North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry
June 3 - 6, 2010
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 3 – 6, 2010 for the purposes of approving the applicants to take the Summer 2010 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, 2010 and ending June 30, 2011, to review complaints, to conduct the Annual Meeting to elect officers for the coming year, to monitor continuing education during the Annual Spring Congress of the North Carolina State Optometric Society, and for other purposes. Present were Drs. Joel Banks, President, Roger Mitchell, Secretary/Treasurer and Drs. David Anderson, Michael Clark, Andrew Cook, William Rafferty 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.
At 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, June 3, 2010 the meeting was called to order by the President who read from Section 138A-35 of Chapter 138A of the State Government Ethics Act pertaining to ‘Conflict of Interest’.
Approval of Minutes.
On a motion by Dr. Anderson seconded by Ms. Richardson the Minutes of the March 26 - 27, 2010 Meeting were unanimously approved.
Report of the President. Dr. Banks stated that he had no formal report, and that he would instead exercise the prerogatives of the office of President to make comments concerning various items on the agenda as the meeting progressed. On a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Dr. Rafferty that 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 07/01/09 through 06/01/10. Mr. Mitchell opined that given the short time left in the fiscal year the totals of income and expenditures to date in the report prepared for this meeting show the Board approaching the end if its fiscal year with minimal risks of deficits.. He reminded the Board Members that it is important that all expenses incurred within a fiscal year be paid prior to the start of the ensuing fiscal year; therefore, those who have not yet submitted all of their meeting expenses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 should do so prior to July 1, 2010 the beginning of fiscal year 2010-2011. On a motion by Ms. Richardson seconded by Dr. Rafferty and carried unanimously the Report of the Secretary-Treasurer was accepted.
Report of the Executive Director.
The Executive Director reported:
· There are 44 applications in the Board office that were received in a timely manner. Assuming that all of the required documents and correct and verifiable information are in each applicant’s file by the time of the start of the examinations, there will be 44 persons appearing for examination. This number of applicants require 9 examination sessions over a three day period. For this examination reservations are for one room (the procedures station where the equipment will be delivered) on Thursday, July 29, 2010. The remaining rooms are reserved for Friday, July 30, 2010 through Sunday, August 1, 2010 The schedule is for three sessions to be held each day starting Friday, July 30th at 7:45 am, ending Sunday, August 1st at 6:15 pm. Before adjourning this meeting the Board must agree on the dates of the meeting to determine the results of the examination and a date for review of the results of the examination by candidates who are not successful so that date can be announced at time of the examinations in order that every applicant is informed of the ‘review date’ prior to their leaving the McKimmon Center.
· The proposed budget for fiscal year 2010 – 2011 is in the meeting notebook. The office rent that appears as a line item in the budget is in the amount approved by the North Carolina Department of Administration who took responsibility for drafting the terms of the office lease some years ago. For the first time the Department drew a three year lease, the terms of which were approved by the Board and the Department of Administration in June of 2008. On July 1, 2010 the Board will begin the 3rd year of the 3 year lease.
· The Board must make a final decision on the increase of the number of hours of continuing education to be required as well as the ‘minimal’ number of hours in any particular category for the annual renewal of a license to practice. In previous deliberations a consensus on number of hours was 25 with a yet to be determined number to fall within the category of ‘certified credit’; and further, within the number of certified hours, the number of hours that have an ‘evaluation’ component. Finally, there appeared to be a consensus to increase the number of hours allowed by way of ‘journal’ and/or internet courses. Before we instruct the Board attorney to proceed with ‘rule making’, the issues of hours and types of continuing education to be required must be finalized.
· Board Certification will likely be the subject of continuing debate at the upcoming meeting in Orlando of the American Optometric Association. A proposal to approve ‘board certification’ and to form an American Board of Optometry (ABO), the stated purposes of which are to ‘certify’ optometrists at a level above licensure and to ‘re-certify (MOC)’ them at yet to be determined intervals was approved by the AOA’s HODs in Washington last summer by what many consider a narrow margin considering the representation of their membership by some state delegation’s leaders. A resolution consistent with current Board Policy that would seek support of organized optometry within the state in instructing the North Carolina Delegation at this meeting to continuing to vote NO on any matter surrounding this issue is a part of your notebook for your consideration at this meeting.
· There is a copy of a second memorandum on the subject of board certification in your meeting notebook that is awaiting ‘Board approval’ prior to mailing to our licensees. This memorandum was furnished by way of an e-mail attachment each Board Member prior to this meeting seeking any comments and/or suggested changes. None were received.
