WASHINGTON, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) proudly named Senator Luz Arce Ferrer (PR) as Chair and Senator Rene Garcia (FL) as Vice Chair of the organization's Health Care Task Force. NHCSL has a long history of advocating for policies to enhance the quality of life and health care afforded to the Hispanic community, with a focus on subjects such as combating childhood obesity; ensuring patient protections under new federal legislation; eliminate restrictions and barriers to health care; and promoting education and training in schools. In addition, NHCSL and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) have convened an annual Promoting Healthy Lifestyles Conference to educate legislators on policy innovation and other issues at the forefront of health care.

Senator Luz Arce Ferrer (PR) has held many committee leadership positions in the Senate of Puerto Rico and most notable held the position of Secretary of Health in Puerto Rico. "For its 2012 agenda the Health Task Force of the NHCSL will include a work plan based on several main objectives: The integration of Hispanic State Legislators on important health issues, where it has been shown that Hispanics are the most susceptible and those affected by chronic illnesses related to mental health, obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions," explained Senator Luz Arce Ferrer (PR). "We will focus our work on improving the relationships between Hispanic communities, addressing the effects of health issues within them, and giving advice as advocates on the health and quality of life among Hispanics."

Senator Rene Garcia (FL) graduated from the University of Miami with a Master's in Business Administration, specializing in Health Administration and Policy and began his political career at the age of 23. Senator Garcia (FL) was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in November of 2000 and was re-elected consecutively in 2002, 2004 and 2006. Furthermore, he served as Chair of the Miami Dade Legislative Delegation, Chair of the Health Services Sub-Committee, Chairman of Health Innovation Committee, Chair of the Florida Hispanic Caucus, and was named Deputy Whip for the House of Representatives. Senator Garcia (FL) was elected to Florida's State Senate in November 2010.

"I believe the mission of NHCSL is to empower Hispanics across America. As Vice Chair of the NHCSL Health Care Task Force, I plan to work with the Chair in emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the role each state legislature must play in providing Hispanics access to vital health care services. I will work to ensure that we eliminate health care disparities among Hispanic communities."

The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 340 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit http://www.nhcsl.org .

SOURCE National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL)

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