North Carolina State Board of Optometry
July 27- 30, 2006
Jane McKimmon Center
Raleigh, North Carolina
The North Carolina State Board of Optometry met in Raleigh, North Carolina, Thursday, July 27 through Sunday, July30, 2006 to conduct the Summer 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations at the Jane McKimmon Center on the Campus of North Carolina State University and for other purposes. Present were Drs. William Rafferty, President, David Anderson, Secretary/Treasurer, Joel Banks, David Baxter, William Hendrix and Ms. Trudy Mitchell and Mary Richardson, Members of the Board. Present as Staff were John D. Robinson, OD, Executive Director, Janice Peterson, RN, Administrative Secretary, and Mrs. Sara Roberts, Administrative Assistant. Mr. Johnny Loper, the Board’s Attorney, was present on Thursday afternoon to meet with the Board in closed session to discuss litigation matters pursuant to GS 143-318.11(3). Also present except for those parts of the meeting held in closed session was Matthew W. Sawchack, Esq. of the Ellis & Winters Law Firm, the Firm representing the North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons since the Settlement Agreement between the Boards of Medicine and Optometry was reached in August 2005.
Present for orientation prior to the start of the Board meeting on Thursday afternoon were the following Clinical Examiners: Drs. Kenneth Bumgarner, Ania Hamp, Robert Harding, David King, Donald MacQueen, Magda Metwalli, John Miller, Sandra Moore, Brett Munn, and Robert Rosenstein.
Prior to calling the meeting to order at 4:50 P.M. on Friday afternoon, the President asked Dr. Baxter to open the meeting with prayer.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES. On a motion by Dr. Baxter, seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously, the Minutes of the Meeting held in Myrtle Beach, May 30 - June 3, 2006, were approved. On a motion by Dr. Baxter, seconded by Ms. Mitchell and carried unanimously, the minutes of the Annual Meeting held on June 14, 2006, by conference telephone were approved.
REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT. The President stated that he had two goals in mind that would like to recommend to the Board in hopes that they could be well on the road to completion by the end of his administration if not accomplished. The first is to form several Committees composed of Members of the Board and a number of the Clinical Examiners charged with reviewing the current data base from which scenarios are selected and to prepare as many new ones as possible. Ultimately the Board would like a sufficient number of cases from which to draw the examination without the same case being drawn too frequently. Further, that there we achieve greater uniformity with appropriate pictures for the candidate to review as they respond to the questions of the examiners. Eventually we hope to reach to point that all of the cases are prepared and in the data base for selection and for sending to the Clinical Examiners for their review six weeks prior to the examination taking place. The second project or goal is to review the Board’s policies relating to its approval of continuing education courses and of the course content. There are obvious needs for bringing new information as well as updating old information, especially in areas like patient communications and in the legal aspects of day to day practice.
Report OF THE SECRETARY/TREASURER. Dr. Anderson presented the Budget Report for the period 07/01/06 through 07/31/06. After a brief period and the answering of several questions, a motion was made by Ms. Mitchell and seconded by Dr. Hendrix that the report of the Secretary/Treasurer be accepted. The motion carried unanimously.
REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Before giving his report, the Executive Director informed the Board that the office had received notification from the Governor’s office that Dr. Michael F. Clark had been appointed to the Board, succeeding Dr. David Baxter whose second five year term had expired. Dr. Clark had made previous plans to be with his father in California during the time of knee replacement surgery, thus unable to be sworn in and attend this meeting as the Board’s newest Member. He will be returning next week and take the oath of office at that time.
The Board was advised that in accordance with action taken at its meeting in Myrtle Beach a letter has been sent to the Deans and/or Presidents of the Accredited Schools and Colleges of Optometry notifying them that beginning with the entering class of 2006 (the graduating class of 2010) all applicants 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 the use of those injection procedures approved for use by properly trained and licensed optometrists in North Carolina by the school or college from which they obtained their Doctor of Optometry degree. He then called on the Administrative Secretary, Ms. Janice Peterson, who gave a brief update on the programming and software development for the Board’s data operating systems. On a motion by Dr. Baxter, seconded by Dr. Hendrix and carried unanimously, the report of the Executive Director was accepted.
CLOSED SESSION. On a motion by Dr. Anderson, seconded by Dr. Baxter and carried unanimously, the Board went into Closed Session to discuss litigation matters pursuant to GS 143-318.11(3). Mr. Loper briefed the Board on prior litigation between the Board and the Medical Board, Medical Society, and SEPS as background for his assessment of the likelihood of further litigation which might involve this Board and SEPS over either the Settlement Agreement between the Board and the Medical Board and Medical Society, or a Public Records Act request made by SEPS’ law firm. Mr. Loper responded to questions from Board Members. No vote was taken on any issue in the closed session, and the Board voted to return to open session on a motion by Dr. Baxter that was seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously.
REVIEW OF COMPLAINTS. The Executive Director reported that no new complaints had been received since the last meeting of the Board.
CLINICAL EXAMINERS HONORARIUM. On a motion by Dr. Hendrix, seconded by Dr. Anderson and carried unanimously, four days honorarium, travel and meal expenses for the Clinical Examiners were approved.
OLD BUSINESS. There was no old business
NEW BUSINESS. Dr. Anderson reported on the ARBO meeting held in June in Las Vegas which he attended along with Drs. Hendrix, Rafferty and Robinson. This being his first ARBO meeting he was impressed by the initiatives and types of programs that organization is undertaking and recommended that each Member of the Board attend at least one of these meetings during their time on the Board.
Dr. Anderson took a moment to speak briefly concerning a letter received from an anonymous source at the Board office from Mr. Thadius Swank, Director of Patient Initiatives at the American Academy of Ophthalmology, dated May 26, 2006 addressed to the Members of the North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons in which Mr. Swank wrote “the department is interested in documenting cases of patients who have had bad outcomes resulting from medical or surgical treatments by optometrists”. It was the consensus of the Board that since this letter was on the letterhead of the American Academy of Ophthalmology addressed to the members of the North Carolina Society of Ophthalmology it was a not a matter which should be considered by the Board at this time in light of the fact that there are no direct allegations of patient mismanagement or practicing beyond the lawful scope of optometry by a licensee of this Board. Rather, that at this time, it is an issue that should be addressed by the North Carolina State Optometric Society and the American Optometric Association, since, like the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it represents the profession of optometry at the national level. The President asked the Executive Director to send Mr. Swank’s letter to Mr.Loper with a request that he forward it with an appropriate cover letter to the current Officers and Trustees of the North Carolina State Optometric Society.
EXAMINATION OF THE CANDIDATES. Forty-one candidates whose applications had been approved appeared for examination. The first session began at 7:45 a.m. on Friday July 29,2006 and the final session ended at 6:10 p.m. on Sunday July, 30, 2006 whereupon the meeting was adjourned
The next meeting of the Board to determine the results of the Summer 2006 Clinical/Practicum Examinations and to consider other matters that might come before the Board will be held at the Board Office in Wallace on August 18 – 20, 2006.