H. B. 4616
(By Delegates Compton, Douglas,
Mahan and Spencer)
[Introduced February 22, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article one-a, relating to
creating the office of women's health within the bureau of
public health; definitions; purpose and duties; and
appointment of staff and advisory committee.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article one-a, to read
ARTICLE 1A. OFFICE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH.
As used in this article:
(a) "Bureau" means the bureau of public health;
(b) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the bureau of
(c) "Office" means the office of women's health.
§16-1A-2. Office of Women's Health established.
The office of women's health is established within the state
bureau of public health.
§16-1A-3. Purpose and duties of Office of Women's Health.
The office is established for the following purposes:
(a) To educate and advocate for women's health by requesting
that the bureau, either on its own or in partnership with other
entities, establish appropriate forums, programs, or initiatives
designed to educate the public regarding women's health, with an
emphasis on preventive health and healthy lifestyles;
(b) To assist the commissioner in identifying, coordinating,
and establishing priorities for programs, services and resources
the state should provide for women's health issues and concerns
relating to the reproductive, menopausal, and postmenopausal
phases of a woman's life, with an emphasis on postmenopausal
(c) To serve as a clearinghouse and resource for information regarding women's health data, strategies, services, and programs
that address women's health issues, including the following:
(1) Diseases that significantly impact women, including
heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, migraine and irritable bowel
(3) Mental health;
(4) Substance abuse;
(5) Sexually transmitted diseases;
(6) Sexual assault and domestic violence;
(d) To collect, classify and analyze relevant research
information and data conducted or compiled by:
(1) The bureau; or
(2) Other entities in collaboration with the bureau; and to
provide interested persons with information regarding the
research results, except as prohibited by law;
(e) To develop and recommend funding and program activities
for educating the public on women's health initiatives, including
(1) Health needs throughout a woman's life;
(2) Diseases that significantly affect women, including heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, migraine and irritable bowel
(3) Access to health care for women;
(4) Poverty and women's health;
(5) The leading causes of morbidity and mortality for women;
(6) Special health concerns of minority women;
(f) To make recommendations to the commissioner regarding
programs that address women's health issues for inclusion in the
bureau's biennial budget and strategic planning;
(g) To seek funding from private or governmental entities to
carry out the purposes of this article;
(h) To prepare materials for publication and dissemination
to the public on women's health;
(i) To conduct public educational forums in West Virginia to
raise public awareness and to educate citizens about women's
health programs, issues and services;
(j) To coordinate the activities and programs of the office
with other entities that focus on women's health or women's
issues, including the West Virginia women's commission;
(k) To represent the commissioner, upon request, before the
Legislature and the West Virginia women's commission;
(l) To provide an annual report to the governor, the
Legislature, and the West Virginia women's commission regarding
the successes of the programs of the office, priorities and
services needed for women's health in West Virginia, and areas
This section does not allow the director or any employees of
the office to advocate, promote, refer to or otherwise advance
abortion or abortifacients.
§16-1A-4. Appointment of staff.
(a) The commissioner shall appoint persons to staff the
(1) The director of the office; and
(2) Any other employees that the commissioner determines are
(b) The employees appointed under subdivision (2),
subsection (a) of this article shall report to the director. The
director shall report to the commissioner.
(c) The director shall supervise the employees assigned to
(d) The director shall oversee the administrative functions
of the office.
§16-1A-5. Appointment of advisory committee.
(a) The commissioner shall appoint an advisory committee on
women's health to assist in advising the director regarding the
duties required under this article.
(b) The advisory committee shall be comprised of persons
with an expertise in and a knowledge of women's health issues in
(c) The commissioner shall:
(1) Determine the number of persons to serve on the advisory
(2) Appoint a chairperson or cochairpersons for the advisory
(3) Establish the policies and procedures under which the
advisory committee operates.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the Office of
Women's Health within the Bureau of Public Health.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.