Resolved, that a special commission, to consist of 13 members as follows: the secretary of the executive office of health and human services, or a designee; the commissioner of public health, or a designee; the commissioner of insurance, or a designee; and 10 members who shall be appointed as follows: 3 members appointed by the senate president, 1 of whom shall be the senate chairman of the joint committee on public health, or a designee, 1 of whom shall be a person with aphasia and 1 of whom provides services to persons with aphasia; 3 members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the house chairman of the joint committee on public health, or a designee, 1 of whom shall be a person with aphasia and 1 of whom provides services to persons with aphasia; and 4 members appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a person with aphasia, 1 of whom provides services to persons with aphasia, and 2 members of the public with demonstrated expertise in issues relating to the work of the commission, is hereby established for the purpose of making an investigation and study to:
(1) establish a mechanism in order to ascertain the prevalence of aphasia in Massachusetts, and the unmet needs of persons with aphasia and those of their families;
(2) study model aphasia support programs, such as the Aphasia Center at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Aphasia Resource Center at Boston University College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College; and
(3) provide recommendations for additional legislation, support programs and resources necessary to meet the unmet needs of persons with aphasia and their families.
Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner provided for the original appointments.
The commission shall organize within 120 days following the appointment of a majority of its members and shall select a chairperson and vice-chairperson from among the members. The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission.
The public members shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided by section 2A of chapter 4 of the General Laws.
The commission shall be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any state, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes.
The executive office of health and human services shall provide staff support to the commission.
The commission shall report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the house of representatives on or before December 31, 2014.
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