California Department of Public Health
Office of Binational Border Health
OBBH is proud to the following accomplishments of 2015:
• On January 13-14, 2015, the CDPH-Office of Binational Border Health (OBBH) with the U.S.- México Border Health Commission, in partnership with Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, held a Promotores de Salud Mental Health Train-the-Trainers in Imperial County. The U.S.-México Border Health Commission is currently implementing the Mental Health Gap Action Program Intervention Guide as a train-the-trainer module for border promotores or community health workers. These trainings continued through February 2015 in the U.S. border cities. This training required the promotores to participate in a follow-up webinar to explore resources to ensure this training could be done in each city in mid-late 2015. These efforts relate directly to developing strong, resilient communities that resist criminal activity and promote healthy lifestyles through the following actions:
o Expanding training and certification of community health workers
o Collaborating with rural and community health centers along the border
o Enhancing professional education and training programs for prevention professionals
• In conjunction with the Baja California Epidemiology Department OBBH convened three Binational California-Baja California Epidemiology Meetings on February 2, May 21, and August 18, 2015, these meetings serve to enhance border region situational awareness as it relates to priority infectious disease issues of mutual interest for California and Baja California, and continue to foster and enhance binational communication.
• In February and April, 2015, OBBH with the United States–México Border Health Commission (BHC) held two Border Reproductive Health Technical Work Group (BRH-TWG) meetings in Piedras Negras in the State of Coahuila, México and in San Diego, respectively. The technical workgroup consists of two subject matter experts from each border state in the U.S. and México to develop a strategic plan as a follow-up to the objectives of the Border Reproductive Health Summit that took place on March 19, 2014 in San Diego, California. The BRH-TWG met to provide leadership and guidance in the implementation of the Border Reproductive Health Strategic Plan with the support the U.S.-México Border Health Commission (BHC).
• Between April and June of 2015, OBBH in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Department of Health Care Services, Office of Rural Health held five Promotores Pesticide Safety Trainings in farmworker communities throughout California. The purpose of these trainings was to educate promotores/community health workers with the tools and knowledge to better inform the farm worker community and their families about pesticide safety.
• OBBH staff coordinated two OBBH Advisory Group meetings on May 6, 2015 and October 19, 2015, and developed a three-year strategic plan that aligns with CDPH strategic plan to be submitted to the directorate for final approval.
• In coordination with the County of San Diego, Public Health Services, OBBH convened the Border Health Consortium of the Californias meetings in San Diego, CA and Tecate & Tijuana, Baja California in 2015. The Consortium consists of agencies representing government, academia, and nonprofit organizations in the California - Baja California border region, to create networking opportunities in order to improve communication, strengthen collaboration and streamline coordination, share knowledge, best practices, and disseminate information amongst groups/organizations/individuals working in public health in the California - Baja California border region.
• OBBH participated in the U.S.-Mexico Binational Technical Work Group Meeting held on July 9-10, 2015 in Mexico City – The goal of this meeting was to review and improve binational cooperative mechanisms to detect, prevent and control infectious disease outbreaks of public health concern for the U.S.-Mexico populations.
• OBBH with the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission held a Binational Symposium on Childhood Obesity during the national conference in San Diego on June 29, 2015. Speakers from California and Baja California presented on research and best practices on the mutual concern of childhood obesity in the border region.
• OBBH, as a member of the San Diego County Promotores Coalition coordinated the 2015 Adelante Promotores Conference and A Day of Professional Development: Effective Communication on July 10, 2015. The aim of the conference was to provide annual training opportunities for Promotores/Community Health Workers (CHWs) in San Diego County. The SDCPC aims to increase communication skills of Promotores/Community Health Workers to facilitate communication between the community and healthcare providers.
• CA Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS) - Beginning on August 1, 2015, CDPH was fully awarded all funds requested from CDC as part of the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Grant– BIDS continues to focus on enhanced surveillance for priority diseases and conditions in the border region and strengthening binational communications.
• During Binational Health Week on October 3-18, 2015, OBBH assisted with the meeting between Secretary Diana Dooley and Mexico Secretary of Health, Dr. Mercedes Juan during the Inaugural Event and Policy Forum in Oakland, CA on October 5, 2015. The U.S. and Canada, with the participation of the consular networks of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia participate in binational health week focusing on the primary health topics: Diabetes, Occupational Health, Vaccines and Health Services.
• On October 16, 2015, OBBH as part of the San Diego County Promotores Coalition (SDCPC) held its annual Promotores training at San Diego City College in San Diego, California. The SDCPC aims to increase communication skills of Promotores/Community Health Workers to facilitate communication between the community and healthcare providers.
• In coordination with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and the Health Municipality in Tijuana, OBBH through the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, held the Border Health Consortium of the Californias Binational Health Summit on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at Hospital Angeles in Tijuana, Baja California.. As part of the Consortium executive committee, OBBH coordinated speakers and logistics to bring together public, private, and academic entities together to focus on the four health topics of mutual concern on both sides of the border: mental health, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and Tuberculosis. Work groups on these topics met and identified action items and ways to work together through the next year.
• During the Month of October, OBBH participated in Binational Health Week and provided support for various public health activities around San Diego and Imperial County. Activities included health fairs, trainings, conferences, symposiums as well as other events which provided health education and health services to community members.
• OBBH in coordination with Imperial County Public Health Department hosted a Four State (CA, AZ, BC, SON) Binational Vector Control Meeting on November 9, 2015 - The goals of the this binational meeting where to exchange strategies for mosquito control, as well as to strengthen bilateral communication between communities on the United States-Mexico border. The meeting was attended by local, state and federal level representatives from the U.S. and Mexico. Each of the four states gave an overview and updated of the epidemiology of dengue and chikungunya in their respective regions and also provided and overview of the geographic distribution of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.
• OBBH in coordination with the Border Health Consortium of the Californias HIV/AIDS Work Group held the Binational Symposium on HIV/AIDS: “Contributing to the Elimination of Stigma and Discrimination” on December 1, 2015 in Tijuana, Baja California. The goal of this symposium was to bring together interested individuals, governmental, academia, healthcare, and nonprofit organizations from both sides of the border to learn about the elimination of stigma and discrimination related to HIV/AIDS. Experts from each country provided a panoramic view and details of problems related to HIV/AIDS affecting the border communities.