July 7, 2005

Contact: Anthony Cahill, 272-2990 office, 228-7934 cell.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Senior U.S health officials will converge in Albuquerque for three days to discuss accountability and outcome measurement at the 2005 National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) State Grantee and Partners Annual Meeting, July 11-13 at the Sheraton Old Town Hotel.

The UNM School of Medicine Center for Development and Disability (CDD) will host the annual event, being the first time held outside Washington or Atlanta .

With over 54 million Americans and for 25 percent of New Mexicans reporting a disability, programs to improve disability access and quality of life are under increased scrutiny from the federal government to be accountable to the individuals they serve. And as the baby boomer generation approaches 60, the need for proven performance-based programs is essential to cope with the increasing demands of a growing disability population.

Federal and state agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are focusing on accountability, measurable indicators of success, and impacts on the public.

The 2005 meeting will respond to these trends by focusing on key issues in performance measurement, including designing, implementing, evaluating and reporting performance-based programs.

Keynote speakers at the three-day convention will include Vice President of the Christopher Reeve Foundation Joe Canose, American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) Executive Director Roberta Carlin, Ed Brann, M.D, Ph.D, Director, Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC, and Mary Keener Beresford, Ph.D, Chair, New Mexico Disability and Health Advisory Council and Executive Director, New Mexico Governor's Commission on Disability.

The CDD heads the New Mexico arm of a 16-state collaborative network charged with improving the quality of lives of people with disabilities, providing them with information, and informing legislator members of key issues on disability.

The mission of the CDD is the full inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in their community by: engaging individuals in making life choices; partnering with communities to build resources; and improving systems of care.