An Overview of Programs and Initiatives Sponsored by DHHS to Promote Healthy Aging: A Background Paper for the Blueprint on Aging for the 21st Century Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Meeting. PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW OF THE BACKGROUND PAPER


This document was developed to provide background information and stimulate debate and discussion at the Health Promotion and Aging Technical Advisory Group meeting to be held in Washington, DC, on January 29, 2003.

Its primary purpose is to highlight current federal health promotion and disease prevention activities targeted for older persons. We organized this material by grouping activities into four topics that a panel of federal officials felt would help structure the discussions at the TAG meeting. We realize that this grouping is somewhat artificial, but we felt that by organizing federal activities into topic areas, it would be easier to identify gaps, discuss challenges for the future, and identify how best to use the expert panels to validate, inform, or further debate priorities and recommendations for the future. This paper focuses on activities that have been conducted by the federal government in the following four topic areas:

  1. Translating health promotion and disease prevention research into practice

  2. Health promotion and disease prevention strategies to maintain or enhance both cognitive and affective mental functioning among older persons

  3. Effective health promotion and disease prevention programs for older persons

  4. DHHS data collection activities related to the health behaviors of older Americans.

The health promotion and disease prevention activities described in this paper are not a complete inventory of the programs and initiatives funded by DHHS. We concentrated on those initiatives or programs that were designed explicitly to promote health and minimize disease and impairment among older persons. The descriptions of the projects are based on information obtained from agency websites and input provided from individuals affiliated with the following federal agencies: Administration on Aging (AoA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), DHHS's Office of Minority Health, DHHS's Office of Women's Health, DHHS's Surgeon General's Office, Health Research and Services Administration (HSRA), National Institute on Aging (NIA), Office of Public Health Services (OPHS), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The paper concludes with recommendations for additional work in these areas and a summary of the next steps to be undertaken by the project team.

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