U.S. - Mexico Border Health
The United States-México Border Health Commission (BHC) is a binational Presidential commission established in 2000 and co-chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Mexican Secretary of Health. It provides leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the approximately 2,000 mile-long U.S.-Mexico border.
The BHC raises awareness of public health challenges faced by U.S.-Mexico border populations; creates venues and partnerships to mobilize action; serves as portal for border health information; and promotes the development of community leaders to address border health issues. The U.S. and Mexican Governments provide support and oversight for activities of the BHC.
The BHC is comprised of the two federal secretaries of health, who serve as co-Commissioners; the chief health officers of the ten U.S. and Mexican border states; and prominent community health professionals from both nations who are designated by their respective governments. The United States-México border region is defined as the area 100 km (62.2 miles) on either side of the international boundary. It 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 Commission has the unique opportunity to bring together the two countries and their border states to focus attention on shared regional health issues, and serve as a catalyst to help develop coordinated, bi-national partnerships and actions to eliminate health disparities and improve the health of border residents. The BHC works to promote sustainable partnerships, bringing together government and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and public and private stakeholders.
Mission: To provide international leadership to optimize health and quality of life along the United States-Mexico border.
- Institutionalize a domestic focus on border health.
- Create an effective venue for binational discussion to address public health issues and challenges affecting U.S.-Mexico border populations.
- Access to care.
- Strategic planning.
- Research, data collection, and academic alliances.
- Infectious disease and public health emergencies.
Key 2014-2015 Initiatives include:
- Develop a five-year border binational obesity prevention strategy, incorporating recommendations from the 2013 inaugural U.S.-Mexico Border Obesity Prevention Summit.
- Implement the Healthy Border 2020 Strategic Plan to improve quality of life and to eliminate health disparities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Provide venues for local, state, federal and non-governmental stakeholders to address critical border health issues, including the Border Binational Infectious Disease Summit, U.S.-Mexico Border Obesity Prevention Summit, and Border Binational Reproductive Health Summit.
- Hold annual meetings of the U.S.-México Tuberculosis (TB) Consortium to promote continuity of care of all TB patients along the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Sponsor year-round community-based healthy border activities, including the annual Border Binational Health Week, to promote sustainable partnerships that can address border health problems.