§ 23.26. Volunteer license.
(a) Purpose and definitions.
(1) The following subsections implement the Volunteer Health Services Act (35 P.S. § § 449.41449.50) and provide for the issuance of a volunteer license to a qualified individual who retires from active practice and seeks to provide professional services as a volunteer. A volunteer license authorizes the holder to practice only in an organized community-based clinic without remuneration.
(2) The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
Approved clinicAn organized community-based clinic offering primary health care services to individuals and families who cannot pay for their care, to Medical Assistance clients or to residents of medically underserved areas or health professionals shortage areas. The term includes a State health center, nonprofit community-based clinic and Federally qualified health center, as designated by Federal rulemaking or as approved by the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare.
Unrestricted licenseA license which is not restricted or limited by order of the Board under its disciplinary power.
(b) License. A volunteer license may be issued to a licensee of the Board who documents to the satisfaction of the Board that the applicant will practice without personal remuneration in approved clinics and meets one of the following conditions:
(1) Holds a currently renewed, active, unrestricted license as an optometrist in this Commonwealth and retires from active practice at the time the applicant applies for a volunteer license.
(2) Retires from the active practice of optometry in this Commonwealth in possession of an unrestricted license which was allowed to lapse by not renewing it. A retired licensee shall meet the requirements of the act or the regulations pertaining to continued education or continued competency to be eligible for renewal.
(c) Applications. An applicant for a volunteer license shall complete an application obtained from the Board. In addition to providing information requested by the Board, the applicant shall provide:
(1) An executed verification on forms provided by the Board certifying that the applicant intends to practice optometry exclusively:
(i) Without personal remuneration for professional services.
(ii) In an approved clinic.
(2) A letter signed by the director or chief operating officer of an approved clinic that the applicant has been authorized to provide volunteer services in the named clinic by the governing body or responsible officer of the clinic.
(d) Validity of license. A volunteer license shall be valid for the biennial period for which it is issued, subject to biennial renewal. During each biennial renewal period, the licensee shall notify the Board of any change in clinic or volunteer status within 30 days of the date of a change, or at the time of renewal, whichever occurs first.
(e) Biennial renewal. A volunteer license shall be renewed biennially on forms provided by the Board.
(1) As a condition of biennial renewal, the applicant shall satisfy the same continuing education requirements as the holder of an active, unrestricted license.
(2) The applicant shall be exempt from payment of the biennial renewal fee of § 23.91 (relating to fees).
(f) Return to active practice. A volunteer license holder who desires to return to active practice shall notify the Board and apply for biennial registration on forms provided by the Board.
(g) Disciplinary provisions. A volunteer license holder shall be subject to the disciplinary provisions of the act and this chapter. Failure of the licensee to comply with the Volunteer Health Services Act (35 P.S. § § 449.41449.50) or this section may also constitute grounds for disciplinary action.
The provisions of this § 23.26 issued under section 5 of the Volunteer Health Services Act (35 P.S. § 449.45); and section 3(b)(14) of the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P.S. § 244.3(b)(14)).
The provisions of this § 23.26 adopted November 28, 1997, effective November 28, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 6214.
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