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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Thursday, October 16, 2003
||Contact: AoA Press Office
AoA and FDA Focus Disease Prevention Initiative Toward Older Hispanic Americans
The Administration on Aging (AoA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
--agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - -
today announced a collaboration to reduce health disparities among older
Hispanic Americans. To kick off this effort, the agencies will host a panel
on these issues at a National Hispanic Leadership Round Table in Washington,
D.C., on October 16.
“This new effort represents another step toward our goal
of closing the health gap affecting racial and ethnic minorities,” Health
and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. “By
focusing the efforts and resources of these two important agencies,
we will strengthen our efforts to reach older Hispanic Americans
with health messages that can help them stay healthier and live
As part of the new initiative, AoA and FDA will identify issues
that affect the health of older Hispanic Americans and develop
culturally sensitive messages that resonate with older Hispanics.
In this effort to reach older Hispanic Americans, the agencies
will cultivate and expand partnerships with national Hispanic
organizations, Hispanic electronic and print media, and other
private organizations to support education and outreach to Hispanic
In the first of several forums, AoA and FDA will meet with
Hispanic leaders to discuss areas of concern affecting senior
Hispanics in America and to share perspectives on approaches
for reaching this audience.
“We are very pleased that we could meet with national
Hispanic leaders to talk about the health of older Hispanics
and to roll out our new partnership with the Food and Drug Administration,” said
Assistant Secretary for Aging, Josefina G. Carbonell. “Working
together with Hispanic leaders, we hope that we’ll be able
to increase the quality and years of healthy life and eliminate
health disparities faced by older Hispanics,” she said.
“We are committed to helping protect and advance the
health of all Americans,” said FDA Commissioner Mark B.
McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. “Older Hispanic Americans and their
families need to have the best health information available and
in a language and format they can best understand and use.”
The agencies will also work with community partners to develop
educational materials and caregiver tool kits on the safe use
of medicines, nutrition and healthy eating, drug interactions,
reporting side effects, antibiotic overuse, dietary supplements,
and health fraud.
The Hispanic population over age 65 was two million in 2002
and is projected to grow to over 13 million by 2050. Hispanics
comprised 5.5 percent of the entire United States’ older
population in 2002; by 2050, the percentage of the older population
that is Hispanic is projected to account for 16 percent of the
U.S.’s older population.
AoA provides financial support to develop comprehensive, coordinated
home and community-based care for older people and caregivers.
AoA’s mission is to promote the dignity and independence
of older people, and to help society prepare for an aging population.
Created in 1965 to carry out the Older Americans Act (OAA), AoA
is part of a federal, state, tribal and local partnership called
the national Network on Aging. This network serves about seven
million older people and over 250,000 of their caregivers each
The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by
assuring the safety and effectiveness of human and veterinary
drugs, biological products, medical devices; and the safety of
foods, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is
also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to
speed innovations that make medicines more effective, safer,
and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate,
science-based information it needs to use medicines and foods
to improve their health.
For more information about AoA, please visit http://www.aoa.gov and
for more information about FDA, please visit http://www.fda.gov/.