Josefina G. Carbonell: 1950—: Head of U.S. Administration on Aging
An advocate for thirty years, Carbonell worked to improve the quality of life for refugees and the dignity and well-being of elderly and handicapped Miamians. In 1972 she founded the Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers (LHANC), a multi-service agency that began with a single meal center for seniors. In 1984, two years after becoming the agency's president, she organized Rainbow, a child-care program staffed by Little Havana's elderly, she organized a Cuban Independence Day celebration and dance in Jose Marti Park, and aided Mariel Cubans in registering as aliens. Rapidly outgrowing its original headquarters in Hialeah, Florida, LHANC burgeoned into the country's largest health and human services organization aiding elderly Hispanics.
Carbonell launched Dade County health and social initiatives, supported elder care, and founded a volunteer citizenship program and meal delivery to home-bound patients suffering with HIV/AIDS. She opened the Pro-Salud Clinic, Florida's pilot program offering health screening, primary care, wellness management, and medication control to older adults and their families. She also implemented Florida's Volunteer Health Professionals Program, which assists during national emergencies. In addition to volunteer resources, she secured a five-year grant of $186,000 from Proyecto HEAL, which assured basic, affordable medical care to the agency's 41,000 clients. In early October of 2000, Carbonell helped deliver meals and water to elders isolated by flooding during Hurricane Irene.
Carbonell was interested in politics throughout her career as a social services advocate. In June of 1999, she organized support for a bill to restore Medicaid, Children Health Insurance Program, Supplemental Security Income, and food stamps to legal immigrants, focusing on children, the elderly, and the disabled. Because the bill affected the lives of 8,000 Miamians, Carbonell fought for vulnerable people who were disenfranchised by restrictions on the 1996 immigration and welfare reform laws. Under the slogan "Fix 96," she championed civil rights organizations, religious institutions, and immigrants from Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. A year later, Carbonell lobbied Congress to reauthorize the Older Americans Act.
Carbonell was a delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and to the 1999 White House Conference on Mental Health. She also served on the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the Florida Commission on Long Term Care, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and the Theodore Gibson Memorial Fund. She has been honored with numerous awards, including a 1992 Miami Citizen of Year Award, a 1993 Miami Herald Charles Whited Spirit of Excellence Award, a 1994 Miami Beach Women Worth Knowing Award, a 1995 National Alliance for Hispanic Health Community Service Award, a 1997 Social Security Administration Commissioner's Team Award, and a 1997 United Way Monsignor Bryan Walsh Outstanding Human Service Award. In 2001 Carbonell was named one of Hispanic Business's 100 Most Influential Hispanics and was the winner of a Claude Pepper Community Service Award.
- Josefina G. Carbonell: 1950—: Head of U.S. Administration on Aging - Selected To Head The Aoa
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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyJosefina G. Carbonell: 1950—: Head of U.S. Administration on Aging Biography - Founded Lhanc, Selected To Head The Aoa, Attended World Assembly On Aging