Minutes of the North Carolina State Board of Optometry                             September 16 - 17, 2010                                                              

Wallace, North Carolina

 

 

The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry met in Wallace, North Carolina, on Thursday and Friday, September 16-                    17, 2010 to determine the results of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations and for other purposes.  Present were Dr. Michael Clark, President, Dr. William Rafferty, Secretary/Treasurer, and Drs. David Anderson, Andrew Cook and Harold Herring and Ms. Mary Richardson, Members of the Board.  Absent due to the death of his mother-in-law was Mr. Roger Mitchell. Also present were Dr. John Robinson, the Executive Director, Janice Peterson, R.N., the Administrative Secretary, and Mrs. Sara Roberts, the Administrative Assistant. As the retiring Board Member whose term did not end until after the Summer 2010 Examinations was Dr. Joel Banks. Present on Friday by way of conference telephone was the Board’s attorney, Mr. Johnny Loper.

                                     

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by the President, Dr. Michael Clark who read the “Ethics and Conflict of Interest Reminder” prepared by the North Carolina State Ethics Commission, a copy of which was in each  Member’s meeting notebook.

         

Approval of Minutes. On a motion by Dr. Cook, seconded by

Ms. Richardson and carried unanimously, the Minutes of the July 29 – August 1, 2010 meeting were approved.

 

 

Report of the President.  Dr. Clark had no formal report; however, he did take the opportunity to ask the Board Members to take whatever time is necessary to carefully review each candidate’s results examination results for consistency and accuracy on scoring in determining the final results of the examination. On a motion made by Rafferty, seconded by Ms. Richardson, and carried unanimously the report of the President was accepted.

 

Report of the Secretary/Treasurer.  Drs. Rafferty, Robinson and Ms. Peterson reviewed the Independent  Auditors Report and Financial Statement for fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 prepared by the Firm, Waters and Piver, CPA’s,  P.A. prior to Dr. Rafferty’s reviewing the Budget Report covering the period July 1 – September 14, 2010.  After  reviewing the Audit and the Budget report and the answering of questions by the Executive Director and the Administrative Secretary a motion to accept the report of the Secretary/Treasurer and the Annual Audit prepared by the Firm of Waters & Piver, CPA’s, PA  was made by Dr. Herring and seconded by Dr. Anderson..  The motion carried unanimously.

 

 Report of the Executive Director.  The Executive Director called the Board’s attention that the deadline for filing amendments to the Board’s Rules and Regulations was fast approaching and that the changes necessary in updating the list of the Schools and Colleges of Optometry  and the current National Board requirements had already been approved by the Board.  Waiting the approval of the Board prior to submitting changes that are to take effect beginning with calendar year 2012 are amendments to the Board’s continuing education requirements.  The amendments discussed at previous meetings awaiting approval would increase the total number of continuing education hours required each year, beginning with calendar year 2012, for the annual renewal of one’s  license to practice from twenty (20) hours to twenty five (25) hours.  As currently drafted, within the twenty five (25) hour requirement, the nine (9) “certified” hours currently required would be increased to twelve (12) hours, the number of hours that could be obtained for credit through correspondence or internet courses would increase from four (4) to six (6) hours and the number of hours of courses classified as practice management that could be obtained that would count toward the twenty five (25) hour requirement would increase from three (3) to four (4) hours.

 

He briefed the Board on the current status of the “cheating scandal” that involved a number of students and at least one faculty member at one of the Colleges of Optometry, and the efforts by the National Board to determine who and how many individuals were involved, how many   examination items were “stolen”, the extent to which its examinations have been compromised and the extent of the distribution of the stolen items.  Further, the fact that the combined costs of everything from the investigations, the legal expense and the replacement of items that have been lost will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars;  and that, in the end, these costs will be born by students taking the National Board’s examinations.

