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Hispanic Medical Leaders Talk Reform With Obama

WASHINGTON  -- Congressional Hispanic Caucus and national Hispanic medical and non-profit agency leaders are meeting in Washington, DC today, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2168 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, to coordinate new programs with the Obama Administration on the recently passed health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, to target their communities.

Hispanic doctors and non-profit agencies tend to provide more services, than their non-Hispanic counterparts, in poor areas of the country, and know first-hand, the challenges of Hispanic health care disparities in the U.S.

"Hispanic doctors and community leaders join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to tell President Obama to include a national strategy to build Hispanic focused prevention, health and mental health care," according to Dr. Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association, a Washington, DC based advocacy group. "As health care reform has started to be implemented by the Federal government, we have been urging community leaders to provide input to new regulations and commissions that will increase access to insurance, education, housing, transportation, economic development, labor, health care and food programs to Hispanic families so they suffer less from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity and HIV/AIDS."  

Speakers include Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Health Task Force, Garth Graham, MD, Deputy Secretary for Minority Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Janet Heinrich, DrPH, Associate Administrator for Health Resources and Services Administration, Nora Super, Director, Federal Government Relations-Health/Long-Term Care, AARP,  Ciro Sumaya, MD, Professor, Rural Public Health School, Texas A&M, and Elena Rios, MD, President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association. The briefing is being funded by AARP.

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23rd supports new prevention programs in communities, schools and worksites for nutrition and physical exercise and new jobs such as community health workers and translators; expands recruitment of Hispanic students into health professions careers; mandates data collection of race/ethnicity and language and quality measures about providers' cultural competence; and supports government research that compares effectiveness of treatments.  

Established in 1994 in Washington, DC, the National Hispanic Medical Association is a nonprofit association representing Hispanic physicians. The NHMA mission is to empower Hispanic physicians to improve the health of Hispanics in collaboration with public and private partners.  For more information, go to www.nhmamd.org.



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