The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) has invited 100 government, corporate, media, education and community leaders to its first "Early Childhood Obesity Hispanic Leadership Summit" to address childhood obesity and eating disorders, it was announced. The summit will be held at the New York Academy of Medicine on Feb. 8.
The summit will propose strategies to address the health of Hispanics in early childhood and will seek consensus on federal and state programs to decrease early childhood obesity among Hispanics.
Speakers will include New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, chairman, Mental Health Committee; Dr. Elena Rios, president, NHMA/ National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF); Cathy Nonas, senior advisor, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Margaret Martinez Malito, executive director, Nassau County Youth Board; and Michael Melendez, associate administrator, Division of Medicaid and Children's Health Operations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Physicians are among the first to see overweight or eating disorders of children at well baby visits," said Rios. "With health-care reform, Hispanic physicians will be educating more families on what to do about it. We look forward to helping our policymakers and leaders build health programs that are culturally competent to meet this demand."
NHMA will announce the policy and program recommendations at the NHMA Annual Conference, April 25-28, in Washington, D.C. The summit is being funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
A second summit will be held in California next month.
Established in 1994 in Washington, D.C., the NHMA and NHHF have the mission to improve the health of Hispanics and other underserved communities. NHMA represents over 45,000 Hispanic physicians and advocates for culturally competent federal and state health policies.
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