News Release| CSULA; Valentine M. Villa, Cal State L.A.

Note to news directors and editors: CSULA Professor Valentine M. Villa is available for interviews. She can be reached directly at vvilla@calstatela.edu or (323) 343-4724. 

MEDIA ADVISORY 

Report on Latino health disparities calls for action

CSULA professor, co-chair of research study,
surveys aging Latinos in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA – With more than 740,000 Latinos in Los Angeles reaching the age of 65 by 2030, an emergence of chronic health disparities and social conditions in the community should be addressed, according to a recently published report, entitled The State of Aging and Health Among Older Latinos in Los Angeles 2009.

Aging Latinos face a growing health crisis with chronic diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, coronary heart disease as well as Alzheimer’s disease and hip fractures. Tied to life-style related health conditions among older Latinos is the growing and related problem of economic insecurity and lack of access to basic health and long-term care services, the report indicated.

“While the Latino population is living longer and has made significant gains in life expectancy, national and statewide, data find they are doing so in worse health with greater levels of chronic conditions and difficulties in daily functioning,” said Valentine M. Villa, Ph.D., co-chair of research for the Los Angeles Partnership for Evidence-Based Solutions in Elder Health. Villa is a professor of social work and director of the Applied Gerontology Institute at California State University, Los Angeles.

The Call to Action report, put together by the Los Angeles Partnership for Evidence-Based Solutions in Elder Health, highlights policy recommendations and suggested actions that stakeholders can take to address health disparities, including ways to promote healthy aging among Latinos in Los Angeles.

Villa, a resident of Alhambra, explained, “Absent policy and program interventions that reverse this pattern of health and economic vulnerability, future generations of Latino older persons and their families will continue to experience the same level of disparities, which hold major consequences for well-being and quality of life.”

Villa’s research focuses on assessing the effects that public policies have on the health and economic status of the elderly population. Her work in this area has examined the effects that aging policy developments, such as Medicare reform, privatizing Social Security, and changes in existing welfare policy, have on minority and low-income populations. She has published numerous research articles and manuscripts on minority aging, which include documenting the health and economic disparities experienced across ethnic/minority populations and the implications for public policy.

The Los Angeles Partnership for Evidence-Based Solutions in Elder Health came together in 2007 as a result of a call to action by agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This Call to Action report was prepared collaboratively to assist local cities in developing coordinated strategies for improving the health and well-being of at-risk populations.

In addition to Villa, the other principal writers of the report include Laura Trejo, City of L.A. Department of Aging; Tony Kuo, L.A. County Department of Public Health, and María P. Aranda, USC School of Social Work.

For the City of L.A. Department of Aging press release, go to /sites/default/files/univ/ppa/newsrel/HHDR-press-release.doc.

For the full text of the report, go to http://aging.lacity.org/pdf/brochures/LA%20Partnership%20Report_FINAL%20with%20sheet.pdf.   

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