S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 4550 2011-2012 Regular Sessions I N S E N A T E April 12, 2011 ___________ Introduced by Sen. MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to establish a Minority Coordinating Council on Asthmatic Affairs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: 1 Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. According to the American 2 Lung Association, there are over 1.6 million New Yorkers with asthma, 3 with over 380,000 of them being children. The annual cost of asthma is 4 estimated to be nearly 18 billion dollars. Access to health care for 5 ethnic minorities is often hampered by socio-economic disparities, shor- 6 tages of primary care physicians in minority communities, language and 7 literacy barriers, and cultural beliefs about the role and usefulness of 8 medicines. There have emerged clear disparities in the burden and treat- 9 ment of asthma in the communities of ethnic minorities. The burden of 10 asthma falls disproportionately on the African-American and Hispanic 11 populations, and especially on children of these ethnic minorities. 12 Therefore, it is the intent of this legislature to create a coordinating 13 council to address these issues and to improve awareness and management 14 of asthma prevention and treatment for minorities in this state. 15 S 2. The commissioner of health shall establish a Minority Coordinat- 16 ing Council on Asthmatic Affairs. The commissioner shall appoint as many 17 members as he or she determines appropriate. Such members shall be 18 representative of those regions of the state with significant minority 19 populations and shall include health care professionals with knowledge 20 and experience in the prevention and treatment of asthma and in the 21 areas of public health care funding. The council shall be tasked with: 22 (a) assessing the asthma risk factors for the minority citizens of this 23 state, its counties and regions; (b) identifying the existing barriers 24 to quality asthma treatment and care among minorities; (c) developing 25 action steps for addressing care issues; and (d) launching a state-wide 26 asthma awareness campaign to educate citizens about the disease, its EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01414-01-1 S. 4550 2 1 symptoms, and the ability to better manage asthma through prevention and 2 treatment. The council shall deliver an annual report addressing various 3 asthma program successes, new trends, data and issues surrounding minor- 4 ity populations suffering from asthma to the governor and the legisla- 5 ture beginning September 1, 2012, and annually thereafter. 6 S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.