New CDC Border Urban Research Center in El Paso

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PdNHF) today announced the award of a five-year, $2.2 million grant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (CDC Foundation) to establish an Urban Research Center on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Border Urban Research Center (BURC), which will involve partners from communities, universities, business and government, will target specific health issues in low-income communities along both sides of the border.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta will facilitate the partnership and provide technical assistance.

“This initiative provides a unique opportunity for the Paso del Norte region to work with the CDC on health issues that will benefit everyone living along the border region,” said Ann G. Pauli, President and CEO, Paso del Norte Health Foundation.

People living along the U.S.-Mexico border face a variety of urgent health challenges - access to care, hepatitis, diabetes, HIV, environmental hazards, tuberculosis and cancer, to name a few. The Border Urban Research Center will address these issues through research to apply or develop effective community-level intervention and prevention strategies. The key objectives of the new URC will include: involving communities as full partners in decision-making about strategies, enhancing local capacity to conduct prevention/intervention activities in priority health concerns, and learning “what works” to achieve sustainable health improvements in border communities.

“The strength of the Urban Research Centers is their success in bringing together community, local and national partners to strategically address community needs. Building such a partnership in the El Paso region is certain to yield effective solutions for improving the health of people who live in border communities,” said C. Charles Stokes, President and CEO, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation.

The BURC is the newest in an expanding network of URCs supported by CDC. The three existing centers are located in Detroit, New York City and Seattle. Each Urban Research Center includes, as one of its partners, an on-site CDC assignee to function as a liaison between the program director at CDC, Dr. Carolyn Beeker and the URC. CDC facilitates URC access to critical information, networks, and resources and assists in building on “lessons learned” from the other URCs.

The Border Urban Research Center will be located at the Center for Border Health Research, which is an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Texas Tech Health Science Center and the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad-Juarez, Mexico will collaborate with the Border URC on a variety of activities to support the program.

“This good news reflects the strength of the partnership that has been developed between UTEP and the community with the support of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation,” said Diana Natalicio, PhD., UTEP President. “The establishment of this Center will enable us to work together to take bio-medical and health research in El Paso to the next level.”

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation is a private foundation which funds both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The mission of the foundation is to affect long-term improvements in the health status of the Paso del Norte region through education and prevention.