Updates from a very short (2hrs.) Washington State Dept.
of Health Board of Massage meeting (11/4/2016)
School program review: NW Academy for the Healing Arts, a deficiency letter was sent.
Day Spa Academy (Spanish Program), Approved
Therapeutic Connections School of Massage, Approved
Allied Health Careers Academy, Approval was removed
Policy review: The board reviewed three of their internal policies. The most discussion was around the policy for…Initial and Re-Approval of Massage Schools/Program and Site Reviews. Specifically the issue of retroactive approval or re-approval is what the board discussed. The board has put off any final determinations until more information can be gathered but this is the way they are “leaning” so far. No retroactive approval will be available to new schools/programs. With regards to re-approval they are leaning toward a short grace period (30-90 days) for schools/programs. Renewal notices go out 90 days prior to expiration (just like for our massage license renewals), then the school would have some number of extra days to complete their re-approval process and be able to get that re-approval to be retroactive to the day the approval expired. This is to safe guard any students that might graduate from the school during the time that their schools approval is technically expired. Once the retroactive re-approval is in place that student would be eligible to sit for the licensing exam. There was also a suggestion that schools be required to disclose to students the expiration date of their approval.
Jurisdiction Review and Standards for Model Board Member Conduct Policies…just received formatting corrections.
Meeting dates and locations for 2017: January 13 Kent, WA; March 17 Tumwater, WA; May 19 Tumwater, WA; July 14 Vancouver ,WA; September 8 Spokane, WA; November 17 Kent, WA. It was also discussed that it is VERY likely that a “special meeting” will be called in February after the Rules hearing.
Elections: Reynaldo Guajardo LMP was re-elected to the Chair position and Anthony Sharpe, Public Member was re-elected to the Vice-chair position.
Program Reports: Revenue…it is too early to see what affect the fee increase (Oct. 1 2016) will have in easing the bottom line for the massage programs budget.
Rules: The draft of the rules…has gone to the DOH attorneys to make sure there are no violations of other state laws in the draft language and to DOH staff to assess if there is any undue economic burden to LMPs in implementation of the rules. All a standard part of the process.
Report from Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) Annual Conference. FSMTB has 44 members now and 41-42 were present at the conference. It was reported that every state is having issues around human trafficking and illegal massage businesses. There were two different proposals to limit the number of attempts at passing the Mblex. Nothing was passed but it was discussed that for PTs they get 3 attempts to pass then they must take remedial education then they have three more attempts. After that no more attempts are allowed.
A new (old) board member was appointed, Meghann Lawrence will return to the massage board in January 2017 after a year’s absence. She will fill the position left by Nancy Allen who has completed two terms. Thank you Nancy for your service to the profession.