1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Public Health
  4. Article 2: The Department of Health
  5. Title 1: Officers and Employees


Section 207 Health care and wellness education and outreach program

Public Health (PBH)

1. There is hereby created within the department the health care and wellness education and outreach program. The department may conduct education and outreach programs for consumers, patients, educators, including but not limited to elementary and secondary school educators, and health care providers relating to any health care matters the commissioner deems appropriate and:

  (a) Various health conditions, diseases and health care procedures and treatment options, including but not limited to those for breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, testicular, skin, and ovarian cancer, shaken baby syndrome, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome and post-polio sequelae.

  (b) Recommended preventative and wellness practices and services, including evidence based age and gender appropriate testing and screening exams and immunization schedules.

  (c) Lymphedema and lymphatic disease, an abnormal swelling of the extremities including the causes, symptoms of primary lymphedema, secondary lymphedema and lymphatic disease, prevention, early diagnosis, options for treatment and therapy, long-term chronic care issues, the value of early detection, possible options for treatment including their benefits and risks, and other relevant information and the recommendation that hospitals treating breast cancer patients implement a lymphedema alert program by placing a bright pink wristband on the patient's affected arm. Links to national lymphedema and lymphatic disease organizations shall be provided as part of the informational summary and electronically through the department's websites.

  (d) The need and importance of organ and tissue donation, including information about being registered as an organ and tissue donor and executing documents of gift under article forty-three of this chapter.

  (e) The need and importance for consumers and patients to have an advance directive, particularly a health care proxy, and the need and importance for health care providers to play a leadership role in discussing end-of-life care preferences and values with patients and to provide patients with health care proxy forms.

  (f) Uterine fibroids, an abnormal growth that occurs in the uterus, including the causes and symptoms of uterine fibroids, the value of early detection, possible options for treatment including their benefits and risks, information on the elevated risk for minority women and other relevant information.

  (g) Improving birth outcomes, including the importance of preconceptional care, early prenatal care, considerations of health risks during pregnancy, considerations of benefits and risks of labor and delivery options including, but not limited to, vaginal and cesarean section delivery, elective or repeat cesarean sections, and appropriate use of drugs during delivery. There shall also be education and outreach concerning spina bifida, a permanently disabling birth defect occurring at the end of the first month of pregnancy which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord or its coverings, and the importance of encouraging all women in their child-bearing years to increase their folic acid intake in order to reduce the incidence of spina bifida.

  (h) Palliative care options for patients with a terminal illness or condition.

  (i) About the short term and long term adverse health risks to adults and children who become overweight, obese or underweight. The information shall include, but need not be limited to providing citations to the department's website, as well as any other websites providing information on the subject.

  * (j) Maternal depression, including information about education, screening, referral services, and possible options for treatment.

  * NB There are 2 par (j)'s

  * (j) The eating disorders awareness and prevention program shall be designed to promote the awareness of eating disorders and available services, as well as to prevent and reduce the incidence and prevalence of eating disorders, especially among children and adolescents.

  * NB There are 2 par (j)'s

  * (k) Donating umbilical cord blood to a public cord blood bank.

  * NB There are 3 par (k)'s

  * (k) The availability of individual, family and group counseling programs, education programs, and advocacy services provided at no cost by governmental agencies and not-for-profit organizations for victims of any sexual offense which constitutes a crime and for victims of child pornography promotion or possession.

  * NB There are 3 par (k)'s

  * (k) The physical, sexual and psychological consequences of undergoing female genital mutilation, including the practice of "vacation cutting" whereby girls are sent out of state or the country to undergo female genital mutilation, typically during school vacations.

  * NB There are 3 par (k)'s

  (l) The dangers of women's cancers, including ways to prevent and severity of such diseases. For purposes of this paragraph, women's cancers shall mean and include: cervical, endometrial, gestational trophoblastic tumor, ovarian, uterine sarcoma, vaginal, and vulvar.

  * (m) A Lyme disease and tick-borne infection awareness and prevention program designed to promote the awareness and prevention methods against Lyme disease and tick-borne infections. Such information shall include but not be limited to guidelines and methods of prevention, including the safe use of recommended insect repellents, the best practices for tick removal, recommendations for the reduction of exposure to ticks and appropriate course of action once a tick is removed from the body.

  * NB There are 3 par (m)'s

  * (m) The department shall conduct such a program relating to breast density, which shall include, but not be limited to, educational information regarding the meaning and potential health consequences of having dense breast tissue, the impact of dense breast tissue on mammographic screening for breast cancer and supplemental breast cancer screening techniques, and provide access to other educational websites regarding dense breast tissue and literature regarding risk factors.

  * NB There are 3 par (m)'s

  * (m) Lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ system in the body, including the skin, joints, other connective tissue, blood and blood vessels, heart, lung, kidney and brain, and which affects women, particularly women of color, in a disproportionate manner; provided that the program shall include an advisory council under this section that shall include representatives of people with lupus and their families and health care providers who specialize in treating lupus, among others.

  * NB There are 3 par (m)'s

  (n) Pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome, a clinical diagnosis given to children who have a sudden and dramatic onset of neuropsychiatric symptoms including obsessive compulsive disorder and/or eating disorder, and which may cause affected children to become moody, irritable and anxious, and to have difficulty with schoolwork. Provided that such program shall include an advisory council under this section that shall include representatives of people with pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome and their families and health care providers who specialize in treating such syndrome, among others.

  (o) For women who may become pregnant, expectant parents and parents of infants, information regarding:

  (i) the incidence of cytomegalovirus;

  (ii) the transmission and risks of cytomegalovirus to pregnant women and women who may become pregnant;

  (iii) birth defects caused by congenital cytomegalovirus;

  (iv) methods of diagnosing congenital cytomegalovirus;

  (v) the available preventive measures to avoid the infection of women who are pregnant or may become pregnant; and

  (vi) available methods of treating cytomegalovirus and resources available for families of children born with cytomegalovirus.

  2. Programs under this section, dealing with one or more subjects, may include but not be limited to any of the following elements:

  (a) educational and informational materials in print, audio, visual, electronic or other media;

  (b) public service announcements and advertisements; and

  (c) establishment of toll-free telephone hotlines and electronic services to provide information.

  3. The department may produce, make available to others for reproduction, or contract with others to develop such materials mentioned in this section as the commissioner deems appropriate. These materials shall be made available to the public and to educators, including but not limited to elementary and secondary school educators free of charge as appropriate or for a fee under certain circumstances. The commissioner may require where appropriate any health care provider to make these materials available to patients.

  4. In exercising any of his or her powers under this section, the commissioner may consult with appropriate health care professionals, providers, consumers, educators and patients or organizations representing them.

  5. The commissioner shall ensure that all information and materials produced pursuant to this section are maintained and updated to reflect best practice recommendations.

  6. The commissioner may appoint as appropriate advisory councils relating to various matters that are or are proposed to be the subjects of programs under this section. All such councils shall include representation of health care professionals, providers, educators, consumers, patients and other appropriate interests. The members of the councils shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in performance of their duties.

  7. In addition to state funds appropriated for programs under this section, the commissioner may accept grants from public or private sources for these programs. The commissioner, in administering this section, shall seek to coordinate the department's programs with other public and private programs, and may undertake joint or cooperative programs with other public or private entities, including making grants (within amounts appropriated therefor and consistent with applicable law) to public or not-for-profit entities.

  8. The commissioner may make rules and regulations necessary and appropriate for implementation of this section.