(a) The Bureau for Public Health shall establish strategies to promote and maintain an arthritis prevention education program in order to raise public awareness, to educate consumers and to educate and train health professionals, teachers and human service providers, to include the following components:
(1) The bureau shall develop strategies for raising public awareness of the causes and nature of arthritis, personal risk factors, the value of prevention and early detection and options for diagnosing and treating the disease that include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) Community forums;
(B) Health information and risk factor assessment at public events;
(C) Targeting at-risk populations;
(D) Providing reliable information to policymakers; and
(E) Distributing information through county health departments, schools, area agencies on aging, employer wellness programs, physicians, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, women's groups, nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations and departmental offices;
(2) The bureau shall develop strategies for educating consumers about risk factors, diet and exercise, diagnostic procedures and their indications for use, risks and benefits of drug therapies currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, environmental safety and injury prevention and the availability of self-help diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation services;
(3) The bureau may develop strategies for educating physicians and health professionals and training community service providers on the most up-to-date, accurate scientific and medical information on arthritis prevention, diagnosis and treatment, therapeutic decision-making, including guidelines for detecting and treating the disease in special populations, risks and benefits of medications and research advances;
(4) The bureau may conduct a needs assessment to identify:
(A) Research being conducted within the state;
(B) Available up-to-date technical assistance and educational materials and programs nationwide;
(C) The level of public and professional awareness about arthritis;
(D) The needs of arthritis patients, their families and caregivers;
(E) The needs of health care providers, including physicians, nurses, managed care organizations and other health care providers;
(F) The services available to the arthritis patient;
(G) The existence of arthritis treatment programs;
(H) The existence of arthritis support groups;
(I) The existence of rehabilitation services; and
(5) The bureau may replicate and use successful arthritis programs and enter into contracts and purchase materials or services from organizations with appropriate expertise and knowledge of arthritis.
(b) Based on the needs assessment conducted pursuant to this section, the bureau may develop and maintain a resource guide to include arthritis-related services. This guide shall include a description of diagnostic testing procedures, appropriate indications for their use, drug therapies currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and a cautionary statement about the current status of arthritis research, prevention and treatment. The statement shall also indicate that the bureau does not license, certify, or in any way approve arthritis programs or centers in the state.
(c) The bureau may promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to implement the provisions of this article.
(d) Nothing in this article may be construed or interpreted to mean that arthritis treatment or arthritis education are required to be provided by the bureau or the council created in section three of this article. Nothing contained in this article may be construed to mandate funding for arthritis education or any of the programs contained in this article or to require any appropriation by the Legislature.