Respond to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. Provide prevention education directly to the community and coordinate services and interventions with local and state agencies. Conduct border environmental health surveys. Participate in Texas Small Towns Environmental Program (STEPs) to assist small communities to meet their water and wastewater needs. Key responsibility is representing colonia public health concerns in various state and federal policy arenas.
The purpose of Border Health is dedicated to environmental, epidemiological, and educational projects specific to the Texas and Mexico border with the goal of fostering a safe and healthy environment as well as living practices. The Office of Border Health has a staff of experts who conduct consultations, investigations, and educational projects; more over the Office of Border Health philosophy is to consolidate resources through interagency cooperation whenever possible.
The close community relationships, which our staff maintains on the border, coupled with our emphasis on better environment and health, allows the Office of Border Health to function in a cooperative capacity with other agencies. The Office of Border Health has begun involvement in state/federal interagency efforts with the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Internal Health, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Governor’s Office. These efforts address public health concerns along the entire border.
- Conduct active environmental health surveillance and field investigation, monitor disease environmental hazards and perform statistical analysis of data.
- Conduct environmental and consumer health promotion campaigns.
- Provide consultative and technical assistance to providers, public health experts, and residences.
- Establish a network of communication with community/migrant health centers and the community.
- Coordinate with local, state, and federal agencies to encourage a consolidated and effective approach to public health programs.
DSHS Office of Border Health - www.dshs.state.tx.us/borderhealth/default.shtm
Edith DeLaFuente, Program Manager
Calixto Seca, Upper DSHS HSR 11, Laredo