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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
Friday, October 18, 2002 Contact: AoA Press Office
(202) 401-4541

HHS Awards $300,000 for Development of Osteoporosis Awareness Campaign

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging today announced the award of $300,000 in grants to support the development of an osteoporosis awareness campaign aimed at post-menopausal women.

"Osteoporosis is largely preventable and is not a natural part of aging among women," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "Older women need to know their risk for osteoporosis and what they can do to prevent the disease. These grants will help develop effective messages to educate post-menopausal women about osteoporosis."

Three organizations with extensive experience in the area of osteoporosis research and education are receiving grants from the Administration on Aging. These projects will assist AoA in formulating an action plan to educate and raise awareness about osteoporosis among post-menopausal women. The AoA expects that these projects will build on the experience of previous osteoporosis awareness efforts to develop an action plan that is innovative and offers effective outreach strategies.

"Osteoporosis is a devastating disorder that puts people at greater risk for fractures. One out of every two post-menopausal women will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in her or his lifetime. Better prevention and education strategies are clearly needed," said Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell.

Organizations receiving these grants include:

Foundation for Osteoporosis Research and Education, (FORE), - ($100,000) Oakland, CA. - will convene a consensus development summit of experts called the National Osteoporosis Council (NOC) to assist in the formulation of a national osteoporosis awareness campaign. The NOC would be made up of representatives from statewide osteoporosis coalitions from around the country. In addition, representatives from government-based agencies, healthcare professionals, national consumer associations, and managed care organizations will be invited to the summit.

National Osteoporosis Foundation, NOF, -($99,955) Washington, DC - will sponsor a national osteoporosis awareness survey, oversampled for minority women and stratified by older age groups, to determine current level of awareness among the target audiences, catalog their concerns and identify the most effective messages. The survey findings and their implications will be used in developing the national action plan.

University of Maine- ($100,000) Orono, Maine - will conduct a series of focus groups in four geographically dispersed locations around the country that will precisely target the full range of diversity found among post-menopausal women. In addition, the University will conduct fact-finding site visits to existing osteoporosis education programs around the country. These visits will offer the unique opportunity for obtaining multiple perspectives and strategies for the delivery of osteoporosis educational services.