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NMSU associate dean selected for U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission

President Bill Clinton has announced his intent to appoint Jeffrey Brandon, New Mexico State University associate dean for the College of Health and Social Services, to the newly created U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission.

The commission was established by the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission Act, authored by U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. The commission's primary task is finding ways to improve the health of people living along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I think this commission is something that many regional groups and governers have been urging for years," Brandon said. "There are so many pressing needs that this will be a way to get some synergy to involve federal agencies, and many public and private partnerships, to address the public health needs along the border."

Membership of the U.S. section of the Border Health Commission includes U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala as chair; the chief health officers of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas; and two health professionals from member states. NMSU President William Conroy nominated Brandon in March 1998 to New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who forwarded his name to the White House. Mexico will determine the membership of the Mexico section of the Border Health Commission.

The president also announced his intent to appoint to the commission Amanda Aguirre of Yuma, Ariz., the executive director of the Western Arizona Area Health Education Center; Carlos Rene Gonzales of Patagonia, Ariz., a rural family physician at the Pentagonia Family Health Center; Rosemarie Marshall Johnson of San Diego, Calif., the vice speaker of the house of the California Medical Association; Laurance N. Nickey of El Paso, Texas, the former president of the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation; and Paul Villas of Edinburg, Texas, the executive director of the Texas-Mexico Border Health Office. The official appointments are expected to come sometime this spring.

The term lengths for border health commissioners are yet to be determined.

At NMSU, Brandon has been an associate dean since 1994 and a health science professor since 1989. He was health science department head from 1989 until July 1998. As department head, he was principal investigator of the Southern Area Health Education Center and the Border Health Education Training Center. He was an original member of the Southern New Mexico Border Health Council. He also has co-edited a book on border health and teaches an interdisciplinary seminar on health issues along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brandon earned three degrees from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He received his Ph.D. in community health education in 1982, his master's degree in rehabilitation administration and services in 1978, and his bachelor's degree in history in 1974.

Dan Trujillo