North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry
June 1-4, 2006
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 1-4, 2006 for the purposes of approving the applicants to take the Summer 2006 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, 2006 and ending June 30, 2007, 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. David Baxter, President, William Rafferty, Secretary/Treasurer, Drs. David Anderson, Joel Banks, William Hendrix, and Ms. Trudy Mitchell and Ms. Mary Richardson, 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. Also present for the meeting except for those portions that were closed under the provisions of NCGS 143-318.11 was Thaddeus W. Swank, Esq., Director – Patient Information, American Academy of Ophthalmology.
At 8:30 A.M. on Thursday, June 1, 2006 the meeting was called to order by the President who opened the meeting with prayer.
Approval of Minutes. On a motion by Ms. Richardson seconded by Dr. Hendrix, the Minutes of the March 24 - 25, 2006 Meeting were unanimously approved.
Report of the President. Dr. Baxter thanked the Members of the Board and Staff for their support during his year as President and as he ended ten years of service to the Board. He had particular praise for the Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant for their handling of all of the problems associated with the transitioning from the old software management system to a new system that is still under development and in getting license renewals out in a timely fashion. Despite the difficulties they encountered in having to work with new software consultants who were working with the Board’s old d-base system and a window’s based system that former consultants had pronounced ready to enter data in March 2005 when in fact it was far from being ready, to date they have accomplished the major part of the transitioning without loss of critical data. He asked that the Members of the Board carefully read the memorandum from Mr. John Dixon concerning the work his company has already done, the problems encountered as he and his associate worked with the software and data that was in use when they began their work and the work that remains to be done to complete the tasks for which his company was engaged. On a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Ms. Mitchell and carried unanimously the report of the President was accepted.
Report of the Secretary Treasurer. The Secretary-Treasurer presented the Budget Report that covered the period 07/01/05 through 05/30/06. With a month remaining in the fiscal year, Dr. Rafferty noted that several line items in the budget exceeded the amounts budgeted. Most notable were the line items titled “Legal; Investigative” and “Computer Software”. Early into the fiscal year both of these line items were anticipated by the Board to exceed the amount budgeted due to the litigation in which the Board was involved and a series of events over the last half of the previous fiscal year that lead to the employing of new programmers in July of 2005. He reported that even with these expenditures the Board will likely end the fiscal year in the black. On a motion by Mrs. Richardson seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the Report of the Secretary-Treasurer was accepted.
Report of the Executive Director. The Executive Director did not have a formal report. Instead he suggested that the Board accept the May 30, 2006 letter to him from John Dixon, President, I40 Web Services as their chief of Network Operations in its stead since this project would have been the subject of his report. In his letter Mr. Dixon gives a precise breakdown of the monies spent to date on the Board’s data system and Web Site, an estimate of the costs to complete the programming and costs relative to the support the system when all of the programming has been completed. After the answering of questions by both the President and the Executive Director, Ms. Mitchell moved and Ms. Richardson seconded a motion that the report of the Executive Director including the letter to him from Mr. Dixon be accepted. The motion carried unanimously.
Report of the Injection Credentialing Committee. Drs. Anderson and Rafferty on behalf of their committee submitted their final report containing the recommendations for credentialing properly trained optometrists to perform Fluorescein Angiography. Following a review of the outline of the requirements and after making minor changes in the draft of the requirements as submitted a motion was made by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously that the recommendations of the committee with the changes noted be adopted by the Board. Further, having been duly adopted the requirement is to be posted on the Board’s web site following the previously posted requirements for becoming credentialed to perform chalazia and peri-ocular injections.
Following discussion of plans to phase out programs of continuing education designed for currently licensed North Carolina optometrists wishing to become credentialed in the use of injections in the practice of optometry, the Board agreed that beginning with the entering class of 2006 all graduates of the schools and colleges of optometry approved by the Board who apply for examination and licensure to practice optometry in North Carolina shall be required to submit evidence satisfactory to the Board that they have been properly trained in those injection procedures approved for use by the Board by the school or college of optometry from which they obtained their Doctor of Optometry degree or from such other institution of higher learning as might be approved by the Board. The Executive Director was instructed to so notify the Deans and Presidents of those schools and colleges of optometry who are accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) offering the Doctor of Optometry degree and the National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) of the Board’s action in this regard.
Summer 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations. There are 45 applicants for the Summer 2006 examinations. That number will require that the Board be in Raleigh for a minimum of four days, including three days at the examination site and a day for setting up the examination stations, orientation and review of scoring with the Clinical Examiners and a Board Meeting. The dates previously approved and currently posted are Friday, July 28, 2006 through Monday, July 31, 2006. It is the recommendation of Staff that the Board and Clinical Examiners arrive in Raleigh on Thursday afternoon and for the Board to conduct its first meeting late Thursday afternoon or early that evening. On Thursday, July 27th the Board and the Clinical Examiners will meet at the McKimmon Center in time to set up the examination stations and for orientation. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 28th, 29th and 30th, three sessions will be conducted each day. The examinations should be concluded by 6 PM on Sunday giving the Board little opportunity to meet when the examinations are over. Therefore, any business that cannot be attended to on Thursday will have to scheduled at the end of the day on either Friday or Saturday.
On a motion by Dr. Hendrix seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the applications for the Summer 2006 Clinical/Practicum were approved subject to all documents required by the Board being received by the Board and in the Applicants’ file prior to their appearing for examination. Further, the schedule for the Summer Clinical/Practicum Examinations as recommended was approved.
