CMS-Deemed Accreditation
DMEPOS Certification

Board of Certification/Accreditation

CMS-Deemed Accreditation
DMEPOS Certification

BOC Elects Chairwoman and Four Officers

DATE: December 22, 2009 FOR RELEASE: Immediately CONTACT: Marketing Manager 410-581-6222 BOC Elects Chairwoman and Four Officers 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 Board of Directors also elected to office:


  • John Kenney, BOCO, BOC vice chairman;
  • Kimberly Hertz, BOCO, CMF, secretary;
  • Joe Lawson, BOCO, treasurer; and
  • Jim Hewlett, BOCO, member-at-large.

All officers are experienced members of BOC’s Board. The Board, which is elected directly by BOC’s certificants, selects its own officers, who serve one-year terms.

Nichelson practices mastectomy fitting and orthotic fitting with Frontier Home Medical in 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 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 says. “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 health care 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 health care team,” she adds. “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, concurs. “BOC practitioners play an ongoing role in patients’ lives,” she says. “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.”

BOC’s elected officers are continuous members of the Board, which is comprised of 14 individuals and includes 11 O&P practitioners.

Kenney is president of NeuroFlex Orthotics, Inc. in Laguna Hills, California. An inventor who holds several patents for orthotic device design, Kenney is also a partner in OSCI/NeuroFlex, a pre-fab orthosis manufacturer in Florida. 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 P&O of Spring Valley, New York. 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. 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.

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,” says Zacharias. “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 also took time to thank outgoing Chairman of the Board Preston Madler, Immediate Past Chairwoman of the Board Teresa Alpert-Leibman, Dr. Bradley Lamm and Jessie Margulies, Esq., for their services to the Board. The terms of the latter three concluded on December 31, 2009; Madler remains on the Board as Immediate Past Chairman. Zacharias expressed graditute for their strong leadership, and Nichelson noted that all four have offered BOC ‘great direction and vision. As vice chairwoman, working directly with Preston gave me great preparation for stepping into the chairmanship. I am pleased that we can still tap his knowledge and energy, and I know that Teresa, Dr. Lamm and Jessie will always be available to BOC. It’s an honor to carry forward their work.”

Since 1984, the Board of Certification/Accreditation, International (BOC) has provided credentials demonstrating the competence and proficiency of O&P professionals. BOC offers NCCA-accredited orthotic, prosthetic, pedorthic, orthotic fitter, and mastectomy fitter certification programs. BOC’s facility accreditation program partners with DMEPOS suppliers to meet CMS standards and improve business practices. BOC credentials celebrate and recognize the competence, professionalism and safe practice environments of BOC-certified practitioners and BOC-accredited facilities.

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