Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 519

Public Act No. 04-220

AN ACT CONCERNING ALLIED HEALTH WORKFORCE NEEDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2004) (a) There is established a Connecticut Allied Health Workforce Policy Board which shall act in coordination with the Connecticut Career Ladder Advisory Committee established pursuant to section 1 of public act 03-142 to: (1) Monitor data and trends in the allied health workforce, including, but not limited to, (A) the state's current and future supply and demand for allied health professionals, and (B) the current and future capacity of the state system of higher education to educate and train students pursuing allied health professions; (2) develop recommendations for the formation and promotion of an economic cluster, as defined in section 32-4e of the general statutes, for allied health professions; (3) identify recruitment and retention strategies for public and independent institutions of higher education with allied health programs; (4) develop recommendations for promoting diversity in the allied health workforce, including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic and gender diversity and for enhancing the attractiveness of allied health professions; (5) develop recommendations regarding financial and other assistance to students enrolled in or considering enrolling in allied health programs offered at public or independent institutions of higher education; (6) identify recruitment and retention strategies for allied health employers; (7) develop recommendations about recruiting and utilizing retired nursing faculty members to teach or train students to become licensed practical nurses or registered nurses; and (8) examine nursing programs at public and independent institutions of higher education and develop recommendations about the possibility of streamlining the curricula offered in such programs to facilitate timely program completion. For purposes of this section, "allied health workforce" and "allied health professionals" means professionals or paraprofessionals who are qualified by special training, education, skills and experience in providing health care, treatment and diagnostic services, under the supervision of or in collaboration with a licensed practitioner, and includes, but is not limited to, physician assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nurse assistants, home health aides, radiological technologists and technicians, medical therapists and other qualified technologists and technicians.

(b) The board shall consist of the following members:

(1) A member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) A member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(3) A member appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(4) A member appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(5) The Commissioners of Public Health, Education and Higher Education, or their designees;

(6) The chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health and higher education and employment advancement, or their designees;

(7) A representative of the Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing, established under section 20-88 of the general statutes, who shall be appointed by said board; and

(8) A representative of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, who shall be appointed by said conference.

(c) Any member appointed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be a recognized expert in the field of allied health, finance, economics or health facility management. All appointments to the board shall be made no later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority. The term of each appointed member of the board shall be three years from the date of appointment. The board shall select a chairperson from among its members. Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall, within available appropriations, be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. The board shall convene its first meeting not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(d) Not later than January 1, 2006, and annually thereafter, the board shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations, including recommendations for legislation to address allied health workforce shortages in this state, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health and higher education and employment advancement, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Approved on June 8, 2004