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Maternal and Child Health

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Maternal & Child Health on the U.S.-Mexico Border

Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET 

Overview | Presenter Information | Agenda | Resources | Archive


The U.S.-Mexico border region (the area 62.5 miles north and south of the border) is 2,000 miles long and comprises 12 million inhabitants, including 25 Native American nations and a large Hispanic population. It is a dynamic area with its own unique set of pressing health and social issues, including poverty, uninsurance, unemployment, and inequitable health conditions. Understanding the growing border population and what is contributing to their health disparities is vital to employing solutions. To that end, the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau is pleased to present a DataSpeak program with recent data analysis of the current health status of the MCH population and information on efforts to improve MCH surveillance in the border region.

The program’s first presenter, Jill McDonald, a senior epidemiologist for the U.S.-Mexico Border Region for the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Division of Reproductive Health, will provide a short overview of the border region and federal attention to health issues that are unique to the border region.  Dr. McDonald will present methodological results and health findings from MCH surveillance projects that she is currently involved in to strengthen current MCH data availability along the border and discuss opportunities for improved cross- border data collection.

Our second presenter will be Brian Castrucci from the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Division of Family and Community Health Services, Office of Title V and Family Health. He will discuss infant and child mortality in the border region, as well as current data on breastfeeding and research regarding the effect of hospital policies on breastfeeding initiation rates. Mr. Castrucci will also discuss an epidemiological phenomenon known as the “Mexican paradox,” which influences the health of the maternal and child population in the border region.

A third presenter, Sam Notzon, Director of the International Statistics Program at the National Center for Health Statistics, will provide his presentation via recording. He will provide information from his recent analyses of perinatal data from 44 U.S. counties on or near the U.S.-Mexico border. This includes analyses of differences in fertility rates, risk factors for pregnant women, and birth outcomes between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites in these communities as well as a comparison of the Border data to the rest of the nation. He will also highlight some critical health concerns for children on the Border and present new data on the very high cesarean delivery rates in the region.