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U.S. - Mexico Border Health

In recognition of the need for an international commission to address border health issues, the United States-México Border Health Commission (BHC) was created in July of 2000 to provide international leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the U.S.-Méxicoborder. The United States-México border includes four U.S. states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas) and six Mexican states (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas).

The BHC is comprised of the federal secretaries of health, the chief health officers of the ten border states, and prominent community health professionals from both nations.  It has the unique opportunity to bring together the two countries and their border states to solve border health problems by providing necessary leadership to develop coordinated and bi-national actions that will improve the health of border residents and eliminate health disparities through an effort that focuses attention on regional health issues. The BHC works to promote sustainable partnerships, bringing together government and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and public and private stakeholders. 

The BHC is a critical catalyst to raise awareness about public health issues and challenges faced by border populations, help create the necessary venues and partnerships to mobilize the actions needed to improve health status, and serve as a reliable information portal regarding border health issues. Key priorities for the BHC include obesity and diabetes, strategic planning, research, data collection, and academic alliances.

The 2012-2013 BHC program year includes the following activities and initiatives:

  • Border Binational Obesity Prevention Summit—to address critical obesity prevention issues affecting the U.S.-México border region.  
  • United States-México Tuberculosis (TB) Consortium and Legal Forum—to promote continuity of care of all TB patients along the U.S. - México border; to facilitate coordination of TB patient management across multi-level legal frameworks; to establish uniform Meet and Greet Standards and Guidelines applicable to all TB patients facing deportation; and to facilitate the U.S.-México Border TB Continuity of Care, the TB Legal Issues Work Groups, and the MDR TB Expert Consultation Network.
  • Leaders across Borders—Sponsor the third iteration of Leaders across Borders to advance binational leadership development for public health and health care professionals working to improve community health across and along the border region.
  • Binational Border Health Research Forum—to identify processes for collaborative cross-border research that can be replicated and promote resource sharing and collaborative partnerships.
  • Healthy Border 2010/2020 Strategic Plan—to implement the Healthy Border Strategic Plan to improve quality of life and to eliminate health disparities along the U.S.-México border.
  • Border Binational Health Week— Sponsor the 9th annual Border Binational Health Week to promote borderwide sustainable partnerships that can address border health problems.
  • Prevention and Health Promotion among Vulnerable Populations Initiative—to improve health outcomes among vulnerable populations living on the U.S-México border by improving health-seeking behavior and strengthening the delivery of health referral services and primary health care.

Related Links:

Read the “Proceedings Report of the Fourth United States-México Border Health Research Forum” at (PDF - 8.29MB)