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 to reduce the health disparities of the less advantaged Latino population 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. Its Advisory Board is composed of 20 distinguished leaders.
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 2013 over 100 grants have supported multidisciplinary binational teams. The main partners are Mexico’s Secretariat of Health (SSA), National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); the University of Texas at El Paso and the Univeristy of Arizona. The program is co-administered by the California Program on Access to Care and HIA from UCB School of Public Health.
• The Center of Expertise on Migration and Health (COEMH) is one of the three UC Global Health Institute’s centers producing knowledge to forge sustainable improvements in the health of migrant and refugee populations (http://www.ucghi. universityofcalifornia.edu/coes/migration-and-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 (http://mahrc.ucdavis.edu/).
• 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.
• Binational Policy Forum on Migration and Global Health, an annual event in collaboration with SSA, the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (SRE), and the Unit of Migration Policy of the Mexican Secretariat of the Interior (SEGOB). HIA coordinates this forum with key decision makers, legislators, academics, and students, to link evidenced-based research with policy recommendations.