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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Thursday, May 29, 2003
||Contact: AoA Press Office
HHS TAKES STEPS TO ENCOURAGE HEALTHY AGING
Department To Support Aging And Disability Resource Centers
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced a new grant program
to help states develop one-stop shopping centers for seniors and
people with disabilities who need long-term care information.
He also called on older Americans to increase their physical
activity -- an essential part of healthy aging -- and joined senior
citizens and leaders of national aging organizations on his second
annual Older Americans Month Walk on the National Mall.
“It’s never too late to become physically active,”
Secretary Thompson said. “No one is too old to enjoy the
benefits of regular physical activity. Regular exercise, something
as simple as walking, has positive effects both mentally and physically
and as a result, can prevent a broad array of diseases and health
Under the new grant program, HHS will support state efforts to
develop Aging and Disability Resource Centers to provide long-term
care information to consumers. HHS is soliciting proposals from
states to create such resource centers and will support as many
as 16 such projects with grants of up to $800,000 for three years.
The program supports President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative,
a government-wide initiative aimed at eliminating barriers that
unnecessarily hinder Americans with disabilities as they seek
to participate fully in the life of their communities. The resource
center grants will help states to effectively integrate their
many long-term support resources for consumers into a single coordinated
“As I’ve traveled across the country, one thing I’ve
heard loud and clear is that families need access to reliable
and accurate information about long-term support services,”
HHS Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina Carbonell said. “These
centers will serve as visible and trusted places where people
can turn for information on the full range of long-term care options
and assistance in accessing the options supported by public programs.”
Secretary Thompson talked about the new grants program at a breakfast
meeting with the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations. The
resource center grants are a joint effort of HHS’ Administration
on Aging (AoA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
“Resource Centers will be a tremendous help to families
who are often desperate to find appropriate, affordable care for
a loved one near home,” CMS Administrator Tom Scully said.
“These grants are just the beginning of what we hope will
be an effective network for these families.”
Any state may apply for a resource center grant. Applications
must have the support and active involvement of the State Agency
on Aging and the state Medicaid agency. The deadline for applications
is July 28.
A notice soliciting proposals for the new program was published
in today’s Federal Register. More information about the
program is available at http://www.aoa.gov or www.cms.hhs.gov/newfreedom.