2012 NHCOA National Summit: Working Together for a Stronger Golden America
Economic security, housing, and health were all trending topics during the 2012 NHCOA National Summit, particularly federal seniors programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA President and CEO, presented anecdotes and data from a new NHCOA brief, “State of Hispanic Older Adults: An Analysis and Highlights from the Field” at the National Summit, which took place at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on October 3, 2012. The brief is the result of a multi-city listening tour NHCOA conducted as part of its Promoting Communities of Success Regional Meetings in key regions of the country to take the pulse of the issues impacting Hispanic older adults. She also underscored the importance of civic engagement and heading to the polls on November 6.
“There are two critical ways I know, we as Latinos, can instantly make an impact on our future,” said Dr. Cruz. “The first is to realize our potential as a voting bloc. Get everyone you know to the polls on November 6. The second is to prepare our youth to take their rightful place as leaders in our society – as captains of business and philanthropy, and heads of government.”
During the keynote address, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expressed how the Administration was working to help seniors age with health and security, particularly by ensuring they have access to the services and support to continue living in their homes and communities. She also talked about by strengthening Medicare and the importance of empowering seniors to help fight Medicare fraud through efforts such as the National Hispanic SMP.
Veteran journalist Armando Guzman, TV Azteca & Azteca America Washington Bureau Chief, led plenary sessions with several experts in the areas of economic security, housing, health, and civic engagement, which included:
- Nancy J. Altman, JD, Social Security Works
- Dr. Jacob Lozada, AARP
- Michael Marcus, The Weinberg Foundation
- Cecilia Pozo Fileti, MS, RD, Latino Health Communications
- Tony Sarmiento, Senior Service America, Inc.
- Bob Blancato, Matz, Blancato, & Associates
- Maria Cardona, Dewey Square Group
- Israel Ortega, Heritage Foundation
- Juan Sepúlveda, Democratic National Committee
- Arturo Vargas, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO)
Participants, which represented a mix of professionals, advocates, federal officials, policy makers, service providers, Latino seniors, and community leaders said they felt energized and excited about being part of a growing effort to improve the lives of older Americans.
“Since returning from the [S]ummit, I have been far more vocal about the needs of our older adults. I want to be able to work with NHCOA both locally and nationally,” said a professional from Miami.
The first two days of the National Summit convened more than 70 local and out-of-state grassroots leaders at NHCOA’s Empowerment and Civic Engagement Training to provide them with the tools to empower and mobilize Hispanic older adults, their families, and communities as well as identify challenges and opportunities to better serve this important population.
The 2012 NHCOA National Summit was possible thanks to the sponsorship of AARP, Abbott, Amerigroup, AstraZeneca Lilly, Univision, Verizon, and Walmart.
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