272417 US-Mexico border health: A medically underserved community

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 5:30 PM - 5:50 PM

Hector Balcazar, MS, PhD , El Paso, Regional Campus, UT Health Science Center-School of Public Health, EL Paso, TX
While progress remains elusive in assuring the health equity of most Latinos, the 1,981-mile US-Mexico border region remains a highly marginalized and underserved community. The Texas-Mexico border of 1,214-mile is a region with a high burden of disease. Border health represents a range of shared public health issues that span the international border and necessitate community collaborations to be effectively addressed.

Poor health at the border is a complex combination of poverty, lack of health insurance, no usual source or care and lower overall quality of care that may have serious health ramifications for this population. The population characteristics of this population are widely diverse in terms of social and economic demographics and high mobility both across the border and the US.

Approximately 42% of Latinos living within 62 miles of the US-Mexico border are without health coverage. Examination of border-specific characteristics elucidates the heterogeneity of border Hispanics, many of which are U.S. citizens, migrant farm workers, maquiladoras and temporary and/or unauthorized workers. The multiple subpopulation groups on the border require more study to inform public health practice and public policy. As more Latinos gain access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, greater demands for prevention and intervention services will be imperative at the border region.

This presentation will illuminate our understanding of the social determinants of health, taking into account ecological and resource-based contextual factors and discuss how partnerships that address border health issues serve to support Latino community health, thereby ensuring equitable, sustainable, and long-range interventions.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of addressing US-Mexico border health to assure health equity. 2. Assess the unique social determinants of health for this population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: **
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.