I’m writing this from my hotel room in Rocky Point- after a long day (and night) of the inter Plenary Session.  The 2 day conference started Thursday and goes through tonight.  We meet twice a year- it’s basically an opportunity for us to form partnerships across the border and to develop regional approaches to things like valley fever surveillance, burn patient infrastructure, substance abuse, TB, border first aid, farmworker health, and Sonora’s efforts to provide licensing and quality assurance services for assisted living in Sonora (and how we can partner with them as they set up their program). 

During last summer’s Session we signed a bi-national Declaration to develop regional surveillance for valley fever.  We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 6 months, and tomorrow we’ll be following up on that initiative at Sonora’s public health laboratory, checking out the lab instruments and equipment that we were able buy (with federal funds) and indefinitely post in Hermosillo in their lab. We’ll also be setting up some joint training sessions. There are lots of other examples of what we do through the Commission on health- this is just an example. 

The Arizona Mexico Commission was started by then Arizona Governor Paul Fannin in 1959 to improve partnering between Arizona and Sonora in a wide range of areas.  It’s evolved over the years to become a premiere and unique cross-border nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the well-being and quality of life for residents of Arizona by promoting a strong, cooperative relationship with Mexico and Latin America through advocacy, trade, networking and information.  The Commission has 14 bi-national committees that act as industry and community advocates in partnership with the Commission Sonora-Arizona (from Sonora, Mexico) to facilitate cross-border trade, business and community networking and bi-national information sharing.  Our link is through the Health Services Committee.

Click here to see some of the public health facilities and an ambulance they use on the beach.