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§ 6235. Task force

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and SafetyEffective: June 29, 2014

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 31C. Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Surveillance, Education, Prevention and Treatment Act
Effective: June 29, 2014
35 P.S. § 6235
§ 6235. Task force
(a) Establishment.--The department shall establish a task force on Lyme disease and related tick-borne diseases.
(b) Purpose.--The task force shall investigate and make recommendations to the department regarding:
(1) The surveillance and prevention of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses in this Commonwealth.
(2) Raising awareness about the long-term effects of the misdiagnosis of Lyme disease.
(3) Development of a program of general public and health care professional information and education regarding Lyme disease which shall include the broad spectrum of scientific and treatment options regarding all stages of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses.
(4) Cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to disseminate the information required under paragraph (3) to licensees of the commission and the general public.
(5) Cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to disseminate the information required under paragraph (3) to the general public and visitors of State parks and lands.
(6) Cooperation with the Department of Education to:
(i) Disseminate the information required under paragraph (3) to school administrators, faculty and staff, parents, guardians and students.
(ii) Determine what role schools may play in the prevention of Lyme disease, including, but not limited to, integrated pest management strategies, prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to parents, guardians and State officials.
(iii) Update policies to recognize signs or symptoms of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses as health conditions potentially requiring accommodations.
(7) An active tick collection, testing, surveillance and communication program as provided under subsection (f)(2).
(c) Composition.--The task force shall be composed of the following individuals:
(1) The secretary or a designee.
(2) The Secretary of the Commonwealth or a designee.
(3) The Secretary of Education or a designee.
(4) The Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources or a designee.
(5) The Director of the Bureau of Information and Education of the Pennsylvania Game Commission or a designee.
(6) Two physicians licensed in this Commonwealth who are knowledgeable concerning treatment of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness and who are members of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.
(7) Two physicians licensed in this Commonwealth who are knowledgeable concerning treatment of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness and who are members of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
(8) An epidemiologist licensed in this Commonwealth who has expertise in spirochetes and related infectious diseases.
(9) Two individuals who represent Lyme disease patient groups and who may be a Lyme disease patient or a family member of a Lyme disease patient.
(10) One individual who is a Lyme disease patient or family member of a Lyme disease patient.
(11) Two registered nurses licensed in this Commonwealth, one of whom is a certified registered nurse practitioner and both of whom are knowledgeable concerning Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness.
(12) The Director of Vector Management of the Department of Environmental Protection.
(13) An entomologist with the Department of Entomology of The Pennsylvania State University who has experience in tick identification and tick-borne diseases.
(14) A registered school nurse licensed in this Commonwealth who is knowledgeable concerning Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness.
(15) Two veterinarians licensed in this Commonwealth, at least one of whom is a veterinary epidemiologist and both of whom are knowledgeable concerning Lyme disease and related tick-borne illness.
(16) A representative from the Northeast DNA Laboratory of East Stroudsburg University who is knowledgeable about vector-borne diseases.
(d) Meetings.--
(1) Within 45 days of the effective date of this section, the secretary shall appoint the members of the task force. The secretary shall appoint a chairman of the task force.
(2) The task force shall convene within 90 days of the effective date of this section and shall meet at least quarterly. The task force may convene meetings via teleconference.
(3) The task force shall issue a report with recommendations to the secretary within one year of its first meeting. The report shall also be transmitted to the Public Health and Welfare Committee of the Senate, the Health Committee of the House of Representatives and the Human Services Committee of the House of Representatives.
(4) Nothing in this act shall be construed to prohibit the task force from making interim reports or taking interim actions.
(e) Compensation and expenses.--The members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in performance of their duties. Reimbursement shall be provided by the department.
(f) Duties of department.--The department shall:
(1) Develop a program of general public and health care professional information and education regarding Lyme disease which shall include the broad spectrum of scientific and treatment options regarding all stages of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses.
(2) Develop an active tick collection, testing, surveillance and communication program, subject to the availability of funds, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection, to provide a better understanding of, including, but not limited to, the full range of tick-borne diseases, geographic hot spots and levels of infectivity to be used in targeting prevention, information and education efforts. This effort may include the exploration of and recommendations regarding the use of veterinary data on tick-borne disease prevention, specifically dogs and horses and perhaps other animals, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended. The surveillance data shall be communicated to health care professionals via public health alerts and shall be published on the department's publicly accessible Internet website. The department may enter into a contract, memorandum of understanding or other agreement with another governmental or nongovernmental entity to develop an active tick collection, testing, surveillance and communication program.
(3) Cooperate with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to disseminate the information required under paragraph (1) to licensees of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the general public.
(4) Cooperate with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to disseminate the information required under paragraph (1) to the general public and visitors of State parks and lands.
(5) Cooperate with the Department of Education to:
(i) Disseminate the information required under paragraph (1) to school administrators, school nurses, faculty and staff, parents, guardians and students.
(ii) Determine what role schools may play in the prevention of Lyme disease, including, but not limited to, integrated pest management strategies and prompt removal and reporting of tick removals to parents, guardians and State officials.
(iii) Update policies to recognize signs or symptoms of Lyme disease and related tick-borne illnesses as health conditions potentially requiring accommodations.
(6) Cooperate with professional associations of health care professionals to provide the education program for professionals required under paragraph (1).
(7) Cooperate with The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Entomology, cooperative extension program for integrated pest management, to disseminate educational resources about ticks, related diseases and integrated pest management for disease prevention as required under paragraph (1) to health care professionals and the general public.
(8) Identify and apply for public and private grants and funding in order to carry out the provisions of this act.
(9) Within 45 days of the effective date of this section, make available current data on tick surveillance programs in this Commonwealth conducted by other entities, including the Northeast DNA Laboratory of East Stroudsburg University and the Department of Entomology of The Pennsylvania State University, until such time as the department publishes the results of the active tick collection, testing, surveillance and communication program as provided for in paragraph (2). The data shall be communicated via public health alerts to health care professionals and made available on the department's publicly accessible Internet website.

Credits

2014, June 29, P.L. 808, No. 83, § 5, imd. effective.
35 P.S. § 6235, PA ST 35 P.S. § 6235
Current through the end of the 2023 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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