 

Among the materials in the Meeting Notebook are e-mails from Drs. Peter Hollis and Allan Barker asking the Board’s position on the use of  “Mobile Eye Clinics” in three metropolitan areas of the state where their respective professional corporations have practices.  The purpose of the mobile eye clinics are stated to be the offering of  free eye examinations and glasses to persons previously screened by Boys and Girls Clubs of North Carolina and Prevent Blindness North Carolina as being “under privileged” who are in need of these services.  Related e-mails and copies of mailings to North Carolina optometrists and ophthalmologists from “Prevent Blindness North Carolina” and the North Carolina State Optometric Society concerning the “Vision USA” program are also included

 

A copy of a heretofore unknown statute passed during the 2009 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly requiring those Boards collecting licensing and license renewal fees to include in their Rules and Regulations a provision that reads as follows:

Suspension of Authority to Expend Funds.  In the event the Board’s authority to expend funds is suspended pursuant to S.L. 2009-125, the Board shall continue to issue and renew licenses and all fees tendered shall be placed in an escrow account maintained by the Board for this purpose.  Once the Board’s authority is restored, the funds shall be moved from the escrow account into the general operating account.

is included in the Meeting Notebook along with a copy of the rule recently adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Nursing.

 

Dr. Clark, that concludes my report.  I ask that the Members of the Board review all of the material in their notebook and be prepared to act on the amendments to the Board’s Rules and Regulations and to give guidance as to how the Board should respond to Drs. Hollis and Barker concerning their proposal to make use of “Mobile Eye Clinics” in the cities of Greenville, Raleigh and Raleigh.

 

Board Rules and Regulations.  On a motion by Dr. Herring seconded by Dr. Cook and carried unanimously the Board approved the amending of the Board’s rules to increase the total number of hours of continuing education required for the license renewal from twenty (20) to twenty five (25) hours a year, the number of “certified” hours required within the twenty five (25) hour requirement be increased from nine (9) to twelve (12) hours, the number of hours that can be obtained and counted for credit toward the twenty five (25) hour requirement by way of correspondence or internet courses be increased from four (4) to six (6) hours and that the number of hours of courses classified as “practice management” that can be obtained and counted toward the annual requirement be increased from three (3) to four (4) hours.

 

On a motion by Dr. Herring seconded by Dr. Cook and carried unanimously the Board approved the further amending of its Rules and Regulations by adding a new section, “Suspension of Authority to Expend Funds” (see above), as required by NCGS 93B-2(b) enacted by the 2009 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly.

 

Mobile Eye Clinics.   After a thorough discussion of the subject it was the unanimous consensus of the Board that while it supports the idea of providing eye care to the under privileged and in the underserved areas of our state, mobile eye clinics should used only as a last resort in bringing appropriate and needed eye care services to the underserved areas of North Carolina.  Should it be found that a mobile clinic is best suited to provide such services in a particular area(s), then local optometrists should be called upon as the first option for staffing such a clinic(s).  As for those areas that are not considered underserved, there are a number of programs in place like Vision USA, Prevent Blindness North Carolina and VSP’s Sight for Students that should be utilized.  In the metropolitan areas of the state where the ratio of optometrists to the general population is relatively high, these services could easily be provided in an office setting by local optometrists who should be willing to provide the examination services as volunteers.  Such volunteer arrangements address the problems associated with the lack of continuity of care, continuity of care being the acceptable standard of care available only in an office setting, not in a mobile clinic.  In ending  the discussion the President assigned the Executive Director the task of drafting a letter to Drs. Barker and Hollis expressing the Board’s concerns with their proposal to use mobile eye clinics in certain metropolitan “markets”, said letter to be consistent with the Board’s support of efforts to make appropriate eye care available to all of the citizens of North Carolina.

 

Public Hearing on Petition by James B. Black, O.D. for Restoration of His License to Practice Optometry.  Upon written request by Dr. James B. Black a Public Hearing on the restoration of his license to practice optometry will be held on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 2:30 P.M. in the Eisenhower Room at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.

 

Review of the Scoring of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations.   On a motion by Dr. Cook, seconded by Ms, Richardson and carried unanimously the Board went into closed session in accordance with the provisions of NCGS 143-318.11(a)(1),  NCGS 93b-8(c) and NCGS 93b-8(d) to review the scoring of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations.  

