142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Southwest Border Health Initiative: Ensuring Detainee Health While in DHS Custody

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 10:42 AM - 10:54 AM

Ivan A. Zapata, DrPH, MS, CHES , Office of Health Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA), all subcomponents of The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have been developing the Southwest Border Health Initiative (SWBHI) as a way to mitigate detainee health impacts, achieve cost savings, and enhance mission-oriented operations on the border.

The southwest border region is the most active crossing and highest apprehension area where individuals attempt to cross into the United States illegally.  Approximately 50 percent of new illegal arrivals enter through the south Texas Border.  The need for the SWBHI was originally identified in April of 2012, when there was a significant increase in Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) apprehended by DHS on the southwest border—roughly double the numbers during the same period in FY 2011.

Due to a lack of medical screening and care available at the CBP border patrol stations, all detainees with potential health concerns (dehydration, pregnancy, twisted ankles) must be taken to the nearest emergency room (ER) by no less than two CBP agents.

The Initiative’s principle objectives are to ensure safe and timely delivery of health resources for detainees in DHS custody, especially UAC, and make process modifications to improve the efficiency of screening, detention, and removal operations.  Additionally, it will provide basic occupational medical services to the DHS agents and employees at these remote border sites. 

Learning Areas:

Basic medical science applied in public health
Occupational health and safety
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe what The Southwest Border Health Initiative; List at least two vulnerable populations The Southwest Border Health Initiative aims to serve; Name at least two projected benefits The Southwest Border Health Initiative aims to achieve

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Since April of 2012 I have been the lead program manager for the Office of Health Affairs-DHS in matters relating to detainee health and developing a medical capability at CBP Border Patrol Stations.
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.