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

President Bill Clinton has appointed 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.

Jeffrey Brandon, New Mexico State University associate dean for the College of Health and Social Services. (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan Photo)

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.

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 the four U.S. border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas; and two health professionals from the member states. Mexico will determine the membership of the Mexico section of the Border Health Commission.

Besides Brandon, other health professionals appointed to the commission are Dr. Catherine Torres, a pediatrician at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces; Dr. Laurance N. Nickey, the former president of the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation in El Paso, Texas; Amanda Aguirre of Yuma, Ariz.; Dr. Carlos Rene Gonzalez of Patagonia, Ariz.; Dr. Rosemarie Marshall Johnson of San Diego, Calif.; Blair Sadler of La Jolla, Calif.; and Dr. Paul Villas of Edinburg, Texas.

"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."

NMSU President William Conroy nominated Brandon in March 1998 to New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who forwarded his name to the White House.

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.