Various health institutions and from other sectors joint forces to launch the Paso del Norte Strategic Regional Framework

El Paso, TX, November 7th, 2012 (PAHO/WHO)Border public health leaders gathered together to participate in the launch of the Paso del Norte Strategic Regional Health Framework at the El Paso Museum of Art. The launching was convened by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health and other members of the Coalition for a Healthy Paso del Norte Region. More than 75 participants attended the event from 40 different organizations in public health and clinical services providers and other sectors in the region from West Texas, the Municipality of Juarez in the State of Chihuahua, and Southwestern New Mexico who came to show their support for the Framework and sign the Guiding Principles.

All were invited to become members of the Coalition and advocate for the wellness of all residents of the binational tri-state Paso del Norte Region as a key determinant in the success of our education system, our economy, and our society. “We the members of the Coallition for a Healthy Paso del Norte Region undersigned the pledge of Guiding Principles to join our collective efforts to promote healthy lifestyles in workplaces, schools, and homes; to integrate priorities of the Regional Strategic Health Framework into our organizations’ strategic plans to address these health priorities; to identify important health opportunities and barriers and eliminate disparities in our healthcare system; and to lead peers in advocating for improvement in the health of the community including health in all policies and safe and healthy environments,” informed Dr. Maria Teresa Cerqueira, Chief of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization U.S.-Mexico Border Office.
The Framework has six priorities issue areas that emerged from a process of analysis of the health situation in the Region and the consensus from a series of focus groups with participants carried out in Las Cruces, Ciudad Juarez and El Paso: obesity/diabetes/fitness/nutrition; mental health and behavioral health and wellness; substance abuse/chemical dependency/drug abuse; healthy sexuality/teen pregnancy; access to health care; and violence and injury prevention and reduction.

The Coalition will report to the Paso del Norte community at large regarding plans and actions, as well as progress and the impact in the implementation of the Framework, and share data on the health and wellbeing of our collective communities, for which the Healthy Communities Institute will be contracted to assist the Coalition.