Building Capacity in HIA on the U.S.-Mexico Border Through Practice, Training, and Collaborative Partnerships

At a Glance:

Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico, New Mexico

Date: 2016

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Lifelong Learning, Meaningful Work and Wealth, Reliable Transportation, Thriving Natural World

Determinants of Health: nutrition, clean air, transit system, traffic safety, active transportation, employment, education, meaningful work and wealth, food access, clean water, physical activity, Safe and affordable public transit

Affected Population: N/A

Research Methods: Literature review, Focus Groups, Qualitative research, Quantitative research

Community Types: rural

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The University of Texas, El Paso conducted an HIA focused on public transportation. The HIA solicited community input regarding transportation needs within Doña Ana County, New Mexico, between Las Cruces and rural towns in southern areas of the state. The final report recommended designing public transportation routes to increase residents’ access to health-promoting and educational resources, such as health care providers and community college campuses. In addition, the HIA recommended creating a communications and marketing plan for the public transportation system. Public transportation has been linked to improved health, giving communities more access to health care, opportunities for physical activity, and decreased stress.


Results from the HIA informed the design of the bus routes so they would better meet residents’ needs and ability to access health-promoting and educational resources, job opportunities, and other amenities. The transportation system will be supported by a combination of state and local funds. As of November 2016, the state had already provided funding to purchase the buses.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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