The Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA) a program of the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health (UCB-SPH) was established in 2001. HIA draws upon the multidisciplinary scholarship and the moral calling of UC Berkeley faculty and students to produce new knowledge through action-oriented research; teaching and mentoring; and service and community engagement programs benefitting the migrant population of Latino origin in the United States.
HIA’s programs involve governments, academia, the private sector, and community-based organizations. HIA is considered one of the world’s leading programs on health and migration, instigating the largest public health social movement in the Americas with the endorsement of over 10,000 agencies and 20,000 volunteers.
Action-oriented research areas. Scientific-based activities to inform and influence policy changes and to produce new knowledge are currently operated by HIA through:
• The Migration and Health Research Program (PIMSA), The Research Program on Migration and Health (PIMSA for its Spanish acronym), is a transnational network of leading academic researchers and institutions throughout the United States and Mexico. The goal of PIMSA is to enhance understanding of migration and health-related issues facing migrant Mexican-origin workers and their families. This evidence-based information is fundamental to educate and to influence key decision-makers to create policies that will improve the health and quality of life for immigrants in the U.S. and in Mexico. PIMSA began 15 years ago as a collaborative effort with the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT, for its Spanish acronym), along with other UC programs. Since then, several additional universities and institutions of both countries have joined the consortium, which is administered by the Health Initiative of the Americas (HIA), UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
• The Migration and Health Research Center (MAHRC), a collaborative program between UC Berkeley and UC Davis that conducts research and disseminates findings through social media and symposiums.
• Resource Development Center, the production of culturally sensitive bilingual resources for health educators, students, faculty, health providers, and the general public is guided from the premises that public health research should produce knowledge to forge improvements in the health of mobile populations.
• Academic coordination of the Health Working Group of the UC-Mexico Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to create a sustained and strategic partnership between the University of California and Mexican institutions that addresses common issues and educates our next generation of leaders.