The Texas Outreach Office (TORO) for the United States - Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC) is established within the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Office of Border Health (OBH), with field offices in El Paso, Presidio, Eagle Pass, Uvalde, Laredo, McAllen, and Harlingen. The overarching TORO goal is to implement the Healthy Border 2010 (HB2010) program in the Texas-Mexico border region, an area that encompasses Texas and its 4 neighboring Border States in Mexico. This area is also home to the largest number of combined border crossings of pedestrians and commercial trucks between the two nations.
Healthy Border 2010 is the USMBHC's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Agenda designed to facilitate and support community-based and binational solutions. Twenty elements common to Mexico and the United States are included in the HB 2010 Program and are grouped into 11 topic areas, as follows: Access to Health Care; Cancer; Diabetes; Environmental Health; HIV/AIDS; Immunization and Infectious Diseases; Injury Prevention; Maternal, Infant and Child Health; Mental Health; Oral Health; and Respiratory Diseases.
From the U.S., HB2010 draws from the Healthy People 2010 Program. From Mexico, HB2010 draws from the Indicadores de Resultados (National Health Indicators Program), which tracks 46 health indicators at the national, state and local levels.
Recent additions to the HB 2010 topic areas listed above include seven developmental objectives, as follows: Tobacco Use, Substance Abuse, Heart Disease, Gastrointestinal Diseases, Nutrition and Obesity, Physical Activity, and Bio-terrorism Preparedness. The HB 2010 program objectives are deliberately limited to a relatively small number of variables for which data are currently available or are expected to be available in the near future.
Overall steps that will be taken to complete this initiative:
- During the remainder of this decade, the U.S.-Mexicio Border Health Commission, through the DSHS Office of Border Health's Texas Outreach Office (TORO), will monitor progress in these objectives, will help communities to implement programs to improve the health of border residents, and will publicize achievements and challenges in border health.
- Each of the HB 2010 indicators is matched with specific quantifiable goals (e.g., reduce the proportion of residents lacking access to a primary provider in underserved areas by 25 % or to reduce the female breast cancer death rate by 20 %).
- TORO will continue the implementation of appropriate community-based activities to address HB 2010 objectives with the organization of these activities based on local circumstances, including the structure of the health care system, available resources, and other issues.
In Fy05, TORO directed available resources for Healthy Border 2010 toward strengthening local border and binational infrastructure by focusing on the following goals to:
- Assess/Evaluate border health data (county health profiles, hospital discharge, disease mortality/morbidity, border county specific BRFSS, etc.);
- Mobilize, enhance and create local capacity in Texas border counties and Mexico municipios including: technical and administrative assistance to the 7 Texas-Mexico Sister-City Bi-National Health Councils; and maintenance of the Bi-National Border Health Information System (including integration of the Texas Health Alert Network) in the 3 major Texas-Mexico target areas ; and
- Sustain the Healthy Border 2010 mini-grant program for border communities that meet criteria related to the HB2010 priorities and measurable health objectives. In FY 05, priority will be given to funding proposals that address the following HB2010 topic areas: (a) Access to Health Care; (b) Physical Fitness, Nutrition, and Obesity; (c) Environmental Health; (d) Immunization and Infectious Disease; (e) and Bioterrorism Preparedness.
To view the FY05 TORO Annual Report (843 KB, 4 minutes @ 28.8 kbps)
For additional information regarding the Texas Outreach Office and/or Healthy Border 2010, please contact:
Office of Border Health
Texas Department of State Health Services
Phone: (512) 776-7675
Fax: (512) 776-7262