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FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS PANEL RELEASES REPORT ON MINORITY ACCESS TO NURSING HOMES, PLANS CONFERENCE

 FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS PANEL RELEASES REPORT ON MINORITY ACCESS
 TO NURSING HOMES, PLANS CONFERENCE
 ALBANY, N.Y., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A report on health care and nursing homes and the access which the minority elderly have to nursin ?homes in New York State will be released by a federal advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during a press conference in room 317-A, Leo O'Brien Federal Building, North Pearl Street and Clinton Avenue, at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 30. A statewide conference on the 1991 Civil Rights Act and on racial tensions will also be planned.
 From lawsuits in Tennessee and Pennsylvania and from what was said by 18 experts -- ranging from federal, state, and local officials to consumer advocates and top executives of nursing homes associations -- the 13-member committee found it reasonable to suspect that ethnic or racial discrimination plays a role in the rejection of at least some minorities by the nursing homes to which they apply. Among the problems described for the committee were the scarcity of beds for Medicaid-eligible applicants, the shortage of nursing homes and the lack of homes owned or operated by minorities, the belief among many in and outside of the nursing home field that "minorities take care of their own elderly," and the ability of homes run by sectarian or fraternal organizations to show preference to applicants who share their religious beliefs or who belong to their fraternal organization.
 State Assemblyman Arthur O. Eve, deputy speaker of the assembly and chairperson of the legislative committee on the minority elderly, recalled that several years earlier a state report indicated that minorities were discriminated against in admissions, and Jeffrey Ambers, executive director of Friends and Relatives of the Institutionalized Aging, noted that some supposedly sectarian homes accept white applicants from other religions but exclude minority applicants. Experts from language minority communities noted how little is done to accommodate their elderly in nursing homes and blamed cultural ignorance or insensitivity for adversely affecting some minorities once admitted. Office heads such as Joseph N. Kennedy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and William B. Carmello of the State Health Department observed that the kinds of data presently collected are useless in any attempt to measure to what extent minorities are denied admissions.
 In its report the committee recommends that state and federal agencies begin collecting racial data on who is denied admissions and not just on who is admitted. It called for a study of the extent to which Medicaid eligibility adversely affects minority applicants and on how minority applicants are affected by the discharge planning process at hospitals. Other recommendations seek to improve education in minority communities regarding how to gain admittance to nursing homes, helping minorities to establish and own or manage nursing homes, and increasing the cultural knowledge of the staffs of enforcement agencies which monitor nursing home care.
 Setsuko M. Nishi, Ph.D., of Tappan chairs the committee. The other members include: Rovena G. Abrams, Salamanca; Luis Alvarez, Manhattan; Ellis Arnstein, M.D., The Bronx; Paula M. Ciprich, Esq., Buffalo; Richard H. Cox, Ph.D., Amherst; Frank Givens Jr., Elmira; Ghazi Y. Khankan, Long Beach; DeWitt T. Murray, Albany; Juan Padilla, Rochester; Blanca M. Ramos-Wright, Schenectady; M.D. (Lita) Taracido, Manhattan; and Cecile C. Weich, Esq., The Bronx.
 Arthur A. Fletcher chairs the national commission which includes vice chairperson Charles Pei Wang, William B. Allen, Carl A. Anderson, Mary Frances Berry, Esther G. Buckley, Blandina Cardenas Ramirez, and Russell G. Redenbaugh. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez is staff director, and John I. Binkley is director of the Eastern Regional Office.
 The public is welcome.
 -0- 10/27/92
 /CONTACT: Setsuko M. Nishi, Ph.D., chairperson, 914-359-0813 or 212-951-5466, or Tino Calabia, staff representative, 202-523-5264, or after hours, 202-244-4679, both of the United States Commission on Civil Rights/ CO: United States Commission on Civil Rights ST: New York IN: SU:


KD -- DC014 -- 5425 10/27/92 12:59 EST
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Date:Oct 27, 1992
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