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Health Surveillance and Disease Management / Noncommunicable Diseases / Diabetes

US-Mexico Border Diabetes Forum (South Padre Island, Texas, 20 May 2007)

Summary report

Objective |  Participants |  Activities |
Working Groups |  Next Steps & Commitments

US-Mexico Border Diabetes Forum

Objective: Create a forum where US-Mexico Border health professionals and non-traditional partners can dialog, debate, share, determine, and better implement health policies and programs based on available scientific evidence in the area of diabetes. The forum serves as a pivotal mechanism for the incorporation of new ideas, debates and dialogued on key public health issues.

The forum included three approaches:
  1. Membership, including key relevant stakeholders in public health.
  2. Open annual fora.
  3. A virtual forum.

Three dimensions were covered:

  1. Development of new health metrics.
  2. Focus on social determinants in health processes.
  3. Health impact assessment.

Over 60 individuals participated in the Diabetes Forum from across the US-Mexico Border, representing different organizations from the local, state and federal level from both countries. The following list shows the broad scope of this participation:

  • Asociación de Diabetes de Ciudad Juárez
  • Asociación Mexicana de Diabetes
  • Ben Archer Health Clinic
  • Border Health Commission, US Section
  • California Diabetes Program
  • Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Centro de Salud la Fe
  • Comisión de Salud Fronteriza, Sección México
  • Diario de Juárez
  • EFE
  • El Paso Community College
  • El Paso Diabetes Association
  • El Río Community Health Centers
  • FHC of SA
  • Gateway Community Health Centers
  • Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS)
  • Jurisdicción Sanitaria de Ciudad Juárez
  • Maestría de Salud Pública de Ciudad Juárez
  • Mariposa Community Health Center
  • National Diabetes Education Program
  • NCDV
  • Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
  • Pfizer
  • PSHS
  • San Isidro Health Centers
  • Secretaría de Salud de Baja California
  • Secretaría de Salud de México (SSA)
  • Servicios de Salud de Nuevo León
  • Texas Department of Health Services
  • Unitec Medical Centers
  • Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez
  • Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
  • Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California Irvine
  • University of Illinois
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)
  • University of Texas Pan American

Activities: Welcome by Dr. María Teresa Cerqueira (PAHO); Dr. Francisco González (USMBHA); Rita Díaz-Kenney (CDC) and Laiza Fuentes (SSA). Each subsequent participant made a brief self-presentation stating their name, where they are from, and the agency in which they work.

Dr. Rosalba Ruiz-Holguin reviewed the meeting dynamics. The first part of the morning entailed a series of presentations (which can be viewed on the restricted ShareInfoFrontera SharePoint site; please contact Dr. Ruiz if you are interested in obtaining access):

  • Diabetes Prevention and Control in the context of the a Regional Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases, by Dr. Alberto Barceló.
  • The US-Mexico Border Diabetes Prevention and Control Project, by Dr. Rosalba Ruiz-Holguin.
  • The Hispano Latino Diabetes Federation, by Rita Díaz-Kenney.
  • The US-Mexico Border Health Library/SharePoint, by Luis Gutiérrez.
  • The Forum for Public Health in the Americas.

During the latter part of the day the participants were divided into four working groups:

  1. Health Policy and Environment.
  2. Surveillance and Research.
  3. Education and Health Promotion.
  4. Outreach and Community + Medical Services.

Each group was charge with the task to develop a work matrix with the following information:

Level / Objectives



Means of Verification






Expected Result




Each group was assigned a moderator/presenter and given two hours to develop the work matrix. After that time, each group presenter had ten minutes to present the matrix, five minutes for other group members to elaborate on the subject, and finally ten minutes for group discussion. In summary, each group focused on the following:

Group I: Health Policy and Environment

  • Both Mexico and the United States need to have a unified message when addressing this problem. Policies changes can include taxation and working with health insurance companies to stimulate those that have healthy lifestyles. Use the example of New York that bans food with transfat. We need to develop a health policy package that can be used when we go to speak with policy-makers. We need to introduce new policy directed at children that can be implemented at the schools and include nutrition modification and physical activity.
  • The group mentioned two websites on the subject of certification of diabetes heath educators.
  • The Secretaría de Salud in Mexico has a protocol on patient adhesion to treatment.
  • Once the policy package has been completed, a mechanism to contact border legislatures needs to be established.
  • Policy-makers include the Texas Diabetes Council, Table of Governors and the Reunión de Legisladores de la frontera.

Group 2: Surveillance and Research

  • The US-Mexico Border needs a common platform for sharing information. The US-Mexico Border Health Library can serve as a depositary to share information on diabetes prevention and control programs, training curricula, events, university theses/dissertations, etc. The platform will include a surveillance system with morbidity and mortality data and diabetes risk factor information. Foster diabetes research along the US-Mexico Border. Look for funding sources for research and program development.

Group 3: Education and Health Promotion

  • Diabetes Education need to be provided across the US-Mexico Border at different levels:
    • Patients living with diabetes.
    • Persons at risk of developing the disease.
    • Family members of patients with diabetes.
    • Healthcare providers.
    • The community at large.
    There is a need to look at the emotional part of the disease. The group recommended the following website:

Group 4: Outreach and Community+ Medical Services

  • Need to promote healthy lifestyles across the US-Mexico Border. Need new partners to help get message across: spiritual organizations, Rotary Club, Lions Club, mass media etc. Increase awareness. Create a diabetes logo that everyone can identify. Develop a media campaign. Need to have political figures on board. Need to include emotional support for patients with diabetes. Need to practice what we preach, set the example for change.

Next Steps and Commitments

PAHO Field Office

  • Develop a report to share with the group to refine each of the work matrixes.
  • Construct the US-Mexico Border Diabetes Forum SharePoint site.
  • Create a ListServ and share with all partners.
  • Search for ways to communicate with border policy-makers.
  • Include this information in the Public Health Forum for the Americas
  • .

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC): Take this information back to CDC and the National Hispano Latino Diabetes Federation

Group 4 participants will develop a diabetes logo.

All Participants
  • Identify potential new partners.
  • Identify information that can be included in the SharePoint.
  • Review work matrix and improve them.

During the course of the day, forum participants enrolled in the National Hispano Latino Diabetes Federation.

PAHO Diabetes Page |  PAHO US-Mexico Field Office, El Paso |  CDC Diabetes Page

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