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The HRSA Border Health Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration's Border Health Initiative is managed through the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP). The HRSA Border Health Initiative is housed within the Office of Rural Health Policy due to the cross-departmental and geographic focus of our work. The office of Rural Health Policy manages an internal Border Workgroup comprised of representatives from all the Bureaus and Offices across the Agency. This workgroup advises the HRSA Administrator on public health planning and policy development within the context of a HRSA-wide planning framework, which promotes and protects the health care of the American people living along the U.S. Mexico Border area. This is accomplished by emphasizing six themes – primary health care, collaboration/integration of existing programs, health promotion/disease prevention, systems development, human resources development and health systems financing. ORHP facilitates intra-agency border health activities that cut across the bureaus and offices of HRSA, with recent examples including:

  • Work with the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission to support two Border Bi-national Health Week (in October 2004 and 2005) in 14-sister cities along the U.S.-Mexico Border. The theme was "Families in Action for Health".
  • The Launch of the Border Website at the Rural Assistance Center (RAC).

Examples of ORHP collaboration with HRSA Bureaus include:

  • Support of the President's initiative to expand Community Health Centers (CHCs) (which currently include 31 CHCs in the border region)
  • Support to AIDS Health Education Centers (AHECs), Health Education Training Centers (HETCs) www.aetcborderhealth.org and HIV/AIDS Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) border initiatives to improve access to health care.

Examples of HRSA collaboration with other Federal partners include:

  • Support of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Salud Para Su Corazon or Health for Your Heart program.
  • Support of environmental health training programs with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Improving Knowledge Transfer among Health Researchers and Decisionmakers at the Border: An Expert Meeting

Border Health Web Site at RAC online (not a U.S. Government Web site)

U.S.-Mexico Border HIV/AIDS Resource Directory (not a U.S. Government Web site)

Border Health Staff

ORHP Border Health Staff consist of one headquarter staff member and six Dallas regional staff members.

Border Health Directory:

Elizabeth Rezai-zadeh
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9A-55
Rockville, MD 20857

Frank Cantu, Field Director
1301 Young Street, Suite 1014
Dallas, TX 75202

Margarita Figueroa-Gonzalez, MD

Michelle Mellen

Lilia Salazar

Erma Woodard



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