Healthy Start Laredo Contributes to Binational Health Conference

LAREDO, Texas – BCFS Health and Human Services’ Healthy Start Laredo presented its findings and analysis about prenatal health care at the sixth annual U.S.-Mexico Regional Binational Health Conference at the UT Health RGV campus. The conference gathers health experts from various medical fields to present research, information, and outcomes relevant to community health along the U.S.-Mexico border. BCFS Health and Human Services-Laredo Associate Executive Director Araceli Flores addressed the conference contingent about HSL’s critical work with expectant mothers in South Texas.

Flores’s presentation contemplated the barriers to accessing prenatal care among Latina women in the region, and discussed the results from prenatal care initiation studies performed by the Healthy Start Border Alliance, a collaboration of five Healthy Start projects along the U.S.-Mexico Border seeking measurable positive influence on women’s health and family resilience in underserved border communities.
Photo: Araceli Award Presentation

“The goal of the conference was to inform stakeholders from both sides of the border on binational perspectives in public health with respect to the demographics in the Texas-Mexico border region,” said HSL Outreach Coordinator Monica Calderon, who attended the conference. “We’ve learned that a lot of healthcare professionals on both sides of the border encounter many of the same issues on the way to their goal of administering health care within our respective communities.

“This conference fosters ongoing bi-national collaboration that, ultimately, benefits public health along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Flores contributed HSL’s research and outcomes regarding prenatal health while other experts at the conference offered their own findings with regard to public health topics like the Zika virus, cancer prevention, mental health and youth mental health, first aid, and human trafficking.

Since 2001, HSL has worked to decrease disparities in access to maternal and child healthcare by providing community-based medical care and case management services to residents living in unincorporated colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border. Due in large part to HSL’s efforts, more women in Webb County are receiving critical prenatal care than ever before.

Healthy Start is a nationally-recognized program of BCFS Health and Human Services that provides medical care and case management for women who are pregnant or raising a child under the age of two for the purposes of reducing infant mortality, preventing child abuse, and assisting families in meeting basic health needs (nutrition, housing and psychosocial support).

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