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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

SECRETARY THOMPSON ANNOUNCES THE CREATION OF
A BI-LINGUAL HELPLINE, "SU FAMILIA"
Toll-free service connects Hispanic families with community health services and information

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the creation of the "Su Familia" National Hispanic Family Health Helpline (866-783-2645 / 866-SU-FAMILIA). Su Familia will help Hispanic families get basic health information to help them prevent and manage chronic conditions, and refer them to local health providers and federally supported programs including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

"Hispanics continue to face health disparities. This is unacceptable," Secretary Thompson said. "That's why we are committed to getting information and resources to those communities where the health gap exists. By establishing the Su Familia helpline, we are helping families get access to the best health information."

Su Familia bilingual information specialists refer callers to one of over 16,000 local health providers, including community and migrant health centers, just by providing the callers' zip code. Callers can also request basic health information, referrals to information sources, or receive consumer-friendly, bilingual Su Familia fact sheets. Fact sheets are currently available for a wide variety of topics including: asthma, cancer screening, cardiovascular disease, child and adult immunizations, diabetes, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS.

"Now, there is a toll-free helpline where people can get basic information in Spanish and English that will help them prevent and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Leading up to Diabetes Alert Day (March 25), Secretary Thompson will raise awareness of simple steps to combat the growing diabetes epidemic facing Hispanic Americans. Hispanics are nearly two times more likely to have diabetes that non-Hispanic whites. In launching the Su Familia helpline at La Clinica del Pueblo in Washington, D.C., Secretary Thompson also encouraged Hispanic Americans to commit to preventative steps against diabetes that will to lead to a healthier future.

Su Familia is supported by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration and HHS' Office of Minority Health, and was developed and is operated by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. The toll-free helpline is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Editor's Note: A video satellite newsfeed featuring event b-roll, soundbites, and one-on ones in English and Spanish will be available at 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST) C-Band Satellite Coordinates:

4:00 - 4:30pm (EST)
Telstar 6 Transponder 7
Downlink Freq: 3840 Vertical
Troubleshooting Number: 202-775-2970

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

Last Revised: March 12, 2003