SEAHEC has provided support to thousands of students during their clinical and community rotations throughout our border region. In partnership with academic institutions, we have designed Interprofessional service-learning courses and field experiences that focus on emerging and chronic health needs of the most vulnerable populations: migrants, farmworkers, and indigenous communities. SEAHEC service-learning takes place in many forms – in-person, virtual and hybrid. Preparation begins prior to arrival at the US-Mexico border and includes seminars, readings, and interactive work. SEAHEC works with academic institutions to meet specific learning objectives for various health professions, while at the same time partners directly with community health and social service agencies to assure that learning objectives align with and support community health needs and concerns. Students engage in meaningful learning, advocacy, and transformative action in the areas of Border Binational Health, Migrant Health and Advocacy and Farmworker Health.

This summer SEAHEC has collaborated with the University of Arizona & the Instituto Interamericano de Educacion Superior para la Salud (IIESS) with nursing students from Arizona and Sonora working together through service-learning programs across the Nogales border.

The student’s first destination during each of the two trips held in July began at SEAHEC’s office, where they learned about the multifaceted root causes of migration. This hour-long presentation immersed students and staff in understanding better the population they were serving, migrant families at the Mexican American border – and the context and environment from which they were arriving to our community.

Then students, alongside SEAHEC staff, visited one of Nogales, Sonora’s migrant shelters, Casa de la Misericordia. Teams of students and SEAHEC community health worker staff presented on various health topics, including dental care, mental health, COVID- 19 prevention and vaccination, respiratory infections, stomach issues, and STI prevention. A center for children’s activities was also provided as their parents listened to the information given.

Additionally, UA College of Nursing students were part of a binational team of community leaders helping coordinate and administer COVID-19 pediatric vaccines at the Nogales Mariposa Port of Entry. In a span of three hours, five hundred and fifty vaccinations were administered.

SEAHEC is excited to keep moving forward with these exemplary service-learning projects, which enhance the health and wellbeing of our migrant community and our future health worker’s knowledge of root causes of those health issues at our border.

CHW Amy: ” Casa Misericordia is more than a shelter; it is a home. I was amazed at the resilience, dedication, and unity of the families present at the shelter. It was a wonderful experience for us all to teach valuable information and, at the same time, learn something new ourselves. I look up to Casa Misericordia and cannot wait to keep collaborating with them alongside our future healthcare professionals!”

UA College of Nursing, Instituto Interamericano de Educacion Superior para la Salud (IIESS), & SEAHEC Staff visiting Casa Misericordia in Nogales, Sonora.

UA College of Nursing & Instituto Interamericano de Educacion Superior para la Salud students presenting dental care information at Casa Misericordia.

Binational team including UA College of Nursing students & staff, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Mobile Health Unit, & volunteers from both U.S and Mexico assisting in Nogales Mariposa Port of Entry/Ventanilla de Salud COVID-19 Vaccination Event.