A new federal grant is providing an exceptional opportunity for Arizona’s border communities to work together to address their health priorities and needs.  

Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center/SEAHEC has been awarded an $83,919 grant from HRSA, the Health Resources and Services Administration, to develop Redes Sin Paredes (Networks without Borders), a collaborative project of health organizations along Arizona’s border.

This one-year planning grant provides support to establish the Arizona Border Communities Health Network which will facilitate health agencies in Cochise, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties to work with their Mexican counterparts on important health issues in the region.  Network partners will include SEAHEC and the Santa Cruz County Health Department in Nogales, Chiricahua Community Health Centers in Douglas, and the Regional Center for Border Health as well as the Yuma County Health Department in Somerton/San Luis.  The Network plans to build on the existing history of collaboration of the informal bi-national community health councils (COBINAS) in each of the participating communities.

The Arizona Border Communities Health Network will improve health care service delivery, and ultimately health outcomes, through a series of strategic and coordinated efforts. This powerful border-wide strategy for information-sharing and coordination will help to position the region to attract other HRSA funds, such as a three-year $1 million network development grant.  Ultimately these efforts will lead to improved health care service delivery to border community populations of an estimated 775,000 in Arizona and close to 2,000,000 in Sonora.

The planning grant is for the period March 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011. For further information about this project, contact Gail Emrick, SEAHEC Executive Director.