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Laser Workgroup to Meet September 24 in Portland to Address Safety Issues

The purpose of the upcoming Laser Workgroup is “to review ways to help protect consumers by promoting awareness of the safe use of lasers for skin care services.”
“We have ongoing issues regarding lasers that need to be addressed," says Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) Director Holly Mercer.  "We want to provide both practitioners and consumers with more clearly defined safety parameters."
As different state agencies have different oversight over lasers and laser-based services, OHLA has invited representatives from the following to participate in the workgroup: 
The Laser Workgroup is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, September 24, from 1-3 pm at the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board, Conference Room 445, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, 97232.
 
Members of the public are invited and encouraged to be in attendance at the workgroup meeting. All public audience members are asked to sign-in on the attendance roster prior to the meeting.  At least 20 minutes will be set aside to receive public testimony on this topic from 2:40-3 pm.  Each individual/organization wishing to speak will be given up to three minutes depending on the total number of people wishing to give testimony on this topic.  
 
Indivduals/organizations wishing to provide written testimony may send information to Amanda Perkins at amanda.r.perkins@state.or.us. Comments will be compiled and reviewed at the next scheduled workgroup meeting.
 
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Denturist Board Adopts Practice Clarification on Non-Orthodontic Dental Appliances

Based on findings from the Non-orthodontic Appliances Workgroup that met earlier this year, the Board of Denture Technology has adopted a "Practice Clarification" to clarify the role of the denturist in assisting consumers, and when denturists should refer the denturist patient to a physician.
 
The board adopted the Practice Clarification at its September 9, 2013, regular board meeting. 
 
The workgroup was established and Practice Clarification adopted due to concerns received from stakeholders regarding potential issues of licensed denturists treating sleep apnea, temporomandibular disorders and other medical conditions.
 
The Practice Clarification recommends that denturists, prior to providing any non-orthodontic dental appliance services, refer patients to a physician if they present with signs and symptoms of sleep apea, complain of snoring, or present with signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder.
 
"The purpose of the workgroup was to have an inclusive discussion that promotes consumer safety," says OHLA Policy Analyst Samie Patnode.  "The workgroup focused primarily on circumstances when physician referral would be appropriate in the interest of patient care and consumer safety," says Patnode.
 
 
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OHLA Looks to iLearn Again to Streamline Licensing Process for Natural Hair Care

OHLA and the Board of Cosmetology are currently preparing an online tutorial and examination for natural hair care (braiding, cornrowing and other similar services) that applicants can access on the State of Oregon's iLearnOregon system.

Passage of House Bill 3409 in this year's Oregon Legislative Assembly established natural hair care as a new field of practice in cosmetology.  Unlike barbering, esthestics, hair design and nail technology, certification in natural hair care will not require applicants to obtain education at a cosmetology career school.

"The natural hair care community stressed, and the Legislature agreed, that it shouldn't require 1700 hours of schooling (required for certification in hair design) to practice in this field," says OHLA Qualification Analyst Cerynthia Kingsley, who is overseeing the creation of the online tutorial and examination.

OHLA previously created an iLearnOregon online tutorial and examination for earlobe-only piercing applicants for the Board of Body Art Practitioners.

"With iLearnOregon, we have another option for ensuring applicants are qualified, but the process is much more streamlined," says Kingsley. 

The natural hair care online tutorial and examination, which will be free of charge, will be available in early 2014.  Natural hair care practitioners must also obtain a cosmetology facility license (unless they gain a freelance authorization) and will be subject to OHLA inspections as are all cosmetology facilities statewide.

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Mercer Gives Agency Presentation on Board, Commission Best Practices

OHLA Director Holly Mercer gave a presentation before the House Interim Committee on
Consumer Protection and Government Efficiency on Wednesday, September 18, with a topic of "Review Best Practices and Efficiencies for State Boards and Commissions."

Mercer provided the committee with an overview of OHLA's central agency model, highlighting major changes at the agency in the past five years, including the agency's upcoming move to the Oregon Health Authority in mid-2014.

Also presenting on the topic:

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