You can think of the border public health advocacy network as a bi-national matrix of public health partners that collaborate to improve conditions along the US-Mexico border.  The network includes national organizations like the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission along with state based partnerships like the Arizona-Mexico Commission and the annual Border Governor’s Conference.   

As part of my job as the Director, I’m a member of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, whose mission is to provide international leadership to optimize health along the U.S.-México border.  The Commission is comprised of the federal secretaries of health, the lead health officers of the ten border states, and prominent community health professionals from both nations. As a member, I help to educate folks (including policy-makers) about the unique challenges at the border through outreach efforts and conduct joint collaborative public health initiatives with public and private partners in the border health community.  The primary goal of the Arizona Delegation is to strengthen and support bi-national public health projects and programs along the Arizona-Sonora border.   

I was fortunate to be able to spend this week in DC at the US Section meeting of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission.  We had the opportunity to talk about the Commission’s role as the Affordable Care Act comes online, including the importance of access to care and what role community health workers will play.  We also talked about setting priorities for the next three years.