Chapter 253
2015 -- H 5846
Enacted 07/15/2015

A N   A C T

Introduced By: Representatives Diaz, Slater, Serpa, Kazarian, and Messier
Date Introduced: March 12, 2015

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
     SECTION 1. Section 23-87-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-87 entitled "The Rhode
Island Lupus Education and Awareness Plan" is hereby amended to read as follows:
     23-87-5. Establishment of the lupus education and awareness plan (LEAP). -- (a)
The study commission established in this chapter shall:
      (1) Analyze the current state of education on lupus in the state;
      (2) Evaluate materials and resources currently available from government agencies,
hospitals, 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), the study
commission shall report on the results of its assessment to the department of health and to the
general assembly. Utilizing the results of such assessment, and with input from the committees of
the general assembly, having cognizance of matters relating to public health and the department
of health, the study commission shall develop a comprehensive lupus education and awareness
      (c) The study commission shall develop a comprehensive plan to improve education and
awareness surrounding lupus for healthcare 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 produced by the Lupus Foundation of
America, Inc., the Lupus Foundation of New England and/or government agencies, including, but
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, and nonprofit and community-based
      (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 plans in the state's leading academic
institutions by providing them the most recent scientific and medical information and clinical
applications regarding the treatment of lupus;
      (6) Conduct statewide 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 care providers; and
      (7) Develop and maintain a directory of lupus-related healthcare services that includes a
listing of healthcare providers with specialization in services to diagnose and treat lupus and that
can be disseminated, within available appropriations, by the department of health to individuals
with lupus, family members of those with lupus, representatives from voluntary organizations,
healthcare professionals, health plans, local health agencies and authorities, and to other agencies
of the state.
      (d) The study commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the Rhode
Island department of health and to both chambers of the general assembly annually on or before
March 31 commencing in 2015 2016. The study commission may make periodic revisions to the
plan that are consistent with the purposes of this section.
     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.