Office of Border Public Health
Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of the people living within the U.S.-Mexico border region by collaborating with partners and leveraging resources within and outside of Texas. OBPH builds relationships within communities to foster a safe and healthy environment and living practices. We monitor and share data on public health issues and their impact, support binational public health coalitions, conduct community-based initiatives, and support Community Health Workers.
We operate under the assumption that public health problems cannot be contained within international boundaries and that the U.S.-Mexico border region is one epidemiological zone. We work together to keep Texas healthy by keeping our border healthy.
About the Mandate
In 1991, the 72nd Texas Legislature enacted Health and Safety Code, Chapter 12, §12.071: HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE CHAPTER 12. POWERS AND DUTIES OF DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES (texas.gov). That mandate stipulates that “The department shall establish and maintain an office in the department to coordinate and promote health and environmental issues between this state and Mexico.”
All four U.S. border states —Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California— have border health offices.
A healthy Texas-Mexico border
To improve health and well-being along the Texas-Mexico border.
- Actionable border data
- Cross-border communication and coordination
- Border-appropriate public health initiatives, promotion, and education
- Strategic local, state, and federal partnerships
DSHS Border Area
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) border area is defined as the area within 100 kilometers (or 62 miles) of the Rio Grande in the La Paz Agreement of 1983. This includes the 32 Texas Border Counties listed below.
The Texas DSHS Border Area
32 Texas Border Counties by DSHS Public Health Region
South Central Texas