June 7-10, 2018
Winchester Room, Embassy Suites Hotel at Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry met in the Winchester Room of the Embassy Suites Hotel at Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on June 7. 2018, for the purposes of approving the applicants to take the Summer 2018 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, 2018 and ending June 30, 2019, to receive a legal update, 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 for the meeting were Dr. Michael Johnson, President; Dr. Andrew Cook, Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Scott Philippe, Dr. Jerry Ellington, Dr. Michael Haines, Mr. Jim Raynor and Mrs. Susan Watson, members of the Board. Also present were Dr. William Rafferty, Executive Director and by conference phone Mrs. Janice Peterson, Executive Administrator and Mrs. Samantha Hardison, Administrative Coordinator.
Call to Order. At 8:50 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, 2018 the meeting was called to order by the President, Dr. Michael Johnson. Dr. Johnson read the Conflict of Interest reminder, a copy of which was listed in the electronic agenda, and asked if anyone had a conflict or potential conflict with any item on the agenda.
Approval of Agenda.
Approval of Minutes.
Report of the President. Dr. Johnson commented that this was a very busy time for the Board and Board staff. He reviewed several significant issues facing the Board and the resources that have been used to address these issues. He expressed appreciation to the Board and especially Board staff for all their hard work, dedication and effectiveness. On a motion by Dr, Cook and seconded Dr. Ellington, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report of the President.
Report of the Secretary Treasurer. Dr. Cook presented the financial report that covered the period 07/01/17 through 06/05/2018. In concluding his report, the Board was reminded to submit any outstanding expenses for the current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2018) to the Board’s Executive Administrator for payment prior to July 1, 2018. Dr. Cook also discussed the proposed budget for 2018-2019. On a motion by Dr. Ellington and seconded Dr. Philippe the Board voted unanimously to accept the report of the Secretary-Treasurer.
Report of the Executive Director. Dr. Rafferty’s report followed his “Projects and Initiatives” outline reflecting the Board and staff efforts during the current fiscal year. One specific initiative for FY 2018-2019 is to introduce an electronic Board Bulletin to improve communications with all NC licensed optometrists. Dr. Rafferty also commented on the recent NC Occupational Licensing Board’s (OLB) Annual Meeting held last month in Raleigh. He mentioned potential changes to the auditing process for all OLBs. Telemedicine and issues arising from various models continues to be a challenge to regulatory boards not only in NC but around the country. Dr. Rafferty mentioned other issues he would lead the discussion on as they came up on the Agenda. On a motion by Dr. Ellington and seconded by Dr. Philippe, the Board voted unanimously to accept the report of the Executive Director.
Legal Update with Board Attorney.
At the time certain of 10:00 a.m., the Board met via conference telephone with its attorney, Mr. Johnny M. Loper. In open session Mr. Loper proposed a new Policy regarding the following subject:
§ Proposed Board Policy on Compliance with GS 9-121.6 - Mr. Loper explained that although this statute requires that licensees report settlements and judgments in excess of $75,000, the statute does not require or provide the method by which such reports are to be made nor the time frame in which such reports should be made. Mr. Loper suggested that because such judgements would often if not always contain a finding of negligence, and such settlements may be an indication of negligence, for the protection of the public such reports should be made promptly so that the Board may promptly undertake an appropriate investigation. Mr. Loper previously had drafted a proposed Policy to address these issues. The proposed policy provides notice to licensees regarding how such judgments/settlements are to be reported and the time within which they should be reported. Mr. Loper also responded to questions from the Board regarding this issue and the proposed Policy.
On a motion by Dr. Cook and seconded by Dr. Philippe, the Board voted unanimously to approve the Policy referenced above and post this Policy on the North Carolina Optometry Board’s Website. The Policy would become effective following communication with all NC licensees.
On a motion by Dr. Haines and seconded by Dr. Ellington, the Board voted unanimously to go into closed session in accordance with GS 143-318.11 (1) and (3). The purpose of the closed session was for Mr. Loper to provide updates, counsel and advice to the Board on current investigations.
Without identifying the subjects of the investigations or the factual or legal issues involved. Mr. Loper updated the Board on the progress made toward resolution of a matter involving bankruptcy and a private letter of concern.
Mr. Loper also gave the Board a status/procedural update on the matter involving Dr. Burden and her statements made to the committee of the General Assembly regarding alleged optometric negligence and mismanagement. The Board directed Mr. Loper to proceed with the investigation.
On a motion by Dr. Haines and seconded by Mrs. Watson, the Board voted unanimously to return to open session, with no vote or other action taken in closed session.
Suggested New Rule and a Change to an Existing Rule:
On a motion by Dr. Philippe and seconded by Dr. Ellington, and passed unanimously, the Board authorized Mr. Loper to proceed with the following Rule/Rule changes. 1.) the initiation of adding a new rule relative to compliance with GS 9-121.6 as outlined and discussed under Mr. Loper’s report under Legal Update above. The Policy approved today would stay in effect until the Rule is approved. 2.) amend 21 NCAC 42B .0107 (9), to eliminate the specific criteria “of not less than 75 on the skills of gonioscopy, binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp biomicroscopy.
Election of Board Officers for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year
A motion was made by Dr. Ellington, seconded by Dr. Haines that Dr. Cook be elected President and Dr. Philippe be elected Secretary-Treasurer by acclamation for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The motion passed.
