Friday, January 30, 2009

Federal Funding expiring July 2009! PLEASE HELP!

Contact Sen. Inouye for Prevention Funding
Take Action!
Act Now!

As you likely know, Congress is quickly moving to pass an economic stimulus package. We are pleased that the House has included a section providing $3 billion for a "Prevention and Wellness Fund." Of the $3 billion, at least $2.35 billion would go to programs funded under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, no funding is designated for prevention and wellness programs under the Older Americans Act.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is trying to get the final Senate bill to require Secretary Daschle to set aside $200 million for Administration on Aging (AoA) evidence-based prevention (EBP) and wellness programs, such as the Ke Ola Pono Chronic Disease Self-Management (CDSMP) and EnhanceFitness (EF) programs currently being offered in Hawaii under an existing AoA demonstration grant. More information on Hawaii's programs can be obtained from the Executive Office on Aging at 586-0100. Hawaii's federal funding for CDSMP and EnhanceFitness will end July 2009.

NCOA is hoping that you can help us remedy this unfortunate oversight by supporting an amendment to provide an additional $200 million for evidence-based prevention and wellness programs administered by the Administration on Aging.

Senator Inouye is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and can play an important role in getting the amendment included in the stimulus package, expected to be considered by the Committee next week. To be successful, we need your help now! Changing the package at this point in the process will be difficult and we need to take action very quickly to find a leader on the Committee who can help move this important priority forward.

Please call or email Senator Inouye's office today or tomorrow. Suggested phone call talking points and email language are provided for your consideration and use. In addition, please share this alert with others in your state who would be willing to weigh in with the Senator's office on this important issue.

You can leave a message at Sen. Inouye's office at (202) 224-3934 and you can send an email by clicking on the "Take Action" link above.

Phone call talking points:

*The Senate stimulus bill should include funding for evidence-based prevention and wellness programs within the Administration on Aging.

*The House Stimulus bill provides $3 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund, with about 80% of the funding going to the Centers for Disease Control and nothing going to the Administration on Aging.

*Proven, cost-effective prevention and wellness programs are available through the Administration on Aging on a very limited basis for seniors in need. These programs are having a positive impact on Hawaiians, but the need greatly exceeds current resources.

*These programs reduce Medicare spending, help seniors continue to work, provide widely accessible jobs, and reach disadvantaged and at-risk minority populations.

*I urge Senator Inouye to support an amendment to the stimulus package to provide $200 million for Administration on Aging evidence-based prevention and wellness programs.