U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission Activities

Through cooperative agreements, the Department of Health and Human Services funds activities throughout the border states focusing on the areas identified in Healthy Border 2020.

Two major annual cooperative agreement activities are Border Health Month (BHM) and Leaders across Borders (Lab).

October is Border Health Month which includes numerous health promotion and disease prevention activities on both sides of the border. In 2016 and 2017, the focus has been on the promotion of Partnerships for a Healthy Border. It is estimated that about 1.6 million border residents have benefited from this initiative.

The 2018 Leaders across Borders application period has ended. The Commission will announce the names of the 2018 cohort the first week of January.

Leaders across Borders is an advanced leadership development program aimed at building the binational leadership capacity of public health, health care, and other community professionals working to improve the health of communities in the U.S.-México border region. To date the program has generated approximately 120 alumni over the span of seven cohorts.

Other important Commission activities driven by the states include The U.S.-Mexico Border Reproductive Health Work Group, The Consortium of the Californias and Obesity Prevention Programs, among others.

In addition, the Commission works with partners at the federal, state and local level to raise awareness and address health issues impacting the U.S.-Mexico border such as the Binational Forum to address Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases that took place in El Paso, Texas in June 2017.

Healthy Border 2020

The Commission has defined five public health priorities of binational concern in Healthy Border 2020, a binational initiative that focuses on the public health issues prevalent among border populations. It is this document that establishes the Commission's border regional agenda on health promotion and disease prevention.

The five public health priorities identified were

  • Chronic and Degenerative Disease
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Mental Health and Addiction
  • Injury Prevention

The BHC released the Healthy Border 2020: A Prevention & Health Promotion Initiative* (HB2020) report and officially launched the initiative at an event in Washington, D.C., in June 2015 as part of its binational annual meeting.

The U.S. Border Health Status Report 2020 was released in January 2021. The current report reviews select HB 2020 health indicators in the U.S. border states based on available public use data. The original 70 objectives were consolidated into five priority areas with 20 selected health issues, as defined in HB2020.

The BHC continues to promote HB2020 and use it as a basis for other initiatives and activities as well as collaborations with other partners including the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Nelson.Arboleda@hhs.gov. Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

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