§ 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 plan.
(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 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 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 2016. The study commission may make periodic revisions to the plan that are consistent with the purposes of this section.
(P.L. 2012, ch. 491, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 538, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 253, § 1.)