Public Release: 

New Mexico groups prepare for policy forum on improving the health of Latino communities

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM - Registration is now open for the Ninth Annual Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Health to be held on October 5-6, 2009 at the Hilton Santa Fe Resort at Buffalo Thunder in Santa Fe, New Mexico. More than 300 high-level representatives from federal, state, academic and community organizations from the United States, Mexico, Canada, South and Central American countries are expected to attend. Visit for online registration, media registration and detailed meeting logistics.

This two-day event is hosted by the State of New Mexico and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. It is designed to emphasize the importance of improving public health policies for immigrant populations, as well as to enhance bilateral working relations to improve the health and well-being of Latino communities across the United States.

The program begins on Monday, October 5th, with a reception to welcome guests. Tuesday's activities include the opening plenary session, followed by a series of parallel workshops led by experts covering topics that include:

  • Mental Health
  • Public Health Emergency responses and migrant populations: Lessons learned from the H1N1 outbreak
  • Infectious diseases, including TB and HIV
  • Obesity: The case of children
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Diabetes treatment challenges
  • Binational responses to health care access and insurance coverage
  • Environmental health challenges and migration

The Policy Forum serves as the official launch event for both the Border Binational Health Week, and Binational Health Week (BHW). The formal inauguration of the Ninth Annual Binational Health Week will be held on Tuesday and led by representatives of participating countries, including Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Binational Health Week is one of the largest mobilization efforts in the Americas to improve the health and well-being of underserved immigrants and migrants of Mexican and Latin American origin. It encompasses an annual weeklong series of health-promotion and education activities that include workshops, insurance referrals and medical screenings.

This year, the Ninth BHW will take place October 5-15, 2009 in 40 states in the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada, with the participation of the consular networks in the United States of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Additionally, this year will feature four national campaigns to promote awareness among the Latino community on the Prevention of Addictions, Nutrition, Prevention of Strokes, and Living Green.

Co-sponsors for this year's event include: Mexico's Secretariat of Health and Foreign Affairs, the Secretariats of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Peru, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission, the New Mexico Department of Health, the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM) and the Health Initiative of the Americas.



Ninth Annual Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Health:

Visit, for the most up-to-date information or to register or book housing for the Ninth Annual Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Health

Binational Health Week: Visit for background and details of this year's planned Binational Health Week Activities.

RWJF Center for Health Policy:

The RWJF Center for Health Policy is the only health policy center dedicated to increasing the number of leaders from Latino and American Indian communities helping to shape the future of our nation's health and health care. A collaboration of the University of New Mexico and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the RWJF Center for Health Policy focuses on inserting the perspectives of Latino, American Indian and other underrepresented groups into the most pressing health policy debates today. Visit for further information.

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