Rio Grande Valley Initiative

RGV Initiative Header

Texas A&M Health Science Center Advancing in South Texas !

The purpose of the Rio Grande Valley Biosecurity and Import Safety Initiative is to address a major “biosecurity hot spot” situated along the Texas-Mexico Border.  The Rio Grande Valley is among the most medically underserved areas in Texas and is located in a geographic region with substantial transient populations.  There are gaps in public health services such as disease tracking, training, and laboratory testing.   As a result of this initiative, the Rio Grande Valley region will acquire expanded laboratory detection capacities and training to better respond to environmental threats at the border.

This program was initiated by the School of Public Health in McAllen on Feb 1, 2010 under the direction of Dr. Scott Lillibridge.  It is closely linked to House Bill 1831 which promotes the development of a complementary “Public Health Extension” service that will be implemented by the Texas A&M National Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness and Response (NCEMPR) in South Texas.  The Biosecurity and Import Safety Initiative is unique in that it is designed to provide the region with the “tools and training” that is critical for local response.

Program Highlights

South Texas Biosecurity Laboratory  (Tools)

  • Develop the Texas A&M Biosecurity Laboratory in McAllen
  • Enhanced environmental detection of threats at the border

Biosecurity Training and Education (Training)

  • Focus on critical health care providers and environmental health  
  • Expanded community outreach for public health preparedness 

For more information please contact Dr. Scott Lillibridge at the Texas A&M School of Public Health at: or 956-668-6300.