require that the Board be in Raleigh for a minimum of five days, four days at the examination site and a day for set up and a Board Meeting.  The dates approved and currently posted are Friday, July 30, 2004 through Wednesday, August 5, 2004 .   Since arriving at this meeting, he has been informed that the McKimmon Center had booked the entire facility to another organization the last week in July.  Three days to conduct examinations for 55 applicants is not a realistic option; therefore, it was recommended that the Staff in the Board office continue over the next several days to negotiate with the McKimmon Center to find a satisfactory solution to our problem.  On a motion by Dr. Baxter seconded by Dr. Banks and carried unanimously the report of the Executive Director was accepted.

 

Note:  Following the meeting in Myrtle Beach adequate space was made available and  confirmed at the McKimmon Center to conduct the Summer 2004 Examinations on Friday, August 6th through Monday, August 9th.  Candidates were notified by certified mail of the change in dates and assigned candidate numbers and a scheduled time to appear.

 

Review of Complaints.   The Executive Director reported that one  probable cause investigation has resulted in the scheduling of a pre-hearing conference which will be held in Raleigh on July, 13, 2004 at 2 P.M.   Further, that a complaint had been received in the Board office by way of an e-mail prior to leaving for this meeting that is likely to result in a probable cause hearing based upon the nature of the complaint.  A committee to investigate this matter will be appointed by the President at this meeting.

 

Closed Session.  At precisely 10 A.M. Mr. Loper joined the meeting by way of a conference telephone hookup. On a motion by Dr. Banks and seconded by Dr. Rafferty, the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session pursuant to B.S. 143-318.11(3) to receive a report from Mr. Loper regarding the lawsuit with the Medical Board on the issue of whether optometrists may perform certain types of injections.  Mr. Loper updated the Board on the procedural status of the lawsuit and with his assessment of the likely procedure and timeline if the Court were to deny the Medical Board ’s motion to dismiss.  After responding to the Board ’s questions and inquiries, on a motion of Dr. Anderson, seconded by Dr. Banks, the Board voted to return to open session.  No action or vote was taken in this closed session.   

 

Report of Attorney  In open session, Mr. Loper informed the Board that the Supreme Court of North Carolina had ruled in favor of the North Carolina Dental Board in the Watkins v. North Carolina State Dental Examiners case.  The Optometry Board filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief on behalf of the Dental Board in support of the proposition that, absent expert testimony, a licensing board such as the Dental Board has the necessary expertise to determine the appropriate standard of care for its own licensed profession.  This decision, obviously, also has the potential to be favorable to the Optometry Board in the future.

 

Approval of  Applicants.  On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Baxter and carried unanimously the applications of the following  individuals recommended to the Board by the Executive Director as having  applied in a timely manner be approved conditioned upon the fact that all documents required by the Board be received prior to their admission to the Summer 2004 Examinations:

 

                        Chinwendu Anukwuem

                        Angela Holland Bergin

                        Krystal Pusser Bragg

                        Sara Brigman

                        Stacy Jill Bumgarner Bryant

                        Laura Nicole Burke

                        Paul John Vincent Burt

                        George Nathan Butterworth

                        Lila Milland Cantrell

                        Michael David Carstens

                        Jamie Joseph Casper

                        David James Coward

                        Robert Pembroke Currence

                        My Thuan Do

                        Chad James Douglas

                        Shirin Esmail

                        Bruce Lee Gladstone

                        Jason Aaron Gould

                        Mala Gundecha

                        Victoria Yu-Fung Ha

                        Benjamin Lanier Hobbs

                        Stacy Renell Humberson

                        Cynthia Dawn Inman

                        Luc Emmanuel Kanicky

                        Jee Me Kim

                        Glenn Arthur Klaus, Jr.

                        Evan Krawitz

                        Lisa Claire Ledet

                        Jennifer Bradley Lemmon

                        Alexa Rawlings Lupfer

                        John Michael Melnyk

                        Vanessa Marie Mills

                        David Michael Mitchell

                        Sallie grist Mitchell

                        Kimberly Rae Parks

                        Bruce Alan Pate

                        Sanjay Bipinchandra Patel

                        Hitendra Prahladbhai Prajapati

                        Richard Schuyler Roush

                        Punam Saini

                        Kyle Matthew Schaub

                        Eva Shiau

                        Jessica Faye Sirak-Smith

                        Keisha Chermise Smith

                        Floyd J. Stewart, III

                        Arun Thoppe Subramanian

                        Jennifer Robyn Switak

                        Robert Michael Szypczak

                        Melissa Mokhadere Tanbakuchi

                        Jared Andrew Taylor

                        Alex Michael Wahl

                        Crystal Gayle Whittington

                        Jeffrey Scott Wilkins

                        Eric Yopp

                        Michael Qui Hui Xu

 

