CHAPTER 224

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 202

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE HEALTH OF MOTHERS, EXPECTANT MOTHERS AND INFANTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, the infant mortality rate is generally accepted as an indicator of the health of a community; and

WHEREAS, the Perinatal Board has worked in partnership with the Delaware Health and Social Services, other state agencies and the private sector over the years to reduce the infant mortality rate; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, the infant mortality rate in Delaware has risen to among the worst in the nation; and

WHEREAS, the infant mortality rate among black citizens of the State has been consistently 2 to 3 times as high as the rate among white citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Infant Mortality Task Force has recommended the establishment of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium to succeed the Perinatal Board and further recommended that the Consortium be given sufficient resources to effectively carry out its charge.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 1, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Subchapter IX which shall read as follows:

“Subchapter IX. Healthy Mothers and Children

§ 195. Division of Public Health; Use of Funds.

The Division of Public Health may use any money appropriated to it for the purpose of improving the health of mothers, expectant mothers and infants, for related research, and for other purposes related to the prevention and improvement of the health of mothers, expectant mothers and infants.

§ 196. (a) The Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium (‘Consortium’) is hereby established and shall coordinate efforts to prevent infant mortality and improve the health of women of childbearing age and infants in the State of Delaware.

(b) The Consortium’s initial priorities and agenda shall be the recommendations contained in the report entitled Reducing Infant Mortality in Delaware – Recommendations of the Infant Mortality Task Force, released in May 2005, or its successor.

(c) The Consortium will:

(1) Provide advice and support to state agencies, hospitals and health care practitioners regarding their roles in reducing infant mortality and improving the health of women of childbearing age and infants.

(2) Facilitate collaborative partnerships among public health agencies, hospitals, health care practitioners and all other interested agencies and organizations to carry out recommended infant mortality improvement strategies.

(3) Recommend standards of care to ensure healthy women of childbearing age and infants.

(4) Coordinate efforts to address health disparities related to the health of women of childbearing age and infants.

(5) Oversee development and implementation of research activities to better understand causes of infant mortality.

(6) Coordinate efforts to prevent conditions and behaviors that lead to unhealthy women of childbearing age and infants.

(7) Meet semi-annually with the Secretary of Health and Social Services to review progress, priorities, and barriers related to the Consortium’s purpose.

(8) Recommend legislation and regulations that will enhance the health of women of childbearing age and infants.

(9) On an annual basis issue a report to the Governor on the status of the health of women of childbearing age and infants and progress in implementing recommendations of the Infant Mortality Task Force.

(d) The Consortium’s permanent membership shall be as follows:

(1) Two (2) representatives of the Delaware House of Representatives and two (2) representatives of the Delaware State Senate (one selected by each caucus);

(2) One (1) representative of the Governor’s office;

(3) The Secretary of the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, or his or her designee;

(4) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services or the Secretary’s designee; and

(5) Fifteen (15) additional members approved by the Governor who shall represent the medical, social service and professional communities as well as the general public.

(e) The Consortium’s permanent members may enact procedures to appoint additional persons to the Consortium. The Consortium, by rule and regulation, shall establish categories of membership, specify voting rights for each category, designate the number needed for a quorum to transact business, provide for election of officers, and adopt such procedures as are necessary to carry out the business of the Consortium.

(f) Appointees to the Consortium shall serve at the pleasure of the individual or entity that appointed them.

(g) The Consortium shall have a chair and a vice chair, to be designated from among permanent members by the Governor and who shall serve as president and vice-president at the pleasure of the Governor. Staff support for the Consortium shall be provided by the Delaware Division of Public Health.”.

Approved January 26, 2006