· The Board must remain aware of the Federal mandates currently placed on the pharmaceutical industry if they are to continue to provide financial support to the various organizations and institutions providing continuing education programs for the benefit of the various health professions. It appears that the Board will become more involved in the area of enforcement of the so-called ‘industry guidelines’ which could require the revision of the forms used for approval of continuing education programs. Dr. Rafferty will be leading a discussion of this issue later in the meeting.
· The seeking of commitments from Clinical Examiners for the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum examinations must begin immediately. It is recommended that commitments be sought from those individuals approved by the Board who are in attendance at this meeting . Because of family vacations it is more difficult to fill the 10 needed positions in the summer than it is in the winter. If there are individuals you see at this meeting that you would recommend as observers thus potential clinical examiners please let me know who they are and I will contact them on my return to the Board office next week.
· There are two complaints that are currently under investigation, both of which were filed with the Board through the office of its President during the time I was in the hospital. While both are serious, one is going to take more of the time of the Board and its resources because it involves possible insurance fraud.
Mr. President, that concludes my report. On a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the report of the Executive Director was accepted.
Memorandum from the Board to Licensees in Reference to Board Certification. Following discussion and agreement on several minor changes, on a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the Board approved the mailing of the second memorandum on board certification to its licensees.
Resolution Reaffirming the Board’s Opposition to Board Certification. On a motion by Mr. Mitchell seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the ‘Resolution’ reaffirming the Board’s opposition to ‘board certification’ by any national organization, the purpose of which would be the ‘certifying’ and ‘re-certification’ of optometrists as meeting standards above those required for licensure as a means of ensuring ‘maintenance of competency (MOC)’. Further, the resolution encourages the North Carolina Optometric Society to send their delegates to the upcoming meeting of the AOA ‘instructed’ to continue to vote NO on any issue brought to the floor in support of the concept of board certification at the House of Delegates of the AOA in Orlando later this month. The motion carried unanimously.
Meeting with the Board Attorney. At 10:15 a.m. Mr. Loper joined the
Meeting by conference telephone call. On a motion by Dr. Anderson seconded by Dr. Rafferty and carried unanimously the Board went in to closed session in accordance with NCGS 143-318.11(a)(3) to receive privileged advice and information from its attorney regarding certain documents drafted by Mr. Loper which may eventually be provided to the Board’s licensees and to provide information to and respond to questions from the Board regarding certain events relating to proposed AOA/ABO “board certification” and possible litigation regarding same. No action was taken in the closed session. On a motion by Dr. Anderson seconded by Dr. Rafferty and carried unanimously the Board returned to open session.
Increasing the Number of Hours of Continuing Education Required for License Renewal. It was the unanimous opinion of the Board that the number of hours of continuing education required for the annual renewal of licenses be increased from the current 20 hours to 25 hours; further that a least a portion of the hours be taken in courses deemed to be ‘transcript equivalent’ courses. Therefore, before the Board’s attorney drafts the changes in the current rules to go before the Administrative Rules Commission it was determined that further study and investigation was required prior to the Board’s mandating that a portion of the increased number of continuing education hours required be in courses having an evaluation component as an integral part of the course offering.
Applicants for the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations. On a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the applications for the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum were approved subject to each applicant’s application file containing correct and verifiable information, and further that all documents required by the Board are received and in the applicants’ file prior to their appearing for examination; and that the schedule for the Summer Clinical/Practicum Examinations as stated in the Executive Director’s report above be approved. The motion carried unanimously.
Clinical Examiners and Observers. At the suggestion of the President and without objection the Board approved those Clinical Examiners who have been clinical examiners over the past four examination sessions and who either have or will make a commitment to the Executive Director that they would serve at the Summer 2010 examinations. Observers to be invited are those whose names have been timely submitted by the Board Members to the Executive Director.
Review of the Proposed Budget. While in open session the Board reviewed the draft of the budget prepared by the Executive Director. Following the asking and answering of questions in open session adoption of the budget was postponed until after the Board’s meeting in closed session to evaluate the performance of the staff and to consider the cost of living and pay increases
Executive Session to Evaluate Performance of Staff and Consider Cost of Living and Pay Increases . On a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously the Board went into Executive Session to discuss Staff performance, salaries and benefits. Following discussion of the proposed budget and evaluation of the Board’s staff on a motion by Dr. Clark seconded by Mr. Mitchell that carried unanimously the Board returned to open session.
