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 largest US-Mexico leading academic network of researchers and doctoral students generating scientific literature in this field; translating findings to inform decision makers, the media, and service providers; and producing health education materials for immigrants and advocates. Since 2003 PIMSA has financed 116 binational teams and 46 graduate students, distributed to 30 institutions in seven states of the United States and 45 institutions in 16 states in Mexico. Current partners are Mexico’s Secretariat of Health (SSA) through the US-Mexico Border Health Commission, the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); the University of Texas at El Paso, the Univeristy of Arizona, and the UC-Mexico Initiative, Health Working Group.
• 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.