(410 ILCS 2/5)
Findings and purposes.
(a) Findings. The legislature hereby finds the following:
(1) Arthritis encompasses more than 100 diseases and
conditions that affect joints, the surrounding tissues, and other connective tissues.
(2) One of the most common family of diseases in the
United States, arthritis or chronic joint symptoms affect nearly one of every 3 Americans.
(3) Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in
the United States, limiting daily activities for more than 7,000,000 citizens.
(4) Although prevailing myths inaccurately portray
arthritis as an old person's disease, arthritis is a multi-generational disease that has become one of the country's most pressing public health problems.
(5) This disease has a significant impact on quality
of life not only for the individual who experiences its painful symptoms and resulting disability, but also for family members and caregivers.
(6) Compounding this picture are the enormous
economic and social costs associated with treating arthritis and its complications, which are estimated at almost $86,000,000,000 annually.
(7) Currently, the challenge exists to ensure
delivery of effective, but often underutilized, interventions that are necessary in the prevention or reduction of arthritis-related pain and disability.
(8) Although there exists a large quantity of public
information and programs about arthritis, it remains inadequately disseminated and insufficient in addressing the needs of specific diverse populations and other underserved groups.
(9) The Arthritis Foundation, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials have led the development of a public health strategy, the National Arthritis Action Plan, to respond to this challenge.
(10) Educating the public and health care community
throughout the State about this devastating disease is of paramount importance and is in every respect in the public interest and to the benefit of all residents of this State.
(b) Purposes. The purposes of this Act are:
(1) To create and foster a statewide program that
promotes public awareness and increases knowledge about the causes of arthritis, the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate management, effective prevention strategies, and pain prevention and management.
(2) To develop knowledge and enhance understanding of
arthritis by disseminating educational materials and information on research results, services provided, and strategies for prevention and control to patients, health professionals, and the public.
(3) To establish a solid scientific base of knowledge
on the prevention of arthritis and related disability through surveillance, epidemiology, and prevention research.
(4) To utilize educational and training resources and
services developed by organizations with appropriate expertise and knowledge of arthritis and to use available technical assistance.
(5) To evaluate the need for improving the quality
and accessibility of existing community-based arthritis services.
(6) To heighten awareness about the prevention,
detection, and treatment of arthritis among State and local health and human services officials, health professionals and providers, and policy makers.
(7) To implement and coordinate State and local
programs and services to reduce the public health burden of arthritis.
(8) To adequately fund these programs on a State
(9) To provide lasting improvements in the delivery
of health care for individuals with arthritis and their families, thus improving their quality of life while also containing health care costs.
(Source: P.A. 94-634, eff. 1-1-06.)