PA’RRIBA Blog & Briefs
Compared to past versions of the course, Border Health Service Learning Institute (BHSLI) 2020 was radically different. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time we held the class online during the fall semester rather than one week in August. How, might you ask, do you do service learning online?!? With stellar community partners and an experienced instructional team – that’s how! While our course format was new territory for us all, we held true to our core goal: to explore the role of advocacy in the intersections between public health, migration, and economics on the U.S./Mexico border.
Arizona faces critical shortages of health care workers needed to meet the needs of an ever growing and aging population. However, in rural Arizona, shortages are more pronounced and immediate. The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH) works with multiple stakeholders across the state to clearly identify the shortages and propose potential solutions to address them.
Photo Credit: Robert Guerrero
The Border Health Service-Learning Institute (BHSLI) is one of the most popular service learning courses at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH). BHSLI was founded in 2008 by Dr. Cecilia Rosales and Jill Guernsey de Zapien, and is offered as part of MEZCOPH’s Rural Health Professions Program. The week-long course employs an intensive, field-based model which immerses both students and faculty directly in border communities and allows them the opportunity to work with local organizations, stakeholders, and experts (BHSLI’s “community partners”). Each service activity is structured around reflection questions which provide the framework for understanding the role of public health in the elimination of health disparities.
2018 marks the ten year anniversary of the MEZCOPH Border Health Service Learning Institute (BHSLI). Founded by Dr. Cecilia Rosales and Jill de Zapien, the week-long course employs an intensive, field-based model which immerses students, faculty and community partners directly in border communities which are facing huge health disparity issues. Together we implement programs that directly support community efforts to address these disparities. Each service activity is structured around reflection questions which provide the framework for understanding the role of public health in the elimination of health disparities.
BHSLI has been taught in Yuma / San Luis Rio Colorado; Nogales, Arizona / Nogales, Sonora; and Douglas / Agua Prieta. This year we conducted the course in Douglas / Agua Prieta. We partnered with the following organizations:
- Consulado de Mexico, Tucson
- Frontera de Cristo
- DouglaPrieta Works
- Cochise County Health Department
- Chiricahua Community Health Center
- Secretaria de Salud, Agua Prieta
- Cafe Justo and Cafe Justo y Mas
- CREDA (a substance abuse treatment center in Agua Prieta)
- Southeast Arizona Health Education Center (SEAHEC).
Thank you to all our community partners for collaborating with us! Luis Valdez, Libby Valdez, Abby Lohr, Robert Guerrero, Kate Ellingson, and Jill de Zapien taught the course.
We asked students to reflect on their border service learning experience. In a five part blog series, we will give you a glimpse of the BHSLI experience.
- Blog series Edited by Abby Lohr, MPH, Health Behavior Health Promotion PhD Student
A guest blog from the Arizona Telemedicine Blog, by Jane Erikson.
The University of Arizona Center for Rural Health is partnering with the Arizona Department of Health Services and other state agencies to train first responders to recognize opioid overdoses and to administer the drug naloxone to prevent fatalities.
The effort is funded with a four-year, $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). Of the $3.1 million, $2.2 million has been awarded to the UA Center for Rural Health, at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
The Perfect Storm: Putting America’s Health Care in Peril The American Health Care Act & the President’s Proposed Budget
The AHCA cuts $1.5 trillion dollars in federal funding over 10 years by slashing state Medicaid (-$830B), eliminating Marketplace subsidies (-$665B) to individuals and families, and causing 23 million Americans to become uninsured over 10 years. The President’s budget cuts $2 trillion dollars in health spending over 10 years, disproportionately affecting low-income, elderly and rural Americans.
Health Coverage and Access to Care in the United States-Mexico Border Region: Implications of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
A multifactorial approach is necessary to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities for populations living in the US-Mexico border region. Key factors include building on health insurance coverage gains, enhancing the rural health workforce and infrastructure, and assuring accessible, cost effective, culturally and linguistically appropriate health services for a growing border population.
- The Los Angeles Times released a large expose on the conditions of farm workers on large corporate farms in Northern Mexico. The travesties named included: inadequate living conditions, company stores that create indentured servitude to pay off debts and accusations of child labor. Overall, the article calls on changes made by the corporate farms exposed but also, the American corporations that contract with those growers.
- Recent strikes during spring harvest amongst produce farms in Baja California has drawn even more attention on the alleged abuses of agribusiness farm workers.
- These workers are only marginally protected by national labor and housing laws; this collaboration creates a unique opportunity for mixed scientific methods to improve the health of this population.
The Arizona Trauma Program Managers Workgroup continues to meet face-to-face quarterly focused on enhancing performance improvement strategies. Scheduled for August 19, 2016 is the next scheduled workshop being hosted by Flagstaff Medical Center. Also, a statewide Trauma Program Manager Listserve continues to be very active with over 100 members.
“Of those eligible for a tax credit to help individuals buy a health plan on Arizona’s Marketplace in the last cycle, 38% participated – and lower in Arizona’s rural, Latino, American Indian, disabled and special populations,” said Dr. Daniel Derksen, the Director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona, and the project’s principal investigator.