OHLA Takes Steps to Ensure Validity of Licensing Process
From training customer service staff to better detect fraudulent identification to requiring applicants already licensed in other states to pass examinations to obtain licensure in Oregon, the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) is taking steps to ensure all applicants for licensure are qualified to provide services on the public with skill and safety.
On a recent day at OHLA, customer service staff discovered two Social Security cards that were not official government documents.
“While it is rare, finding two fake Social Security cards in one day shows that we need to continue to stay on top of attempts to thwart the qualification process,” says OHLA Licensing and Business Services Manager Sylvie McMillan. “We take this very seriously.”
OHLA and the Board of Cosmetology adopted a new policy at the board's May 10 meeting to require out-of-state applicants already authorized to practice in other states to pass both the Oregon Laws & Rules and field of practice examination(s) to qualify for certification in Oregon.
"Because licensing requirements vary from state to state, we want to ensure that all of our applicants for certification meet Oregon standards," says Board of Cosmetology Chair Debora Masten. "This streamlines the qualification process by taking out the variables among state standards."
Approximately 500 out-of-state applicants are certified in one of the four fields of cosmetology in Oregon annually through reciprocity, which recognizes other states' and countries' equivalent education, examination and licensing requirements. However, few state standards are exactly the same, resulting in differences in education and examination requirements.
OHLA is also working with its volunteer citizen boards and councils to reduce subjectivity in the licensing process, which is the subject of the first two Central Issues online publications highlighting the key issues of OHLA-regulated professions (see below).
Central Issues: Nursing Home Administrators Review Training Program
In the first of a series of online publications, Central Issues, highlighting the key issues being addressed by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency in collaboration with the multiple health and related boards and councils the agency oversees, the Nursing Home Administrators Board (NHAB) explores how to improve the already effective Administrator-In-Training (AIT) program.
Click here to access Central Issues: Nursing Home Administrators Board to learn more about the key issues highlighted above.
- Administrator-in-Training Program: Changes Ahead? The Administrator-in-Training (AIT) program has helped ensure new nursing home administrators have the necessary skills and experience to become successful. OHLA and NHAB are working together to explore how to improve the already effective AIT program.
- A Board Meeting Near You? Mark Your Calendar NHAB and OHLA are planning to hold two of four annual NHAB meetings in Oregon locales other than Salem to provide licensees and other interested parties the opportunity to get to know the board and learn first-hand how the licensing and regulatory process works. Join us!
- NHAB Joins OHLA: How Is the Transition Going? NHAB became one of 10 volunteer citizen boards and councils overseen by OHLA in 2009. We provide you with an update on the transition.
Central Issues: Eyeing Changes to the Denturist Practical Examination
In the second of a series of online publications, Central Issues, the focus is on the Board of Denture Technology and the following key issues:
Click here to access Central Issues: Board of Denture Technology to learn more about the key issues highlighted above.
- Practical Examination: Changes Ahead? OHLA and the Board of Denture Technology are currently reviewing the practical examination to address several issues, from establishing more objective scoring criteria to finding a testing location that accomodates the needs of examination candidates, proctors and agency staff.
- Legislation Needed to Fit Other Prosthetic Devices: If denturists are going to be able to fit prosthetic devices other than dentures to replace teeth, they must do so legislatively to revise the statutory definition of "denture" to include other devices such as teeth whitening trays and sleep apnea equipment. Proposed legislation aims to align denture technology scope of practice with current training and education.
- Temporary License Proposed to Fill Void after Training: With the denture technology practical examination scheduled once a year, candidates for licensure who have completed their 1000 hours of supervised training are sometimes faced with a time gap between their eligibility to test and the scheduled examination. The proposed solution: legislation to establish a temporary license.
Meet OHLA Staff: Policy Analyst Samie Patnode
Many of the issues highlighted in Central Issues result in revisions to Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) that establish the regulatory parameters of a particular profession.
As Policy Analyst, Samantha “Samie” Patnode is the key OHLA staff member responsible for coordinating the agency's efforts to develop regulatory requirements that are inclusive, fair and most importantly, protect the health and safety of the public.
Samie has been on staff at the Oregon Health Licensing Agency for 13 years and is a recent graduate of George Fox University with a bachelor's degree in business.
She works closely with OHLA management, staff, boards and councils and stakeholders to develop these regulatory revisions and guide them through the legislative and administrative rulemaking process.
Patnode has been busy in 2010 with a full slate of issues that require research, analysis and holding board and council sub-committee meetings to leverage the professional expertise and public perspective of board and council members.
In 2010, OHLA is preparing for, currently conducting or has completed administrative rulemaking for the Board of Cosmetology, Board of Direct Entry Midwifery, Nursing Home Administrators Board, Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board, Sex Offender Treatment Board, and the Advisory Council for Electrologists, Permanent Color Technicians and Tattoo Artists and is preparing proposed legislation for the Board of Denture Technology.
Describe your job in approximately 25 words: I facilitate development of profession-specific and agency-wide policy as it relates to regulatory requirements in state statute and administrative rule. It can be both collaborative and sometimes controversial. It's kind of like creating order out of chaos.
What do you like about your job the most? Getting people with diverse viewpoints to find common ground. The diversity and complexity of the issues involved.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job? Trying to address multiple issues and meet multiple deadlines for multiple professions. There are a lot of details that need to connect from concept to completion that require thorough review, discussion and consensus.
How do you cope with the challenges of the job? By realizing that it's a team effort and by leveraging the knowledge and expertise of board and council members, external stakeholders, and agency staff, management and legal counsel.
What helps you succeed in your job? I learned a lot about organizational leadership working toward my degree in business management. State training for administrative rulemaking and rule writing has helped, as well as on-the-job experience in the last session of the Oregon State Legislature. There are too many people to mention that have taken the time to help explain the idiosyncrasies of policy development.
Visit OHLA Web Site at www.oregon.gov/OHLA
OHLA's Web site at www.oregon.gov/OHLA offers numerous features and extensive content for licensees, consumers and other agency stakeholders.
Licensees can renew online, download applications and learn about new licensing and regulatory developments. Consumers can access public education campaign materials and other helpful resources to become more informed about OHLA-regulated professions and the agency's consumer protection activities.
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