Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6481

Public Act No. 11-23

AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LUPUS EDUCATION AND AWARENESS PLAN.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) There is established within the Department of Public Health an Interagency and Partnership Advisory Panel on Lupus.

(b) The advisory panel shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the Governor, as recommended by the Connecticut Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Society, who shall be a nonphysician medical clinician with significant experience in treating persons with lupus;

(2) Five appointed by the Commissioner of Public Health; one of whom shall be a person with lupus recommended by the state chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America; one of whom shall be a scientist from a university based in the state who has experience in lupus and who participates in various fields of scientific endeavor, including, but not limited to, biomedical, social, translational, behavioral or epidemiological research recommended by the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the state chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America; one of whom shall be a physician with significant experience in treating persons with lupus recommended by the Connecticut Medical Society; one of whom shall be a representative from the state chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America; and one of whom shall be a state resident representing the Lupus Research Institute;

(3) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(4) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(7) One appointed by the executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women;

(8) One appointed by the executive director of the African-American Affairs Commission; and

(9) One appointed by the executive director of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission.

(c) All appointments to the advisory panel shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Panel members shall serve two-year terms. Any person appointed to be a panel member shall serve not more than two full terms. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.

(d) The Commissioner of Public Health shall select the chairperson of the advisory panel from among the members of the panel. Such chairperson shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section. The advisory panel shall meet quarterly and at other times upon the call of the chair or upon the majority request of panel members.

(e) Seven members of the advisory panel shall constitute a quorum. A majority vote of a quorum shall be required for any official action of the advisory panel.

(f) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health shall serve as administrative staff of the advisory panel.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) The Interagency and Partnership Advisory Panel on Lupus established pursuant to section 1 of this act shall: (1) Analyze the current state of education on lupus in the state, (2) evaluate materials and resources currently available from government agencies, hospitals and lupus advocacy organizations, and (3) identify gaps in the current lupus education modalities in the state through a needs assessment or similar mechanism.

(b) Upon completing the needs assessment described in subsection (a) of this section, the advisory panel shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the results of its assessment to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health and to the Department of Public Health. Utilizing the results of such assessment, and with input from the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health and the Department of Public Health, the advisory panel shall develop and implement a comprehensive lupus education and awareness plan.

(c) The advisory panel shall develop and implement a comprehensive plan to improve education and awareness surrounding lupus for health care practitioners, public health personnel, patients and persons who may have lupus. The plan shall include the recommendations on how to best:

(1) Distribute medically sound health information on lupus that is endorsed by government agencies, that include, but are not limited to, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Social Security Administration, through local health departments, schools, agencies on aging, employer wellness programs, physicians and other health professionals, hospitals, health plans and health maintenance organizations, women's health groups and nonprofit and community-based organizations;

(2) Utilize volunteers in the community to distribute brochures and other materials that promote lupus education and awareness;

(3) Develop educational materials for health professionals that identify the most recent scientific and medical information and clinical applications regarding the treatment of lupus;

(4) Work to increase knowledge among physicians, nurses and health and human services professionals about the importance of lupus diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation;

(5) Support continuing medical education programs in the state's leading academic institutions by ensuring that such institutions are provided the most recent scientific and medical information and clinical applications regarding the treatment of lupus;

(6) Conduct state-wide workshops and seminars for extensive professional development regarding the care and management of patients with lupus in an effort to bring the latest information on clinical advances to health care providers; and

(7) Maintain and develop a directory of lupus-related health care services, that includes a listing of health care providers with specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of lupus and that can be disseminated, within available appropriations, by the Department of Public Health to individuals with lupus, family members of those with lupus, representatives from voluntary organizations, health care professionals, health plans, local health agencies and authorities and to other agencies of the state.

(d) The advisory panel shall present the initial plan to the Department of Public Health and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health on or before October 1, 2012. The advisory panel may make periodic revisions to the plan that are consistent with the purposes of this section.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) The Department of Public Health may, within available appropriations, provide assistance to the Interagency and Partnership Advisory Panel on Lupus established pursuant to section 1 of this act, in carrying out its functions. Such assistance may include, but shall not be limited to, the dissemination of educational materials to state health care providers serving minority populations. The Commissioner of Public Health may accept funds from any source to implement the provisions of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of this act. The commissioner shall take such actions as the commissioner deems necessary to maximize federal funding to implement the provisions of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of this act.

Approved May 24, 2011