(1) The department shall have and may exercise the following powers and duties:
(a) To conduct scientific investigations and surveys of the causes, mortality, methods of prevention, treatment, and cure of birth defects;
(b) To publish at least annually the results of such investigations and surveys for the benefit of the public health and to annually collate such publications for distribution to scientific organizations and qualified scientists and physicians;
(c) To carry on programs of professional education and training of medical students, physicians, nurses, scientists, and technicians in the causes, methods of prevention, treatment, and cure of birth defects;
(d) To conduct and support clinical counseling services in medical facilities; and
(e) To secure necessary scientific, educational, training, technical, administrative, and operational personnel and services including laboratory facilities by contract or otherwise from public or private entities in order to carry out the purposes of this section.
(2) Any information released from the birth defects registry shall be disclosed as Class I, Class II, Class III, or Class IV data as provided in sections 81-663 to 81-675.