Review of Complaints. There were no new complaints to report
Report of Probable Cause Committee. Dr. Anderson and the Executive Director reported on behalf of the Probable Cause Committee in the matter of Thomas Miller, OD. Dr. Miller and his attorney met with the Committee consisting of Drs. Anderson and Robinson and Mr. Loper at the offices of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice in Raleigh. Based upon an agreement reached between the parties Mr. Loper drafted a “letter of warning” on behalf of the Board to Dr. Miller that would conclude the matter contingent upon Dr. Miller’s agreeing to the terms of the Agreement as set forth in the letter, his signature below that of Mr. Loper, the payment of $ 1,500.00 to the Board as reimbursement of its costs in investigating the matter and acceptance and approval of the “Letter of Warning” by the Board at its upcoming meeting. Following discussion and the answering of questions by Drs. Anderson and Robinson, on a motion by Dr. Anderson seconded by Ms. Mitchell that carried unanimously the Letter of Warning bearing the signature of the Board’s attorney dated April 27, 2006 and signed by Dr. Miller on May 3, 2006 was unanimously approved.
Closed Session. At precisely 10 A.M. Mr. Loper joined the meeting by way of a conference telephone hookup. On a motion by Dr. Hendrix and seconded by Ms. Mitchell, the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session pursuant to B.S. 143-318.11(a)(3) to receive a report from Mr. Loper regarding potential litigation by SEPS or others on the issue of whether optometrists may perform certain types of injections and possible action by SEPS or others to set aside or modify the settlement reached by this Board with the Medical Board and the Medical Society on this issue. Mr. Loper briefed the Board on his analysis of the possibility of such litigation and the forms it might take. After responding to the Board’s questions and inquiries, on a motion of Dr. Anderson, seconded by Ms. Richardson, the Board voted to return to open session. No action or vote was taken in this closed session.
Board Office Lease. The current lease is for one year that began July 1, 2005 and ends June 30, 2006. Like the former lease it provides the option of renewal for two additional one year terms at the end of the first year. Copies are in the Meeting Note Book. On a motion by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the Board voted to renew the lease for another year (Fiscal Year 2006-2007) with the option to renew for an additional year.
Budget Proposal. Dr. Rafferty presented the proposed budget for fiscal year 2006-2007. This budget drafted by the Executive Director as presented included a 5 % pay increase in the salaries of the Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant and a 4 % increase in the salary of the Executive Director. The SEPS contribution in the proposed budget remained at 10 %. Action on the budget was postponed until after the Board’s closed session held to discuss Staff performance and salaries.
Executive Session. On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the Board went into Executive Session to discuss Staff performance and salaries. In reconvening the meeting following the Executive Session 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; further, that the Members of the Board were unanimous in their opinion that a 5 % increase in the salaries of both the Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant as recommended by the Executive Director and a 4 % increase in the salary of the Executive Director for fiscal year 2006-2007 was in order. Prior to the asking for the adoption of budget as presented Dr. Rafferty moved and Ms. Richardson seconded a motion that carried unanimously to amend the proposed budget to increase the amount budgeted for “health insurance” by $ 4,000.00 in recognition of the dramatic increase in premiums over the past year.
Before voting on the adoption of the Budget Dr. Hendrix moved and Dr. Anderson seconded a motion that the Board approve a 10% contribution (an amount included in the budget as presented) based upon salaries for fiscal year 2006-2007 to the SEP accounts of the Executive Director, Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant. The motion carried unanimously
Adoption of the Budget. the Secretary-Treasurer presented the amended Budget for fiscal year 2006-2007. Without further discussion on a motion by Dr. Anderson seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously the amended Budget for fiscal year 2006-2007 as presented by the Secretary/Treasurer was adopted.
Report of the Examination Review Committee. No candidates failing the Winter 2006 examinations requested a review of their results.
Annual Audit. A proposal for performing the Annual Audit by the Accounting Firm of Waters and Piver was presented. On a motion by Dr. Banks seconded by Dr. Rafferty and carried unanimously the proposal by Mr. Waters on behalf of his firm was accepted.
Clinical Examiners. There was a brief discussion concerning the selection of Clinical Examiners for the Summer Examinations. On a motion by Ms. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the Executive Director was given the authority to ask the following who have served as Clinical Examiners in the past to serve as Clinical Examiners for the upcoming Summer 2006 Clinical/Practicum examinations: Drs. Kenny Bumgarner, Ania Hamp, David King, Don MacQueen, Maggie Metwalli, John Miller, Sandra Moore, Eric Oberdorf, Robert Rosenstein and Matthew Viziithum. In the event that any of those listed cannot serve then alternate examiners are to be selected from the list of those examiners who have served in the past:
ARBO/AOA Meeting. As reported at the last meeting Drs. Anderson, Hendrix, Rafferty and the Executive Director will be attending the Annual Meeting of the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry on June 18 -20, 2006 in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Hendrix and the Executive Director will also be attending the meeting of American Optometric Association which follows the ARBO meeting in Las Vegas June 21 -24, 2006.
Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting to elect officers was set for Wednesday, June 7, 2006 at 5:30 PM by way of a conference telephone call.
The remainder of the time in Myrtle Beach was spent in monitoring the continuing education programs at the Spring Meeting of the North Carolina Optometric Society which began on Friday, June 2 and ended on Sunday June 4, 2006.
There being no further business the meeting of the Board was officially adjourned at noon on Sunday, June 4, 2006. The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting of the Board to elect officers for the coming year beginning July 1, 2006 and will be held by way of a conference telephone call on Wednesday afternoon, June 7, 2006 at 5:30 P.M.