The Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Hispanic Federation Unveil "Get Informed! Get Tested! Get Healthy!"

Notable Elected Officials, Public Health Institutions and Community Based Organizations Convene in Support of the Campaign and to Commemorate First Ever Latino Diabetes Awareness Day

New York, NY
 – November 15, 2011 /Press Release/  –– 

Today, Wayne Keathley, President & COO of The Mount Sinai Hospital and Lillian Rodríguez López, President of the Hispanic Federation, unveiled "Get Informed! Get Tested! Get Healthy!" (¡Infórmate!, ¡Examínate!, ¡Cuídate!), a public education initiative targeting the Latino community on early detection, prevention, proper treatment and care of diabetes. The New York City Council helped unveil the campaign by declaring November 15th as Latino Diabetes Awareness Day. The event began with a press conference of key elected and community leaders and culminated with a community briefing on what must be done to reverse the diabetes epidemic among Latino New Yorkers.

The launch of this initiative underscores an urgent call to action for the Latino community. More than 700,000 New Yorkers are living with diabetes, nearly half of which are Latinos. In Latino neighborhoods like East Harlem and the South Bronx, almost 20% of the adult population has diabetes. Latino children also have the highest rates of obesity in the city, suggesting they are likely to experience the most significant increase in diabetes in the decades to come.

"Get Informed! Get Tested! Get Healthy!" represents Mount Sinai’s commitment to focus on improving the health of our communities," said Wayne Keathley. "The statistics are staggering and they tell a story that threatens the well being of our community and our childrens' future. In association with the Hispanic Federation, our goal is to look for new approaches, perspectives, and ways to reverse the trend and lower the prevalence of diabetes within the Latino community. Together, we are well positioned to help prevent and improve the lives of children and adults affected by diabetes."

"We are proud to partner with Mount Sinai on this critical campaign to educate and empower our community on healthy lifestyle choices needed to prevent diabetes and leading care and treatment options available to Latinos living with the disease. The added import of this campaign is that it provides us a unique opportunity to mobilize and work with New York policy makers, health professionals and our Latino nonprofits to respond more forcefully and effectively to the diabetes crisis in our communities," stated Lillian Rodríguez López.

The campaign will employ a broad multi-pronged communications and media strategy and a "high-touch" grassroots mobilization effort, including: public service announcements on radio and television, editorials in key Spanish language newspapers, a dedicated microsite (www.mountsinai.org/Latino), community forums, roundtable discussions, and physician and health advocate trainings.

"Business as usual will not suffice. The message today is clear: we need a renewed level of commitment on the part of government, our health institutions, community agencies and our families to reverse this alarming trend of diabetes among Latinos," stated New York State Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez.

"In any Latino neighborhood in New York City it would be nearly impossible to find a family that has not been personally affected by diabetes. This campaign provides us a much needed tool to teach Latinos healthy eating behaviors, encourage physical activity and diabetes testing, and fight for additional public resources to combat diabetes," affirmed New York City Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito.

"Get Informed! Get Tested! Get Healthy!" is being actively supported by key institutions such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Puerto Rican Family Institute, Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly, Alianza Dominicana, Spanish Speaking Elderly Council, RAIN and other community based organizations. Campaign materials and tools will be provided to community-based organizations to assist in their efforts to stem diabetes. Mount Sinai and the Hispanic Federation will also work with key partners to develop a city-wide diabetes testing calendar where individuals can easily identify free testing sites throughout the course of the year.

"More than 300,000 Hispanic adults in New York City have diabetes, representing a prevalence rate (13%) that is more than twice that of non-Hispanic whites," said Gina Murdoch, Executive Director, American Diabetes Association – Greater NY. "The American Diabetes Association is proud to be working with Mount Sinai to help Stop Diabetes®."

Commitment, responsibility and action were the subject of much of the conversation at today’s community briefing. Moderated by Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, the briefing brought together a distinguished group of health experts to discuss the grave challenges Latinos face with regards to diabetes and the steps needed to counteract it. The panel featured Wayne Keathley; Dr. Eliscer Guzmán F.A.C.C (The Mount Sinai Medical Center); Dr. Anderson Torres, Ph.D, (Puerto Rican Family Institute/American Diabetes Association Latino Initiatives Chair); and Dr. Tanya Pagan Raggio-Ashley, MD MPH FAAP (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).

With this campaign, Mount Sinai furthers its support and commitment to the Hispanic community. Through The Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, Cardiovascular Care Partnership, and other Latino initiatives, they provide communities located in New York City and the metropolitan area, whose health needs are often underserved, with access to quality care.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States. The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/
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About the Hispanic Federation

The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. The Federation provides grants to a broad network of Latino non-profit agencies serving the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community and advocates locally and nationally with respect to the vital issues of education, health, immigration, economic empowerment, civic engagement and the environment.

For more information, visit www.hispanicfederation.org or call 866 HF AYUDA.