Pennsylvania Department of State
PENNSYLVANIA STATE BOARD OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY EDUCATION AND LICENSURE

April 2010 www.dos.state.pa.us
BOARD MEETING DATES
June 1, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
Dec. 7, 2010
Other board meetings may be scheduled as needed.

OTHER NEWS
Disciplinary Actions
A listing of disciplinary or corrective measures taken by the 29 professional licensing boards and commissions, Charitable Organizations and Notaries Public.
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Tax Amnesty
Pennsylvania has authorized a tax amnesty period from April 26 to June 18, 2010. During this period, the PA Department of Revenue will waive 100 percent of penalties and half of the interest for anyone who pays delinquent state taxes.
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Public Members: The Why and Who?

Section 4(a) of the Occupational Therapy Practice Act (OT Act) requires that the State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure have "two representatives of the public interest."  This identical requirement is found in numerous other licensure laws including the state boards of Medicine, Podiatry, Nursing and Optometry.  As with other board members, public members are nominated and appointed by the Governor and then are confirmed by a majority of the Senate.  Also, like other board members, public members have equal voting rights.
 
The role of the public member is to protect the public health and welfare.  While the OT Act does not define "representatives of the public interest," Section 813(a) of the Administrative Code of 1929 lists four disqualifying factors:  (1)  members of any profession licensed or regulated by a board/commission within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, (2) persons related to or part of the immediate family of any occupational therapist, (3) a person affiliated with the occupational therapy profession, and (4) a person who holds any other appointive or elected public office in this commonwealth.  

Public members bring a unique perspective to the board as they are involved in another field.  Nonetheless, the public members on the board must become familiar with occupational therapy practice and issues involving that practice.  Often, this knowledge is gained from asking a lot of questions. Currently, one public member is an attorney, and the other is a college student pursuing a career in secondary education.

Meet the Newest Public Member

Matthew Kuhn is a student at York College of Pennsylvania, currently studying secondary education social studies with a concentration in special education.  He has completed 120 hours of teaching observations for his degree. After graduation he plans to teach in the Chester County school system.

Last summer, Kuhn volunteered at the House of Original Dreams, which helps young adults with barriers achieve their General Education Development (GED) certificate and find jobs.  He has remained active in his community, earning a citation from State Rep. Chris Ross for service work and a Good Citizenship Award from PA Sen. John Rafferty.

Matthew Kuhn lives in Chester County with his parents, Bob and Marge Kuhn.

Legislation Affecting the State Board of Occupational Therapists

Senate Bill 187 has been introduced by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf.  The bill has several key provisions: 

  • The definition of “Occupational Therapy” would be amended to remove “splints” and replace it with “low- temperature orthotics.”
  • Occupational therapists would be required to obtain and maintain professional liability insurance.
  • In addition to suspending, revoking and placing a license on probation, the board would be empowered to impose a civil penalty.
  • The board would also have authority to place licensees in the impaired professional program.

A copy of the legislation can be found at http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr
=0187&pn=1138
.
 
The bill is very early in the legislative process, and the board will continue to monitor its progress.

Pennsylvania State Board of Occupational Therapy Education and Licensure
P.O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
717.783.1389 | ST-OCCUPATIONAL@pa.gov
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Modified Date: 05/27/2010 02:00 PM