In 2011, graduates from the Leaders Across Borders program identified a growing interest and need to bring together key stakeholders in the California-Baja California border region to address issues of mutual concern. The individuals garnered support from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services, California Department of Health, Office of Binational Border Health, and Imperial County Public Health Department and had an initial meeting to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Several agencies and organizations in San Diego began meeting on a regular basis and expressed a strong desire to engage with their colleagues and counterparts in Baja California.
Leadership in San Diego sought an initial meeting with the Mexico section of the U.S. Mexico Border Health Commission (USMBHC) in spring of 2012, to discuss the possibility of creating a binational consortium and requested guidance on approaching this endeavor.
After several months of planning, on November 7, 2013, several leaders from Baja California and California met at the Hotel Camino Real in Tijuana, Baja California to discuss the idea of forming a binational consortium. Over 45 people attended, including the former Baja California Secretary of Health, Dr. Jose Guadalupe Bustamante Moreno, representatives from both the U.S. and Mexican Consulates, professors from UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Universidad de Xochicalco, Colegio de la Frontera Norte, and representatives from California and Baja California governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. The concept of a “Border Health Consortium” was presented and followed by a dialogue on shared goals and next steps. The proposal was received well and the majority of participants demonstrated their support in establishing the Border Health Consortium of the Californias.
Some of the key themes that emerged included a strong interest in identifying key health priorities for both sides of the border, a desire for more collaboration among regional medical schools, educating one another on national health care systems and identifying general guidelines for cross-border collaboration. In addition, all participants agreed it was important to evaluate and measure our progress.
On May 8, 2014, the first formal binational (BHCC) meeting took place with over 60 representatives from both California and Baja California. At this meeting, participants voted on creating binational work groups to address the following specific health issues: HIV, TB, Obesity and Mental Health, creating a binational directory of participating individuals and organizations and scheduling two general binational meetings per year, alternating between the California and Baja California.
To be an organized, consolidated, believable, and trustworthy network internationally known for the improvement of health along the California-Baja California Border Region.
1.- Identify the common challenges.
2.- Use resources efficiently.
3.- Optimize articulation through: Collaboration, Coordination, and Communication (“the three Cs”).
4.- Support training and development.
Other goals include:
5.- Develop protocols and mechanisms to promote Collaboration and Cooperation.
6.- Promote Monitoring and Evaluation, Responsibility, Follow up and Outcomes.
7.- Ongoing improvement, innovation, and adaptation.