The Office of Binational Border Health (OBBH) was established in 1983, through La Paz Agreement which defined a binationally agreed upon border region as the area within 62 miles (100 km) on either side of the border, an area that encompasses approximately 250,000 square miles. Of the 1,952-mile boundary between the United States and Mexico, California’s border region spans 140-miles, including San Diego and Imperial Counties, the state’s southernmost counties. This area is remarkable because of its assorted geography, highly mobile, culturally and linguistically diverse population.
Recognizing the distinctiveness of the border region, in 1999 Assembly Bill 63 (Chapter 765, Ducheny, Division One, Part Three, Health and Safety Code) established a permanent Office of Binational Border Health (OBBH) within the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), formerly known as the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) “to facilitate cooperation between health officials and health professionals in California and Mexico, to reduce the risk of disease in the California border region and in those areas directly affected by border health conditions”. OBBH began operating in January 2000.
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