Dr. Arturo Rodriguez, Director of Public Health and Wellness for the City of Brownsville, has been designated to Chair the Taskforce of Border Health Officials for the State of Texas. His tenure will be from September 1, 2023, through August 31, 2025.
“My role will include presiding over the meetings in Austin during this period. I look forward to working hard to improve the health and well-being of our border residents in my expanded role,” Dr. Rodriguez said.
The Task Force is composed of local health department directors from border counties and border cities with a sister city in Mexico, as well as additional members appointed by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), including three DSHS Public Health Region Medical Directors to represent areas without local health departments. Additionally, two ex-officio, nonvoting legislative members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
The primary mission of the Task Force is to identify and raise awareness of binational health issues that affect border communities and to work towards enhancing public health in those areas. It plays a critical role in advising the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on policy priorities addressing major health issues in the border region.
The Task Force's duties involve making recommendations to the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services for both short-term and long-term border health improvement plans.
Dr. Rodriguez's leadership and the collaboration among the Task Force members will be crucial in working towards better health and well-being for the residents of the border region in Texas and their neighboring communities in Mexico. The Task Force's efforts are to raise public awareness of health issues in the region and fostering improvements in healthcare and public health services for those living in the border areas.