Occupational Therapy Practice Board

 

The mandate of the Occupational Therapy Practice Board is to protect the public's health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction. The board accomplishes this mandate through a variety of activities working with the Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance division.

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Board Information

Description

The mandate of the Occupational Therapy Practice Board is to protect the public's health and safety and to promote the welfare of the state by regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction. The board accomplishes this mandate through a variety of activities working with the Department of Health, Health Systems Quality Assurance division.

Board duties include:

  • Establishing qualifications for minimal competency to grant or deny licensure of occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants.
  • Regulating the competency and quality of professional healthcare providers under its jurisdiction by establishing, monitoring and enforcing qualifications for licensure.
  • Establishing and monitoring compliance with continuing education requirements.
  • Ensuring consistent standards of practice.
  • Developing continuing competency mechanisms.
  • Assessing, investigating and making recommendations related to complaints occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants which may range from a Notice of Correction to a license revocation.
  • Serving as reviewing members on disciplinary cases and serve on disciplinary hearing panels.
  • Serving as members of standing committees, when appointed.
  • Developing rules, policies and procedures that promote the delivery of quality healthcare to state residents.

Qualifications

The board is made up of three occupational therapists, one occupational therapist assistant and one public member appointed by the governor. The professional members must have been in active practice in occupational therapy for at least five years immediately preceding appointment. All members must be residents of Washington State.

Public member representatives may not:

  • Be a member of any other healthcare licensing board or commission.
  • Have a fiduciary obligation to a facility rendering healthcare services.
  • Have a financial interest in the rendering of health services.

Board participation expectation guidelines

The following expectation guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for current members and for prospective appointees of the board:

  • Attend regular board meetings, scheduled quarterly during business hours. There is also a Department of Health one-day Board, Commission, Committee conference.
  • Participate in telephonic conferences to close cases. These take about two hours and are usually done between board meetings.
  • Participate in Settlement Conferences with respondent's attorney, staff attorney and/or board staff. Usually held at the convenience of the reviewing board member and can take several hours. The number held each year depends on the number of cases charged for that board member.
  • Participate on hearing panels from one day to several days two to three times per year. Hearings may be held in the respondent's practice area to accommodate witnesses. A panel of three board members is generally utilized to hear disciplinary cases. All board members are not required to participate in every hearing.
  • Prepare for all meetings by reading materials sent one to two weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting date. The packets take an average of two to four hours to read prior to each business meeting. In addition, between eight and 24 hours are spent reviewing complaint files prior to each meeting.
  • Assist newly appointed board members as necessary.

Total annual time commitment

  • Meetings/conferences: Four to six days per year
  • Meeting preparation: Two to four hours per meeting (about one day per year)
  • Complaint file review: Four to six hours per complaint assigned (about four days per year)
  • Hearing panels: Three to six days per year

Performance guidelines for newly appointed board members

  • Attends committee meetings if necessary.
  • Performs duties of current members.

Regular Occupational Therapy Practice Board business meetings are scheduled about every three months.

Most meetings are held in Tumwater, Washington. One or two meetings per year are usually held in Eastern Washington.

Become a Board, Commission, or Committee Member.

Board Members

Name and term expiration date of members

Members Term Expires
Walter Gruenwald, OT, chair December 31, 2023
Mary Spores, vice-chair December 31, 2025
Ning Barfield, OT December 31, 2022
Joaquin Olivas, OTA December 31, 2024
Shari Roberts, public member December 31, 2024
Board Meetings

(subject to change)

Date and Location Activity Documents
January 20, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Webinar only
Business meeting  
April 14, 2023 at 9 a.m.
TBD
Business meeting  
July 14, 2023 at 9 a.m.
TBD
Business meeting  
October 20, 2023 at 9 a.m.
TBD
Business meeting  
Meeting Minutes

2021

2020