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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Thursday, October 16, 2003 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4541

National Hispanic Leadership Roundtable - Remarks by the Assistant Secretary for Aging

INTRODUCTION

  • I have always valued my Hispanic American heritage – taking the best from the American and Hispanic cultures. Like so many of you, when I retain and cherish my heritage, I am honoring my parents and grandparents who have sacrificed so much to bring me to this country and help me be who I am today.
  • Thank You
    • Steve Lineberry and White House staff for hosting the event
    • Dr. McClellan for partnering with us. Looking forward to a productive working relationship.
    • Alliance for Hispanic Health. Feliz Cumpleanos!
    • Special Thanks -- Dr. Jane Delgado for giving us this opportunity.
    • I want to recognize the great value she places on the quality of health care and the integrity of service delivery.
    • Most importantly, recognize her efforts to ensure that communities are represented at the national table.
    • Today’s events are evidence of that.
  • As the President has said, “the government’s role is to stimulate the larger environment to pursue an improved society.” Under the combined leadership of the President and Secretary Thompson, we at the Federal level are laying the groundwork to support our families as the baby boomers age.
  • We all have a challenge in front of us to make that happen, and I welcome your participation.
  • Here is a snapshot of our older Americans.
    • About 1 in 8 Americans is over the age of 65.
    • By 2030, 1 in 5 Americans will be over the age of 65.
    • Our older Hispanic population is growing.
    • In 2002, Hispanic persons made up 5.5% of the older population (2 million).
    • By 2050, Hispanic person will account for 16% of the population (13 million).
  • In 2002, 72% of Hispanic Americans aged 60 and over resided in four states:
    • California (27%)
    • Texas (20%)
    • Florida (16%) and
    • New York (9%).
  • The Hispanic elderly population is at high risk for chronic diseases such as:
    • heart disease
    • cancer
    • HIV infection
    • cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
    • pneumonia
    • influenza, and
    • diabetes.
    • Many of these conditions are preventable. For example, we know that immunizations effectively prevent influenza, in 2003, 31.8 percent of Hispanic seniors did not receive a flu shot. We need to work on these issues.
  • If we look at health insurance, compared to other groups, Hispanics were more likely to have Medicare only or Medicare and Medicaid combined as their health care coverage, with a high proportion choosing managed care.

HEALTH AND LONG-TERM CARE

  • The aging of the baby boom generation will transform every aspect of our society.
  • ALL of our major social, economic and political institutions will have to respond to this demographic imperative – including our health and long-term care delivery system.
  • Currently, 71% of all public funding for long-term care is spent on institutional care, while most people prefer to remain at home.
  • According to a study released by HHS and the Department of Labor, approximately 1.9 million direct care workers provided care to 15 million Americans in long-term care settings in 2000.

[Direct Care Worker = Nurses, nurse aides, home care workers].

  • By 2010, direct care worker jobs will grow by roughly 45%. The paraprofessionals will account for 8 percent of that increase.
  • Ensuring an adequate supply of trained direct care workers is a high priority as we prepare for the aging of the baby boomers.
  • Alan Greenspan has noted that as the nation ages in the future, rising pressures on retirement incomes and a growing scarcity of experienced labor could induce greater numbers of older Americans to remain in the workforce.

AOA AND WHAT WE DO

  • AoA administers OAA programs and serves as the Federal advocate for older Americans and their caregivers.
  • Although AoA is part of a Federal, state and local partnership, our true strength lies in the community.
    • 56 State Units on Aging
    • 655 Area Agencies on Aging
    • 244 Tribal and Native organizations representing 300 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal organizations
    • 29,000 local service providers.
  • My vision for the future is a nation of healthy and caring communities in which older Americans have:
    • Opportunities to live active, healthy and meaningful lives.
      • We have just invested $6 million in a public/private partnership to increase access for older people to evidence-based models that reduce the risk of disease, injury, and disability.
      • A significant portion of that investment is in Hispanic communities.
      • In addition, we have invested roughly $4 million to focus on eliminating health disparities among minority elderly individuals.
      • Close to $1 million of that amount is for Hispanics.
    • Easy access to a full range of high quality health, social and environmental supports by promoting a better balance between institutional care and community-based alternatives.
      • This year alone, AoA and CMS have jointly funded $10 million in Aging and Disability Resource Centers to help individuals and their families make the choices that work best for them through a one-stop shop for long-term care information.
      • These efforts support Real Choice Systems Change Grants and Money Follows the Person Initiatives.
    • Support for family caregivers through the NFCSP, which served over 3.8 million caregivers.
      • ++ 22.4 million households are serving in family caregiver roles. If we were to pay for the care they provide, it would cost $257 billion per year. That is more than the amount spent on formal home care ($32 billion) and nursing home care ($92 billion) combined.

OUR AGREEMENT WITH FDA

Today we are pleased to sign an agreement with FDA.

  • We are very pleased to extend this partnership to the Alliance for Hispanic Health to strengthen outreach to Hispanic and Latino communities.
  • Through this collaboration, we are going to maximize the effectiveness of the health care messages and community interventions.
  • In his recent remarks to the 44th Directing Council of PAHO, the Secretary said, “We are all citizens of this hemisphere. We have the same ethic of compassion, the same sense of service, and the same call to action.”
  • These new and bold steps that we are taking at HHS and across the government respond directly to the challenges of our time and the growing responsibilities of our nation and our families.
  • What binds these fundamental elements together is the desire to improve the lives of the American people while strengthening and supporting families.
  • Juntos.

Photos from the Roundtable meeting

Josefina Carbonell and Dr. McClellan in the Indian Treaty Room, White House with members of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
Josefina Carbonell and Dr. McClellan in the Indian Treaty Room, White House with members of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health

Dr. Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Administration on Aging and the Food and Drug Administration
Dr. Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Administration on Aging and the Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Administration on Aging and the Food and Drug Administration

''
Jane Delgado, PH.D, President & CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Dr. Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration and Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging.

Josefina Carbonell delivering speech

Josefina Carbonell with Commissioner of the FDA