President Bush today nominated representatives from each of the four states that share a border with Mexico to serve as members of the United
States-Mexico Border Health Commission.

The bi-national commission develops and coordinates actions to improve the health and quality of life along the United States-Mexico Border. HHS
Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Mexican Secretary of Health Julio Frenk serve as the Commission’s Co-Chairmen.

“Despite recent investments, many families living along both sides of the border not only lack health insurance, but also live in communities without
running water and electricity,” Secretary Thompson said. “These new commission members will help build on the progress we’ve made in recent
years to improve the health of all who live along our border.”

The new commission members are:

· Emma Torres, a Spanish-language services coordinator for the Yuma County Health Department in Yuma, Ariz.

· Dr. Lawrence Kline, director of the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center and senior consultant to the Division of Chest and Critical Care in the Scripps
Clinic Medical Group in La Jolla, Calif.

· Tommy G. Lindsay, president of Mimbres Surgical Consultants in Deming, N.M.

· Dr. José Manuel de la Rosa, regional dean at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine in El Paso, Texas.

The border region is characterized by high poverty, poor environmental conditions and significant health challenges in both the United States and
Mexico. Many live in unincorporated communities without running water, sewers, storm drainage and electricity. People living in the region experience greater rates of communicable illnesses, such as tuberculosis and vaccine preventable illnesses, than other groups of people in the United
States. Frequent movement between the two countries and within the U.S. often compromises residents’ continuity of health care.

HHS, through its Health Resources and Services Administration, spends more than $75 million each year to improve health care along the border. These resources provide residents with primary health care, maternal and child health care, HIV/AIDS care and support, and also underwrite programs to train and place health professionals in the region.

A major part of these efforts include support for 30 health centers in the border area: 11 in Texas, six in Arizona, 10 in California and three in New
Mexico. Health centers deliver preventive and primary care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. About 40 percent of patients treated at health centers have no insurance coverage, and others have inadequate coverage.

Through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health and Emergency Preparedness, HHS has recently invested $5.5 million through the
commission to improve laboratory capacity, surveillance, and training on the Mexican side of the border.

The commission has 26 members, including Secretary Thompson and Secretary Frenk, the chief health officers of the four U.S. and six Mexican Border States, and prominent community border health professionals from the two nations.

More information about the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission is available at