                       

 Board Office Lease.  The current lease on the Board office between  John D. Robinson and the State Property Office dated May 7, 2002  was for a one year term with the option to renew under the terms and conditions set forth therein for  two additional one year terms.  At its June meeting in 2003 the Board voted to extend the lease for fiscal year 2003-2004 which ends June 30, 2004 . This is the third and final year of this Agreement and the option contained therein to renew for another year.  On a motion by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Banks and carried unanimously the terms of the lease were approved and the lease extended for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2004 and ending June 30, 2005..

 

Budget Proposal.  Dr. Baxter presented the proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2004-2005 prepared by the Executive Director.  Action on the Budget was postponed until after the Executive Session.

 

Executive Session.   On a motion by Dr. Baxter seconded by Dr. Banks and carried unanimously the Board went into Executive Session at 11:55 A.M. Thursday morning, June 3, 2004 to discuss Staff performance and salaries.  In reconvening the meeting at 12:25 P.M. the President announced that in Executive Session the Board unanimously agreed that the performance of the Board Staff over the past year had been exemplary and that all of the Members of the Board were deeply appreciative of their dedication and professionalism in the performance of their duties.

 

 

Adoption of the Budget.  After the Executive Session, the Secretary-Treasurer then presented an amended Budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 that included a 4 % pay increase for the Executive Director and Administrative Secretary and an increase of $ 4,000.00 in the salary of the Administrative Assistant. 

 

Ms. Mitchell moved and Dr. Banks seconded a motion to approve the 10%  contribution included in the amended Budget based upon  salaries  to the SEP accounts of the Executive Director, Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant. The motion carried unanimously

 

On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Ms. Mitchell and carried unanimously the amended Budget for fiscal year 2004-2005 was adopted.

 

Report of the Examination Review Committee. Dr. Rafferty reported on behalf of the Examination Review Committee consisting of himself and the Executive Director.  Three applicants who had failed the Winter 2004 Examinations appeared as scheduled in the Board office.  The Committee found no compelling reason why it should recommend to the Board that any of the scores in question be changed. Dr. Rafferty then moved and Dr. Baxter seconded a motion that carried unanimously that the examination scores as reported to the candidates requesting a review of scoring are correct and that a letter so stating be sent to them.

 

Request of failing candidate to combine scores of three examinations.  The Board Members read and discussed the a letter to the Board from Steven L. Haleo, O.D. dated May 17, 2004  in which he requested that the Board combine the scores of three examinations. The Board voted unanimously to deny the request on a motion Dr. Baxter  that was seconded Dr. Anderson.  Following the vote the President instructed the Executive Director to forward the action of the Board to the Board ’s attorney, Mr. Loper, for a response to Dr. Haleo on behalf of the Board informing him of the Board ’s decision in this regard.

 

Annual Audit.  A proposal for performing the Annual Audit by the Accounting Firm of Waters and Piver was presented.  On a motion by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Anderson  and carried unanimously the proposal by Mr. Waters on behalf of his firm was accepted.

 

Dates of Summer 2004 Examinations.  While still in Myrtle Beach the Board Staff was unable to make arrangements with the McKimmon Center ’s Staff  for additional days or alternate dates on which to conduct the Summer 2004 Examinations.

 

The finalization of dates did not take place until the end of the following week when the Board Staff was able to obtain the space needed over a period of four days.  The dates negotiated and forwarded to the Members of the Board and to the Clinical Examiners were Friday, August  6th through Monday, August 9th with arrival on in Raleigh late Thursday afternoon, August 5th.

 

Clinical Examiners.   There was a brief discussion concerning  persons to serve as Clinical Examiners for the Summer 2004 Examinations.  The consensus was that those individuals listed below who were the Examiners at the Winter 2004 examinations be asked to serve.

 

 Drs.  Kenny Bumgarner   Thomas Bull,  Ania Hamp, Robert Harding, David King, Don MacQueen ,   Maggie Metwalli,  Sandra Moore , Robert Rosenstein ,  and  Robert Sullivan

 

            Alternate Examiners would be determined from the list of those Examiners who have served in the past:

           

Dr. Alan Price had been recommended by Dr. Robert Rosenstein to be an observer and Dr. Scott Philippe expressed interest in coming as an observer to the Executive Director. There were no other names presented; however, Members of the Board who would like to make further recommendations are to submit names to the  Board Office in time for the Staff to schedule a day for them to come.

