Sharon Nichelson, CMOF, has been elected chairwoman of The Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC), succeeding Preston Madler, BOCO. During its November meeting in Owings Mills, Maryland, the BOC board of directors also elected:
- John Kenney, BOCO, BOC vice chairman.
- Kimberly Hertz, BOCO, CMF, secretary.
- Joe Lawson, BOCO, treasurer.
- Jim Hewlett, BOCO, member-at-large.
Sharon Nichelson, CMOF
Nichelson practices mastectomy fitting and orthotic fitting with Frontier Home Medical, North Platte, Nebraska. She was first elected to BOC’s Board in 2006. A BOC item writer for the certified orthotics fitter exam, Nichelson has been a member of the BOC legislative committee and the ethics committee, and she has served for two years as BOC’s vice chairwoman.
Nichelson is also the immediate past chairwoman of the Region D DMERC Advisory Committee, a non-profit volunteer organization that describes itself as being comprised of “home medical equipment (HME) providers, state and national associations, manufacturer supporters, and industry consultants in 17 states. Its primary function is to serve as a communications vehicle enabling the HME industry to liaison with administrators and the DMERC staff within a 17-state region, addressing and resolving issues that arise regarding Medicare policies and billing practices.”
“BOC has two major constituencies, the practitioners, and the accredited facilities that employ them,” Nichelson said. “There’s a significant difference between individual qualifications and institutional ones, but where the two intersect is in their commitment to patient care. One of my goals for BOC is to build alliances with other organizations interested in promoting that intersection.
“As the healthcare and health-insurance debates heat up nationally, I also think one of our most important duties as practitioners is to communicate clearly and candidly with our patients and the other members of the healthcare team. In the O&P field, our goal is to help restore our patients’ self-confidence and physical well-being after what is most often an emotionally traumatic experience. Frequently, we serve as a communications bridge leading to optimum outcomes for our patients. I hope we can take the bridge concept a step further, exploring ways to ensure that our employment surroundings give us everything it takes to perform at the highest level.”
BOC president Claudia Zacharias, MBA, CAE, concurred. “BOC practitioners play an ongoing role in patients’ lives,” she said. “There’s a confidence level that has to exist for the combination of physical and emotional healing to take place as rapidly as possible. As BOC continues to certify practitioners in five different specialties and continues to accredit facilities as CMS-compliant locations, it will be important to be an advocate on behalf of the multiple providers engaged in patient care.”
Board of Directors
BOC’s elected officers are continuous members of its board of directors, which comprises 14 individuals and includes 11 O&P practitioners.
Kenney is president of NeuroFlex Orthotics, Laguna Hills, California. According to BOC, Kenney is an inventor who holds several patents for orthotic device design and is a partner in OSCI/NeuroFlex, Pinellas Park, Florida, a manufacturer pre-fabricated orthoses. He entered O&P in 1995 and was elected to BOC’s board in 2007. For the past two years, he has served as the board’s secretary.
Hertz has been a member of BOC’s board for five years. She is employed by Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in Spring Valley, New York. According to BOC, one of her particular interests has been speaking and writing on mastectomy fitting, and advocating that fitters increase their skills and potential through both certification and continuing education.
Lawson is the managing partner in Lawson Medical, LLC, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. BOC states that he entered O&P in 1998 as a registered fitter; he earned his orthotics certification while building Lawson Medical into a company with locations in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Delaware. This is his second term as treasurer.
BOC says that Jim Hewlett brings nearly 40 years of experience to the board, including marketing, owning DME businesses, operating an O&P facility and serving as a consultant to both DME services and O&P practices. This is his second term as member-at-large.
“BOC is fortunate to be able to call on the services of such a gifted and dedicated group of practitioners,” Zacharias said. “Sharon’s knowledge of BOC’s activities and her tremendous leadership skills will serve BOC well. I look forward to working with her and with the rest of the Board to take BOC into a bright future.”
Both Zacharias and Nichelson thanked outgoing immediate past chairwoman of the board Teresa Alpert-Leibman; Bradley Lamm, MD; and Jessie Margulies, Esq., for their services to the board. The terms of all three will conclude on December 31, 2009. Zacharias expressed gratitude for their leadership, and Nichelson noted that the three have offered BOC “great direction and vision,” saying, “It’s an honor to carry forward their work.