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Mexican Secretary of Health visits UNMC

Universal health coverage in Mexico, access to medical care for immigrants and women’s health were issues discussed during a visit between UNMC leaders and the Mexican Secretary of Health on Monday.

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Mexican Secretary of Health Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, M.D., left, receives a book about Omaha from UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., on Monday.
After a formal luncheon, Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos, M.D., spent an hour touring the bio-containment unit at The Nebraska Medical Center and the clinical skills lab in Sorrell Center. He then met with UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., and others in the new College of Public Health building.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. Villalobos, to UNMC and show him how strong and robust this medical center is,” Dr. Maurer said.

Window of health opens

Dr. Villalobos was in Omaha to celebrate the inauguration of the Ventanilla de Salud, which means health window, at the Consulate of Mexico.

The health window is a conduit for Mexican immigrants to find appropriate medical care in the communities where they live. Partial funding is provided by the Mexican government, which also helps provide coverage for immigrants in partnership with participating clinics, such as One World Community Health Centers, Inc., in Omaha. The goal of the Mexican government is to establish a Ventanilla de Salud in all 50 states.

Each year, about 2.5 million people in the United States receive care through such services but research was needed to determine how well the program works, Dr. Villalobos said.

Potential partnership

UNMC College of Public Health Dean, Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., suggested that determining the efficacy of the Ventanilla de Salud in Nebraska is the perfect pilot study for the College of Public Health.

“We would be happy to establish an agreement with this university and the Mexican government to conduct this kind of study,” Dr. Villalobos said. “We need to understand how the health window is impacting the health of the people it serves.”