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Housing, economic security and access to health care: NHCOA’s priorities for 2017

By Nicolás Peña

NHCOA/WDC/December 2016. Next year the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) will continue to expand its programs to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers.

Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA’s president and CEO, emphasized that “affordable housing, economic security, and health care will be key priorities for NHCOA in 2017. Educating and guiding caregivers and family members to ensure older adults age in dignity will be a key area of focus. In partnership with AARP, we will strengthen our caregiving efforts”.

AARP is delighted to partner with the National Hispanic Council on Aging on addressing caregiving issues in the Latino Community. In 2017, we look forward to a stronger partnership to provide tools and information to caregivers that may be able to effectively provide care to their loved ones”, said Edna Kane- Williams, Senior Vice President of Multicultural Marketing at AARP.


During NHCOA’s annual awards dinner, dedicated to honor those who have positively impacted the field of aging, Dr. Yanira Cruz recognized some of NHCOA’s key sponsors: AARP, PhRMA, AT&T, UnitedHealthcare, Abbott, Humana, Pfizer, Howard University, Compassion and Choices and Tamarindo Restaurant.

“Without their support and partnership, NHCOA would not be able to end a successful year of hard work to expand NHCOA’s initiatives and programs. We are grateful for their commitment to the Latino community, particularly older adults,” said Dr. Cruz.

Tsi-tsi-ki Felix, the anchor of Univision, was the Master of Ceremony for the event in which she expressed that aging is a reality that we must accept and be prepared to embrace. “It’s an honor to take part of NHCOA’s initiatives to ensure we all age in dignity and respect”.


Senator elect, Chris Van Hollen was the first to be recognized with the Life Achievement Award for his strong commitment to improving the lives of older adults.


Elizabeth Jimenez, from the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in California; Dr. Harry Paraison from Perfil Latino in New Jersey and Jose T. Perez from Senior Community Outreach Services Inc., in Texas received the Outstanding Community Service for their consistent excellence, leadership, and commitment  to the wellbeing of Hispanic seniors.


Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Director of the Office of Minority Health (OMH) was honored with a Special Recognition Award for her commitment to improving the health of diverse populations.


In recognition of his support for policy and programs valuable to diverse communities, Thomas Wallace, Senior Director of Eli Lilly & Company in Washington, D.C., received the President’s Award.


To thank her commitment to Hispanic families and her entrepreneurial spirit, businesswoman Dora “La Chiquita” Escobar, was honored with the Entrepreneurship Recognition Award.


The event included a fundraiser that gave the opportunity for guests to contribute to NHCOA’s programs that work to improve the lives of older adults, their families and communities.