Froy Garza, area coordinator, for the office of Congressman Henry Cuellar, sent me the information for the upcoming 2nd Annual South Texas Senior Summit. Seniors from throughout the Rio Grande Valley will have an opportunity to learn more about a variety of topics at this event to be held on Feb. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The following is the official invitation: The South Texas Senior Summit Planning Committee, chaired by the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, cordially invites you to participate in the 2nd Annual Senior Summit dedicated to the health and well being of our seniors. Multiple federal and local agencies will be on hand to provide important updates for our seniors on a variety of topics including Social Security fraud, Medicare &Medicaid updates, in addition to health & nutrition seminars by local physicians culminating with a Congressional forum. All seniors are encouraged to attend!

It’s been very challenging for seniors to keep up with the continual changes to the various local, state, and federal programs affecting their quality of life.

A prime example is the myriad of confusing information is Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program. Instead of having simple low cost prescription programs, there are too many plans with too many variables affecting coverage and cost.

Speakers will be focusing on this topic as well as others such as the fraudulent practices within Medicare, and Medicaid. It will also feature several workshops on various health issues by physicians. Some of the presentations will be conducted in both English and Spanish.

Congressman Ruben Hinojosa and Congressman Henry Cuellar are honorary co-chairs of the Senior Summit. Both will address legislative issues affecting seniors. The McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MHCC) is spearheading the event. The Edinburg office of the University of North Texas Health Science Center is hosting the event. Their staff and volunteers work in collaboration towards supporting research and educational goals for the benefit of the elderly population and are dedicated towards positively impacting seniors’ overall health and social empowerment.

The popularity of last year’s Summit was proof that seniors are looking for resources to help them learn more of many of the programs that influence their lives and the resources that can offer assistance.

Congressman Cuellar states, “I’m excited to join Congressman Hinojosa to host the McAllen Senior Summit. We’ll provide vital updates to seniors from Medicare, Social Security, and other state and federal agencies. I encourage Valley seniors to join us and take advantage of these resources, and I look forward to seeing them there.”

“The Summit will provide a unique opportunity for our senior citizens to learn more about Medicare, Medicaid, identity theft issues, Social Security and local income subsidies. The gives many the chance to direct any questions they have to government agencies and health organizations in attendance,” said Rep. Hinojosa. “We can vastly improve the overall well-being and quality of life of our seniors by ensuring that they have the proper resources at their fingertips.”

Among the federal and community agencies participating are the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Social Security Administration, Amigos Del Valle, Senior Citizen Community Centers, and the Area Agency on Aging. Informational booths will also be set up with representatives from other programs, such as the USDA Housing program.

I encourage seniors to attend, come prepared with your questions for the presenters and the representatives from the agencies participating. This is an opportunity to be more informed and to have a voice.

The location for the Senior Summit is the Palmview Community Center in McAllen. It is located at the corner 3401 Jordan Road and Ware (two lights south of the expressway) in McAllen.

If interested in participating as a sponsor, contact MHCC. There is limited seating and therefore registration is required. Senior citizens, groups, Senior Centers and Senior Adult Day Care Centers participating should RSVP by calling the McAllen Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 956-928-0060 or fax in your registration form to 956-928-0073.

Mary Garza Cummings is a free-lance writer. The Town Crier does not warrant the information as valid. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure validity of the information. If you have questions or comments, email askseniorfocus@aol.com