U.S. Senator Larry Craig (ID), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee On Aging Announces Witness List for Hearing on 'National Family Caregiver Support Program' Helen Hunter, Wife of the Late Baseball Great Jim 'Catfish' Hunter to Testify

On Behalf of The ALS Association



    WASHINGTON, May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), chairman of
 the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, announced today the witness list
 for this week's hearing on the National Family Caregiver Support Program -- a
 new $125 million program created when Congress reauthorized the Older
 Americans Act last year.
     The innovative support effort is intended to help the more than seven
 million people who provide informal and unpaid help to the elderly.  The
 hearing will provide a status report on the implementation and progress of the
 program.
     The hearing will be held Thursday, May 17, 2001, in room 562 of the
 Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
 eastern time.  There will be a press conference immediately following the
 hearing directly outside Dirksen 562 at 11:30am.
     It will be webcast live and available for viewing later at
 http://aging.senate.gov/whatsnew.htm
 
     Scheduled to testify are:
 
     Helen Hunter, wife of the late Jim "Catfish" Hunter, is a community leader
 from Hertford, North Carolina, on the Board of Directors of the Jim "Catfish"
 Hunter ALS Foundation and a board member of The ALS Association - Carolinas
 Chapter.  She will testify on behalf of The ALS Association, a national health
 organization dedicated solely to the fight against amyotrophic lateral
 sclerosis (often called Lou Gehrig's disease).  Jim "Catfish" Hunter, played
 for the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees.  He won 224 games, pitched in
 six of the 10 World Series in the 1970's, earned five World Series rings, won
 the Cy Young Award, was selected to the All-Star team eight times, and pitched
 a perfect game.  He died from complications of ALS in 1999.  He was 53.
 
     Sandy Tatom, a family caregiver from Boise, Idaho.  She will testify about
 her experiences caring for her mother-in-law and its impact on her husband and
 family.
 
     Norman L. Thompson, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the
 U.S. Administration on Aging, Washington, DC.  He will discuss the history and
 status of the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
 
     Ms. Suzanne Mintz, President National Family Caregivers Association,
 Kensington, Maryland.  She was involved in the creation of the legislation
 which created the National Family Caregiver Program.  She will discuss the
 needs of caregivers.
 
     Deborah Briceland-Betts, Executive Director of OWL, Washington, DC, a
 national organization focused on the needs of women as they age.  She will
 testify about how caregiving affects older women, their retirement, and how
 the National Family Caregiver Support Program can help.
 
     Ms. Kristin Duke, Executive Director for the Cenla Area Agency on Aging,
 Inc., Alexandria, Louisiana, will address how Louisiana is implementing the
 program and how it is meeting or not addressing the needs of seniors and
 caregivers.
 
     Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease
 that occurs when motor nerve cells cease to function and die.  While a
 person's mind remains sharp and alert, muscle control becomes completely lost.
 Every 24 hours, 15 people are given the devastating news they have been
 diagnosed with ALS.
     The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health
 organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS through research,
 patient support, information dissemination and public awareness.  For more
 information about ALS and a complete list of "Lou's Team" members, visit
 www.alsa.org.
     For more information about the caregiver program go to
 http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/carenetwork
 
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SOURCE The ALS Association

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