Examination Process/Grading and Staff Evaluations:
On a motion by Dr. Cook and seconded by Dr. Philippe and passed unanimously the Board returned to closed session for the purposes of discussing the Examination process and grading criteria and also to Evaluate Staff Performance and to Consider Salary and Benefits for Fiscal Year 2018-2019.
On a motion by Dr. Ellington and seconded by Dr. Philippe, the Board returned to open session on a unanimous vote. The Board did approve some minor changes to all of the Staff’s Job Descriptions. In closed session, questions were raised concerning staff benefits and the Board instructed the Executive Director to research these issues and report back to the Board.
Board Office Lease
The rent for the Board office for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 appearing as a line item in that year’s budget is in the amount negotiated and approved by the North Carolina Department of Administration. The policy of the State remains that the North Carolina Department of Administration is responsible for the drafting and approving of all leases by state governmental agencies that exceed $ 5000/yr. The lease for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 was the first year of a three year rental agreement (lease) negotiated and approved by the North Carolina Department of Administration. Since the rent in the 2018-2019 Budget is in the amount negotiated by the Department of Administration for the second year of the three year contract approved by the Board at its meeting in June of 2017, a motion was made by Mr. Raynor, seconded by Dr. Philippe and carried unanimously to accept the budgeted amount.
Adoption of the Budget for Fiscal Year 2016-2017
Ona motion by Dr. Haines and seconded by Dr. Philippe the Board unanimously approved the 2018-2019 Budget as presented. Staff salaries and benefits will be added to the Budget when finalized by the Board.
On a motion by Dr. Philippe and seconded by Dr. Raynor the Board unanimously approved the firm of Shelton Hawley, C.P.A. to do the 2017-2018 annual audit. The Board will review its options for the 2018-2019 annual audit.
Meeting with the President and President-Elect of North Carolina Optometric Society (NCOS)
At the time certain of 3:00 p.m., the Board met with Dr. Hearn and Dr. Haines regarding topics of interest to both organizations. Topics that were discussed included the Board’s continuing education requirements, continuing education topics including the Board’s intent to add an opioid course requirement for the 2019 calendar year and new licensee orientation at the upcoming Fall Congress in Asheville, NC.
ARBO/AOA Upcoming Meeting
The Board’s representation at the ARBO Annual Meeting was approved previously. Attached to this agenda is the Annual Report submitted to ARBO on behalf of this Board.
Dr. Ellington moved and Dr. Cook seconded a motion that carried unanimously that the Board reaffirm its position in opposition to the amending of the Mission Statement of the American Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) to include the approving of vendors of optometric continuing education (CE), and that the Executive Council of the North Carolina State Optometric Society be so informed and encouraged to reaffirm its resolutions of opposition and that the Delegates to the to the AOA HODs later this month go instructed to vote against any and all motions in support of the amending of the Mission Statement of the ACOE to include the approving of vendors of optometric CE.
Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum Examination Dates
The Board Members, Staff and the Clinical Examiners are scheduled to arrive in Raleigh on Thursday morning, July 26, 2018. The Board will hold its meeting at the McKimmon Center beginning at 8:30 a.m., then meet with the Clinical Examiners and if needed representatives of the examination construction software firm, Topsail Technologies, at 3:00 p.m. The Holiday Inn Express Hotel, just off Gorman Street near the McKimmon Center, will once again be the Board’s headquarters hotel while in Raleigh. Reservations have been made for the Board Members, Clinical Examiners/Observers and Staff The first examination session will start at the McKimmon Center promptly at 7:45 a.m.. on Friday, July 27th with the last session ending no later than noon. on Sunday, July 29, 2018. Breakfast and lunch will be served in the Board’s meeting room in the Center.
Based upon the number of 37 applicants for examination, there will be three sessions on Friday and Saturday and one session on Sunday morning.
Applicants for the Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum Examinations
On a motion by Dr. Ellington, seconded by Dr. Philippe and carried unanimously those applicants whose applications for the Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum examinations were timely filed with the Board were approved subject to each applicant’s file containing correct and verifiable information; and, further that all documents required by the Board are received and in the applicants’ files prior to appearing for examination.
Approval Clinical Examiners for the Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum Examinations
Schedule of Future Examinations
Other Upcoming Important Dates
The meeting to determine the results of the Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum Examinations is scheduled to be held by video conference via Google Hangouts on August 13, at 7:00 p.m.
The candidates will be informed of this date when they check in to take the Summer 2018 Examination.
The date for candidates to individually review their results of the Summer 2018 examination will be determined when the Board meets to determine the Summer 2018 Examination results. Drs. Philippe and Rafferty were appointed to the Candidate Examination Review Committee.
The meeting to determine the results of the Winter 2019 Clinical/Practicum Examinations is scheduled to be held by video conference via Google Hangouts on February 25, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Re-convene via conference call 7:00 p.m., July 11, 2018 - A motion was made by Dr. Phillippe, seconded by Dr. Ellington and passed unanimously to go into closed session for further discussion on staff performance and benefits. A motion to come out of closed session was made by Mr. Raynor, seconded by Dr. Haines and carried unanimously to come out of closed session. No action was taken.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board will be at the Jane McKimmon Center on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The Board’s Summer 2018 Clinical/Practicum examinations will be held beginning Friday, July 27, 2018 through Sunday, July 29, 2018.