 

Board Policy.  Dr. Rafferty presented the report of the Board Policy Committee.  The Committee recommended the adoption of two Policy Statements, one on the criteria used for the approval of continuing education courses by the Board and  the other on the use by optometrists in the promotion of their practice  words and/or phrases indicating that they are Board Certified”, “Certified in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease” or similar language,   These Policy Statements represent a summary of  several memoranda sent by the Board to licensees over the past 5 or 6 years. (Copies of the Committee’s drafts of these Policy Statements  were circulated to the Members previously and  were in the Members’ meeting notebooks at this meeting.)  Following discussion and the answering of questions by Dr. Rafferty and the Executive Director, Dr. Rafferty moved and Dr. Banks seconded a motion that carried unanimously to adopt the recommended Policy on the use of the term Board Certified”.  Dr. Baxter then moved and Dr. Rafferty seconded a motion that the Policy statement regarding the criteria for classifying and approving continuing  education courses be adopted.  The motion carried unanimously. 

 

Meeting with Representatives of Doctors Vision Center , O.D., P.A.  At 4 P.M. Drs. Peter Hollis and Chris Glendenning appeared before the Board to request that the Board review a proposal for ownership of stock in an optometric professional corporation by non-licensee employees of the professional corporation in a 401-K retirement account, said account(s) being a “trust account without voting privileges”  held by a properly licensed optometrist who is a stockholder in the professional corporation offering the plan.  Following the presentation of the proposal and questions from Members of the Board it was determined that the proposal was too complex for any type of action at  this meeting, and that the Board would not be able to provide an answer until all of the ramifications such a proposal might have concerning  the application of both state and federal law could be studied by the Board ’s attorney and members of his firm in communication with  the attorneys representing Doctors Vision Center, O.D., P.A..  At the end of the meeting it was understood that Drs. Hollis and Glendenning would contact their attorneys and have them contact Mr. Loper who would counsel the Board as to its responsibilities in addressing the issue.

 

Meeting with Representative of Vistakon    At 2:00 P.M. on Friday the Board met with J. Pat Cummings , O.D. Vice President for Profession Relations at Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. at the request of the Board following information reaching the Board of a “Mobile Office” sponsored by Vistakon touring the campus of several Colleges and Universities and at a number of Wal-Mart locations having Vision Centers where “free try-ons” of colored contact lenses were offered to the public. Info rmation reaching the Board was sketchy at best but it was known that there were North Carolina licensees present on at least two of the college campuses overseeing the “try-ons”.  It was noted that no branch office licensees had been issued by the Board as would be required by the Law, Rules and Regulations governing the practice of optometry in North Carolina .  Dr. Cummings provided the Board with most of the information requested prior to the meeting, but due to the short period of time between the request and his arrival he was unable to supply everything that had been requested.  Following discussion and explanation of how the marketing of Vistakon colored contact lenses was being done and the answering of questions from Members of the Board ,  Dr. Cummings  promised that the rest of the information that had been requested  would be forthcoming.  He assured the Board that there had been no future plans for the mobile office to be in the state after its last stop at a Wal-Mart location some weeks ago; further, he stated emphatically that  there would be no repeating of this type activity in this state on the part of his company in the future.  Use of the mobile office to promote product will no longer be a part of Vistakon’s marketing strategy in North Carolina .  

 

NBEO/ARBO/AOA Meeting.  Drs. Rafferty, and Robinson are to be attend the Annual Meeting of the Association of Regulatory Board s in Optometry and the American Optometric Association in Orlando, June 19 -23.  On a motion by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Baxter the  registration fees, travel, hotel , 5 days meal and 5 days per diem were authorized for the Board Members for the NBEO/ARBO meetings and that the Executive Director be reimbursed for his registration, travel, hotel and meal expenses for these meetings.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

Annual Meeting.  The Annual Meeting to elect officers was set for Tuesday, June 15, 2004 at 5:30 PM by way of a conference telephone call.

 

There being no further business the Board officially adjourned at noon on Sunday, June 7, 2003 .  The next meeting of the Board will be by way of a conference telephone call on Wednesday afternoon, June 15, 2004 at 5:30 P.M.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                        Approved

                                                                                                                                                                        August 7, 2004