Who We Serve

Globally Mobile Populations

Globally mobile people may travel across a single country or from country to country. This movement can increase their risk of exposure to uncommon infectious diseases and can spread those diseases to different parts of the world.

Luggage Icon
Of the 410 million international travelers entering the United States, about 190 million crossed the land border between the United States and Mexico in 2019.1
Airplane icon
There are 20 port health stations located at international airports or land border crossings.
Passport Icon
DGMH health advisory messages located at U.S. international airports reach 297,000 arriving international travelers every day.

DGMH monitors emerging health threats around the world and the ways in which these threats affect mobile populations and their communities, including

Backpacker standing in front of river in jungle

Binational Populations

DGMH works with populations who travel, live, and work around the United States and Mexico border because of the health conditions and risks that the two countries share. The movement of people and products between the US and Mexico creates a binational environment for preventing and controlling diseases spread through food and water, from insects or animals, and between people.

Mexico is the top destinationExternal for US residents traveling internationally (39% of all foreign travel), and Mexican residents visiting the United States represent almost 25% of all international visitors.

DGMH is focused on binational public health issues, such as

  • Infectious diseases affecting both countries, including outbreaks among people who have traveled between the United States and Mexico
  • Diseases associated with importing and distributing products within North America
  • Identification and referral of people with infectious conditions who are traveling back and forth between the United States and Mexico

Immigrants, Refugees, and Migrants

DGMH assesses the health of people coming to live and work in the United States while also protecting the health of communities they join. DGMH provides the technical instructions to physicians who conduct required medical screenings for immigrants, refugees, and migrants before they are admitted to the United States. During these required medical exams, individuals receive vaccinations as well as treatment needed to ensure that certain health conditions are treated before their arrival.

DGMH works to improve the health of immigrants, US-bound refugees, and migrants through programs that

  • Track disease outbreaks to learn about diseases of concerns in immigrants and refugees. For example, with tuberculosis and vaccine-preventable diseases, figure out how and where they spread and how to stop them from spreading
  • Develop guidelines to respond to disease outbreaks and other health events affecting US-bound immigrants and refugees
  • Build capacity for healthcare partners to diagnose and treat diseases and strengthen international partnerships that also build this capacity
  • Develop guidelines for clinicians who care for immigrants and refugees after they arrive in the United States

Today, around the world, DGMH partners with

  • >600 physicians performing required immigration medical examinations outside the United States
  • 5,000 physicians performing required immigration medical examinations in the United States

Travelers and Expats

Every year, more and more Americans travel internationally – to vacation, do business, study, volunteer, live abroad, and visit friends and family. DGMH encourages travelers to be proactive about their health, prepared, and protected no matter where they go. When traveling to new places, people may encounter unfamiliar disease risks. To prevent illness, DGMH provides guidance for travelers and clinicians who specialize in travel medicine. Helpful resources include health information tailored to specific destinations, recommended vaccines and medicines, and considerations for special populations.

  • DGMH health advisory messages at US international airports can reach nearly 300,000 arriving international travelers every day.
  • The United States has 20 port health stations that protect public health at major US international airports, land borders, and seaports.
  • 300 million travelers arrive in the United States through more than 320 ports of entry [PDF – 2 pages] every year.

1U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Border Crossing Entry Data, Border Crossing Entry Data | Open Data | Socrata (bts.gov)