 

Determining the Results of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations.  On returning to open session following review of the scoring of the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum Examinations in closed session Dr. Anderson moved and Ms. Richardson seconded a motion that the following applicants be determined to have achieved a passing score on the Summer 2010 Clinical/Practicum  Examinations and in so doing are to be granted a license to practice the profession of optometry in the State of North Carolina.  Further, in accordance with Article 6 of Chapter 90 of  the General Statutes of North Carolina their names are to be entered in the Board Registry with license numbers assigned as follows:

 

2188                        Felix Maitland Barker, O.D.   

2189                        Becky Elaine Call, O.D.       

2190                        Meredith Cameron Cole, O.D.               

2191                        Benjamin D. Crowell, O.D. 

2192                        Nicole Marie Gordon, O.D. 

2193                        Jessica Jane Grace, O.D.    

2194                        Kathy Diane Halverson, O.D.               

2195                        Kendra Jo Hatfield, O.D. 

2196                        William Chadwick Henson, O.D.  

2197                        Danielle E. Jordan, O.D.   

2198                        Lauren Ashley Kaluzne, O.D. 

2199                        Joseph Keaney, O.D. 

2200                        Micah Jason Kinney, O.D.  

2201                        Marc Kenneth Lay, O.D.       

2202                        Yen Thi Hong Le, O.D.         

2203                        Aundria Gaddy Lear, O.D.      

2204                        Doua C. Lor, O.D.               

2205                        Shanar H. Lou, O.D.               

2206                        Yupheng Ly, O.D.               

2207                        Brian Torger Naig, O.D.      

2208                        Esther M.H. Nakagawara, O.D.               

2209                        Natalie Jane Noble, O.D.    

2210                        Komalben Patel, O.D.      

2211                        Lindsay R. Schafer, O.D.  

2212                        Michael Sutton Schilawski, O.D.               

2213                        Angela B. Sellers, O.D.   

2214                        Jonathan Aaron Sugarman, O.D.               

2215                        Troy P. Swanson, O.D.

2216                        Brandon L. Weyand, O.D.

2217                        Michelle Ginah Yun, O.D.       

 

The motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting with the Board Attorney. At 10:30 AM Mr. Loper joined the meeting via a conference telephone call.  He reported that he was in the process of drafting a Consent Order for H. D. Boyles, O.D., following a pre-hearing conference at which Dr. Boyles and his attorney, Mr. Jim Wilson, met with the Board’s Probable Cause Committee.  That order, the terms of which Dr. Boyles has agreed to, will be ready for the Board to act on prior to the time of its next regularly scheduled meeting in Asheville in November.  Prior to that meeting a specially called meeting held by conference telephone will be required for this purpose. On another matter, with Dr. Banks out of the room, Mr. Loper reported on an investigative case and informed the Board of the Committee’s recommended resolution of that matter.  After Mr. Loper’s report Dr. Clark opened the floor for questions.  Mr. Loper and Dr. Robinson responded to the Board’s questions.  Dr. Anderson then moved and Dr. Cook seconded a motion that the Committee’s report and recommendations for resolution be accepted and effected.  The motion carried. The specifics of this report, recommendation, and action are not included because these actions involve a private letter of concern and therefore do not constitute public records or public information.

 

Before leaving the call Mr. Loper briefed the Board on way the Public Hearing in Asheville in November would be conducted, and the fact that he had recently spoken with Dr. Black about procedural matters and issues Dr. Black could be expected to present at the hearing. No substantive issues or issues of fact or likely evidence or proof were discussed.  Attorney Jim Wilson has been retained to advise the Board regarding all matters relating to that hearing.

 

 Mr. Loper also responded to a number of questions from Members of the Board concerning the CPT code agreement with the Medical Board and agreed to discuss the use of a number of codes, some of which involve the use of new technologies by optometrists, with the representatives from the Medical Board.

 

 

          Dr. Clark confirmed the appointment of Dr. Rafferty as a Member of the Examination Review Committee to serve with the Executive Director to review the results of any candidate failing the Summer 2010 Examinations who requests a review.  The review date will be on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 in the Board’s office in Wallace, NC.

 

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The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board will be at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC beginning on Thursday, November 11, 2010 and ending no later than noon on Sunday, November 14, 2010.  In accordance with previous policy Dr. Clark opined that the Board Members should use Wednesday, November 10 , 2010 as a travel day and that reimbursement for the meeting be for travel, 5 days per diem and subsistence and 4 hotel nights. 

 

There being no further business, on a motion by Ms. Richardson seconded by Dr. Cook and carried unanimously the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, September 17, 2010.

 

                                                                       

                                                           

                                                                                    Approved:

                                                                                    November 11, 2010

                                                                                    Asheville, NC