View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Antigua, Guatemala)
For Immediate Release                                     March 11, 1999
                      TO THE U.S. SECTION OF THE 

The President today announced his intent to appoint Amanda Aguirre, Jeffrey Brandon, Carlos Rene Gonzales, Rosemarie Marshall Johnson, Laurance N. Nickey, and Paul Villas as Members of the U.S. Section of the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission.

Ms. Amanda Aguirre, of Yuma, Arizona, is the Executive Director of the Western Arizona Area Health Education Center and the Director of College Services for South Yuma County at Arizona Western College. She has been active for more than fifteen years in addressing U.S.-Mexico Border health care issues and has coordinated and participated in several binational conferences. Her early professional training included a clinical internship at the Center for Developmental Disabilities, Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Aguirre received her B.S. in chemistry from Universidad de Sonora, Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, and her M.A. in human nutrition from California State University-Los Angeles.

Dr. Jeffrey Brandon, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, is the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State University. Previously, he was Department Head for Health Science at the College and served on the faculty of the University of New Orleans-Lakefront. Dr. Brandon is highly involved in professional associations, university committees, and local public service. Dr. Brandon received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Dr. Carlos Rene Gonzales, of Patagonia, Arizona, is a rural family physician at the Patagonia Family Health Center and a clinical lecturer in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona-Tucson College of Medicine. Dr. Gonzalez has served as a consultant and community medical director in various capacities in addition to continuing his work as a hands-on primary care provider. In 1997, he was named Arizona Family Physician of the Year. Dr. Gonzales received his B.A. from Carleton College and his M.D. from the University of Arizona-Tuscon.

Dr. Rosemarie Marshall Johnson, of San Diego, California, is the Vice Speaker of the House of the California Medical Association and an Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at the School of Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. She has taught at Georgetown University, Walter Reed Army Hospital, Bethesda Naval Hospital, and the University of California. She has also held appointments at several California hospitals and served in numerous professional organizations, including as President of the San Diego County Medical Society and as of the California Society of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Johnson received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her M.D. from Georgetown University.

Dr. Laurance N. Nickey, of El Paso, Texas, is the former President of the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation. He is the former Director of the El Paso City/County Health and Environmental District. Dr. Nickey was in private pediatric practice from 1960 to 1983. He was Vice Chairman of the Texas Board of Health for five years and was local campaign chairman for the March of Dimes. Dr. Nickey is a past president of several organizations including the Southwest Medical Association, the Texas Pediatric Society, and the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association. He received the Nathan David Award for the American Medical Association presented in Washington, D.C. in 1995 for outstanding career service along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Dr. Nickey received his M.D. from Baylor University, College of Medicine.

Dr. Paul Villas, of Edinburg, Texas, is the Executive Director of the Texas-Mexico Border Health Office out of the University of Texas System. He is also an Associate Professor of Health and Kinesiology at the University of Texas at Texas-Pan American. He has taught at several universities, is involved in numerous professional associations, and is the author of dozens of professional publications. Dr. Villas received his B.A. from the College of Santa Fe, his M.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi, and his D.Ed. from the University of Tennessee.

The Commission was established by the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission Act (Public Law 103-400, which was authored by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)), and is charged with finding ways to improve the health status of Americans living along the border.