Researchers supported by the International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) met with stakeholder groups in El Centro, California to discuss collaborative opportunities for improving the effectiveness of heat-health messaging to vulnerable populations in two pairs of economically interdependent border cities: Calexico-Mexicali and San Diego-Tijuana. The researchers included Kristin VanderMolen, Benjamin Hatchett, Erick Bandala, and Tamara Wall from the Desert Research Institute. Meeting attendees included public health and social services professionals from Imperial County Public Health (southern California) and the Baja California State Government’s ISESALUD, State Public Health Laboratory, and National System for Integral Family Development. Medical professionals from Mexicali General Hospital, researchers from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and the Secretary of Environmental Protection for the State of Baja California also attended. Methodologies and insights from this effort could potentially be extended to other areas.
Next steps include working with these groups to identify and conduct outreach to vulnerable populations across the sites of study to generate geographically targeted and socio-culturally informed recommendations for improved messaging. This work is funded by CPO’s IRAP and leverages other activities under the California-Nevada Applications Program (a CPO RISA team). It also involves collaboration with National Weather Service offices in San Diego and Phoenix.