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Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee joins in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2009

I join President Obama in celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Americans have played a significant role in the history, prosperity and success of the United States and deserve to be recognized during this special month. I want to especially recognize the tremendous contributions of our Hispanic elder population which, in ten short years, is projected to be the largest ethnic minority in the entire aging population of the United States.

In many cultures throughout the world, including the Hispanic ones, elders are the most revered and respected people. In many instances, these elders have worked hard and sacrificed for their families and children, and they provide the link between the rich and colorful traditions of their homelands and modern-day customs of the U.S.A. This link is a significant component of the diverse fabric of America, and a key part of what makes our country great.

I am very proud that the Administration on Aging, together with many of our federal partners and our national aging network of state, tribal and community-based organizations, works each day to help improve the quality of life for older persons, including Hispanic elders. In addition to providing home and community-based long term care services in communities across the country, our work seeks to reduce and eliminate the health disparities that we know exist among racial and ethnic minorities and promote positive health behaviors that encourage healthier lifestyles and independence. We must continue these efforts to ensure that all Americans enjoy healthy, happy and quality lives in their homes and communities as they age.

Read President Obama’s proclamation for National Hispanic Heritage Month.