|AoA and FDA
Focus Disease Prevention Initiative Toward Older Hispanic Americans
Washington, DC, October 31, 2003--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
“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 longer.”
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 communities.
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
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 year.
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.