SEAHEC staff member Claudia Velasco has been named to serve as the new Co-Chair of the Binational Health Councils,(COBINAS) Arizona Border Communities (ABC) Health Network. Ms. Velasco, who has served as secretary to the Network for the past three years, announced her appointment in July, 2015. She also had the pleasure of welcoming another SEAHEC staff member, Aissa Acuña, to take her place as Secretary.
“I have a passion for bi-national work,” said Ms. Velasco, who is a native of Nogales, Sonora. Like many who live in this unique community, growing up in the sister cities known as “Ambos Nogales,” (Both Nogales) that span the US México border has helped her develop a bi-cultural perspective that makes her an outstanding candidate for the position. Ms. Velasco said she learned “many valuable lessons” in the three years she served as Secretary. Earlier this year, she was selected for the 2015 Leaders across Borders Program, and plans to build her “knowledge & understanding of health disparities in our border region.”
“Leaders across Borders is an advanced leadership development program aimed at building the bi-national leadership capacity of public health, health care, and other community-sector leaders working to improve the community health in the U.S.-México border region.” (Source: US-Mexico Border Health Commission)
Ms. Velasco will represent SEAHEC and Nogales Arizona as COBINA/ABC Health Network Co-Chair along with Dr. Laurence Alegría, who will represent Nogales Sonora. Dr. Alegría is an epidemiologist at the ISSSTE Clinic in Nogales Sonora.
“With the support of the Bi-national Health Councils, we will continue to work in collaboration on trans-border issues, providing education, training and improving quality of life for our community members,” said Ms. Velasco, who thanked outgoing Co-Chairs Patty Molina (Nogales Az.) from Mariposa Community Health Center and Dr. Carlos Borquez, (Nogales Son.) from UNEME-Enfermedades Crónicas (Chronic Diseases Prevention Program) for their service. New COBINA board members were also appointed to serve in Nogales, Sonora:
Dr. Laurence Alegría, Epidemiologist from the ISSSTE Clinic. Co-President.
Dr. Salvador Mercado, (Direcror: Salud Municipal, Nogales, Sonora.) Vice-President
Dra. Isabel Sandate Alonso, (Centro de Salud) Secretary
Lydia Patricia Ibarra (UNEME) Treasurer.