Photos Courtesy of Robert Guerrero.

Late summer is the time for health professions students to take a break from work and studies to explore the practical side of practice, while earning credits toward their degree. In the second week of August, 2016, 19 students from the University of Arizona came to the Arizona border to participate in the Border Health Learning Institute (BHSLI.) One of several training opportunities that focus on practice in Arizona and Sonora’s rural border communities, BHSLI is a credit bearing course offered at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. (UA MEZCOPH)

BHSLI Students en route to conduct home visits in Winchester Heights, a rural community north of Willcox, Az

This year’s itenerary included trips to Willcox, Arizona, where students participated with community members in “Farmworker Appreciation Day.” They visited the Secretaria de Salud in Agua Prieta, where they also met with Mexican Coordinator of Frontera de Cristo, Rosario Jocabed Gallegos Viesca. Frontera de Cristo is a Presbyterian ministry that provides health education and other services to migrant workers on both sides of the border, and works to foster “relationships and understanding across borders.”

BHSLI Group Portrait.

The students participated in a community dinner sponsored by SEAHEC at Café Justo y Más in Agua Prieta, where they met with local community partners and the Mexican Consul, Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes.

Naco kids watch a demonstration organized by BHSLI students at the Naco health fair

They also visited with the Youth Coalition of Cochise Health and Social Services, and spent a day in Naco, Sonora where they provided health education services at a local health fair that drew 500 participants.

Students, health professionals and community members played volley ball together at the Naco Health Fair, which the students helped organize

SEAHEC collaborates with universities and community partners to provide exciting opportunities for learning and exploration for future health professionals through our Student Training Opportunities Program (SSTOP). We also provide placement services and support to medical, pharmacy, public health, dental and nursing students to help them complete clinical and community rotations in rural border communities. For more information about SEAHEC’s Student Training Opportunities, contact Program Coordinator, Erin Sol, esol@seahec.org