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National Minority Aging Organizations Technical Assistance Program (Title IV)

Authorizing Legislation: Section 215 of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended

The Purpose of the Program and How it Works

The National Minority Aging Organizations (NMAO) Technical Assistance Centers Program has been established by the Administration on Aging (AoA) in response to provisions in the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended. Those provisions directed AoA to “increase awareness of citizens of all ages of the need to assume personal responsibility for their own longevity,” AoA has charged Centers with the goal of reducing or eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minority elders by promoting positive health behaviors and encouraging healthier life styles. Objectives under this program support the Departmental goal of reducing or eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minority [older] persons. Through the FY 2009 program, AoA entered into three year cooperative agreements with NMAOs to promote strategies that encourage healthy behaviors among older individuals in three of the major racial and ethnic minority groups. These organizations include: Asociacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores (ANPPM), older individuals of Hispanic descent; National Caucus and Center on the Black Aged, Inc. (NCBA), African American seniors; and National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), Asian American/Pacific Islander seniors.

These NMAOs are experienced in the design and dissemination of front line health promotion and disease prevention information that is culturally and linguistically appropriate for their target populations. Each partner organization has been piloting a practical, nontraditional, community-based intervention for reaching older individuals who experience barriers to accessing home and community-based services. Strategies are focused on overcoming barriers due to language and low literacy as well as other barriers directly related to cultural diversity.

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Highlights

The promotion of positive health behaviors encourages healthier life styles and contributes towards advancement of the AoA mission and strategic priorities. Strategies developed through these projects target hard to reach racial and ethnic minority populations of older individuals including those with limited English speaking proficiency and enable the Aging Network to provide information and assistance in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention specifically for older individuals. Further, they implement ASA priorities focused on integration of services and system changes that increase Aging Network capacity and inter-agency collaboration as well as stimulate innovation on behalf of older adults. Over the past five years, AoA has provided over $2.8 million in support for up to five cooperative agreements. Selected accomplishments for the three Cooperative Agreements funded in FY 2009 are described briefly below:

During year one of these cooperative agreements, the NMAO Centers have been securing training for staff in chronic disease self management (CDSM). As a result of this training, the Aging Network will be the beneficiary of an established volunteer corps, trained to assist older people to learn CDSM skills. It is anticipated that, this strategy will facilitate the generation and dissemination of knowledge in forms that can assist racial and ethnic minority older individuals to practice positive health behaviors and strengthen their capacity to maintain active, independent life styles.

During year two of these cooperative agreements, AoA is inviting the NMAOs to join in an interagency, collaborative effort to expand the availability of diabetes self-management training programs to older adults with the disease. This expansion effort is the result of a collaboration among key federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and key stakeholders, including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the American Diabetes Association and the Patient Education Research Center at Stanford University School of Medicine. The collaboration, which was conceived by an HHS Interagency Hispanic Elder Initiative, has had a particular focus on Hispanic people with Medicare. During this fiscal year, AoA is broadening its focus to include other racial and ethnic minority elders. This collaboration is another step toward assisting racial and ethnic minority older people to exercise positive health promotion and disease prevention skills. Among a range of activities, NMAOs will use funds to continue and expand training of staff in CDSM skills and to strengthen and expand local collaborations. In addition, each NMAO provides a website to assist in the dissemination of information to the target population and general public. A brief discussion of the focus each NMAO is mounting follows.

ASOCIACION NACIONAL PRO PERSONAS MAYORES (AAPPM)

Project Bienestar (Well-Being): ANPPM’s goal is to assist limited English proficient Hispanic elders and their families to access community-based health interventions. ANPPM has a track record of developing innovative, culturally competent, bilingual materials for older people, their families and providers. Through this project, ANPPM will focus on approaches to CDSM that can enable Hispanic elders to develop the confidence and motivation needed to manage the challenges of living with a chronic disease. Staff are scheduled for training in CDSM at Stanford during 2010. ANPPM has over 400 Title V Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP) sites in four States and the District of Columbia. Using the train-the-trainer approach, Title V enrollees will be enlisted to promote the nationwide use of CDSM skills by older Hispanics.

NATIONAL CAUCUS AND CENTER ON THE BLACK AGED, INC. (NCBA)

Project SURGE, “Seniors Unite with Resources to Get Empowered: A Community Health Action and Advocacy Training Program:” NCBA’s goal is to advance knowledge and increase the effectiveness of future efforts to eliminate health disparities among African American elders. NCBA enlists its affiliates to reach its target population. Volunteers help older African Americans adopt healthier lifestyles using a trusted, decentralized, community based approach through a network which includes senior housing communities, churches and senior centers. Staff participated in CDSM training at Stanford in year one of the project. Year one project sites included Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; and Oklahoma City, OK. Plans to expand the project are underway.

NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC CENTER ON AGING (NAPCA)

NAPCA’s Technical Assistance Center has as its goal improvement of health care outcomes and quality of life and the reduction of health care costs for API seniors. NAPCA reaches the 26 API subgroups across the Nation through its health, employment and advocacy programs. NAPCA’s Title V SCSEP has sites in nine cities, including Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Orange County (CA), New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. With this network as a foundation upon which to build, NAPCA is in a unique position to reach API seniors through the interagency, collaborative effort on expanding the availability of diabetes self-management training programs. Additionally, NAPCA maintains a toll free multilingual hotline.

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Funding

FY 2006$1,104,186
FY 2007$1,104,186
FY 2008$1,046,251
FY 2009$   794,535

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Resources and Useful Links

  • For more information about health promotion and disease prevention for older individuals of Hispanic descent visit the Associacion Nacional Pro Personas Mayores .
  • For more information about health promotion and disease prevention for older African American Individuals visit the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc .
  • For more information about health promotion and disease prevention for older Asian American and Pacific Islander individuals visit the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging .
  • To explore the Indian Health Service (HIS) Doctor’s Initiative that develops a process for the IHS to effectively and efficiently address chronic conditions, visit the program page of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Indian Health Service.

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