From Our Team
I recall, years ago, participating in a teambuilding workshop. We played an activity, with which you may be familiar. Each of us took a single stick and easily broke it; then we bundled the sticks and could not break them. The moral was something like, “we are stronger together than we are apart.”
Like the bundling of sticks, regional agencies are binding together for stronger health and human services. That’s good news for anyone who needs to visit a doctor, or who is trying to eat better, exercise more, quit smoking, or teach a child about healthy relationships. The following are a few examples of this cooperation.
The Paso del Norte Health Information Exchange is a collaboration of physicians, hospitals, health departments, clinics, and others, establishing a secure electronic system that allows doctor’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical providers to access medical records across the community. This will enable an emergency room to access medical records quickly; reduce the need for some duplicate medical tests; and improve the information that clinicians have when they make treatment decisions. See www.pdnhie.org for more information.
Funded by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, leaders from El Paso Mental Health and Mental Retardation, El Paso ISD human resources, The City of El Paso Department of Public Health, and UTEP College of Health Sciences recently joined together to establish a strategy for retaining new physician graduates from Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
The Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) is a group of over fifty hospital CEOs, university faculty, public officials, and nonprofit leaders working collaboratively to establish a regional strategic plan for healthy living. The plan, which includes clear strategies for change, is scheduled to be released by April 2012.
The Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) coalition advocated for the City of El Paso Obesity Prevention Resolution and was instrumental in hosting a regional Child Health Summit. This coalition shares information and opportunities among members.
A Smoke Free Paso del Norte Network, established by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in 1999 with a handful of members, has grown to a collaborative of over 40 agencies. Instrumental in advocating for the El Paso and Socorro, TX clean indoor air ordinances, the network still promotes tobacco control policies. Further, this dedicated group coordinates smoking cessation services, research activity, and tobacco education for kids.
The El Paso Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition is a collaborative composed of regional school districts, nonprofits, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, the Texas Department of State Health Services, and others. This partnership is establishing a legislative agenda, for both regional government and school districts, to promote policy supportive of healthy relationships.
We all can be proud that many El Paso health and human service agencies are cooperating for improved efficiency and effectiveness. If you know of a collaborative effort in the greater El Paso region working to improve health, tell us about it. Add your comments below.
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