Evaluation of Staff. Reconvening the meeting the President announced that the Board unanimously agreed that the performance of the Board Staff over the past year had been exemplary and that the Members of the Board were deeply appreciative of their dedication and professionalism in the performance of their duties.
Employee Retirement Accounts (SEPS) Upon returning to open session and before voting on the adoption of the budget Dr. Anderson moved and Dr. Rafferty seconded a motion that the Board approve a 10% contribution to the SEP’s accounts of the Executive Director, the Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant based upon salaries recommended for fiscal year 2010-2011. The motion carried unanimously.
Board Office Lease July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2011 Since the Board and the Department of Administration previously approved the terms of a three year lease beginning July 1, 2008 ending on June 30, 2011 no further action on the part of the Board at this meeting is required.
Adoption of the Budget. the Secretary-Treasurer presented the recommended Budget for fiscal year 2010-2011, said Budget to include salary increases based upon cost of living, merit performance and a 10 % SEPS retirement contribution for the Executive Director, the Administrative Secretary and the Administrative Assistant. Without further discussion on a motion by Ms. Richardson seconded by Mr. Mitchell and carried unanimously the Budget for fiscal year 2010-2011 as presented by the Secretary/Treasurer was adopted.
Report of the Examination Review Committee. One applicant who failed the Winter 2010 C/P Examination requested a review of their examination results. That applicant appeared in the Board office on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 to review their results. Meeting with them as the Examination Review Committee were Dr. Joel Banks, a Member of the Board and the Executive Director. After spending approximately an hour and a half with the applicant in a detailed review of the examination results as reported to them earlier, the Committee could find no evidence to support the changing of a score as reported to the candidate. Therefore, it is the Committee’s recommendation that the results of the Clinical/Practicum examinations stand as reported to each of these applicants. On a motion by Dr. Cook seconded by Dr. Clark and carried unanimously the examination results as reported to the applicant stand.
Annual Audit as Required by State Law. The proposal for performing the Audit of the Board’s financial records for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009 and ending June 30, 2010 by the Accounting Firm of Waters and Piver was presented. On a motion by Mr. Mitchell seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously the proposal by Mr. Waters on behalf of his firm was accepted.
ARBO/AOA Meeting. The Executive Director and Dr. William Rafferty, the current President of ARBO will be the only attendees at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Regulatory Boards in Optometry on June 6 – 8, 2010 in Orlando, FL. Dr. Robinson will remain for the meetings of the House of Delegates of the American Optometric Association to monitor and speak to issues of board certification when such matters are brought before the House of Delegates. The President appointed Dr. Robinson as the Board’s voting delegate at the ARBO meeting. Dr. Rafferty’s expenses will be paid by ARBO. On a motion by Dr. Clark and seconded by Dr. Cook that carried unanimously the Board pay the registration fees for the meetings and to approve the Executive Directors travel, 8 hotel nights and 8 days meal expenses to attend the two meetings.
Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examination Dates. The Board Members and the Clinical Examiners are to arrive in Raleigh and meet in Room 9 at the Jane McKimmon Center in Raleigh at 4 o’clock p.m. on Thursday, July 29th. The first examination session will start promptly at 7:40 a.m. on Friday, July 30th . Breakfast will be served each of the three days beginning at 7:00 a.m. There are to be three sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Meeting Dates to Determine the Summer 2010 Examination Results. The meeting to determine the results of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations will be held in the Board’s office in Wallace beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 16, 2010 and end by no later than 5 p.m. on Friday September 17, 2010.
Examination Review. Barring scheduling conflicts the review of the Summer 2010 examination results for those applicants wishing to review their results is scheduled be held in Wallace at the Board’s offices on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 beginning as early as 9:00 a.m. (depending on the numbers of applicants requesting a review of their results).
Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting to elect officers was held at 12:00 p.m. in the Eaton Room at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Myrtle Beach, SC as previously scheduled. Elected President for 2010-2011 was Dr. Michael Clark. Dr. William Rafferty was elected as Secretary/Treasurer (see minutes of 2010 Annual Meeting).
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 4 and ended on Sunday June 6, 2010.
Adjournment. There being no further business the meeting of the Board was officially adjourned at noon on Sunday, June 6, 2010. The next meeting will be at the Jane McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2010.
Approved Raleigh, NC
July 30, 2010