From Our Team
Talking with kids about difficult topics
Posted on May 2, 2016 by Bianca De León
I recently answered a frantic telephone call from a friend. Let’s call her Sara. She caught her 13 year old son looking at pornography on his iPad. Sara was calling me because she heard me talk about my work and the importance of talking with your kids. Instead of ignoring the situation, or getting mad about it, she wanted some guidance and advice on how to address this uncomfortable situation.
Since 2007, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation has maintained a media campaign with a simple message: talk with your kids. Not to your kids, or at your kids, but with your kids. It’s part of the…
Healthy Eating Active Living - HEAL U offers information for health professionals
Posted on April 11, 2016 by Leah Whigham
Despite the many years of education received by physicians, nurses, and other health care providers, very few receive adequate training related to obesity, nutrition, and physical activity. And yet, the majority of our population – about 2/3 of people – are overweight or obese. Obesity is a complex disease that requires a complex approach in order to address it and the many other chronic diseases that are associated with obesity. The Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living (IHL) with support from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation is hosting HEAL U on Saturday, April 23rd…
Stay connected with individuals to avoid risk of isolation
Posted on March 7, 2016 by Enrique Mata
As warm weather and more daylight approach our calendars quickly fill free time with outdoor work or activities for the kids. As outdoor activities gain traction remember to stay connected to friends and loved ones who may not be as agile or are at risk for isolation.
The importance of maintaining relationships that provide support, friendship, love, and hope cannot be emphasized enough. Being isolated from these types of support is a significant contributor to poor mental health and can lead to mental illness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration…
Do I or will I have diabetes?
Posted on February 1, 2016 by Dr. Michael Kelly
I’ve seen it in restaurants, homes, sporting events, meetings, in cars, and other places. People who keep going back for another glass of water or juice, looking tired all the time or taking naps, complaining of blurry vision when driving, and seemingly always hungry. These are all symptoms of diabetes and should not be ignored.
Many people have either diabetes or prediabetes. While the exact number is not known, perhaps fifteen percent or more of adults have diabetes and more than one-third of the U.S. adult population is at risk for prediabetes. Prediabetes, like diabetes, is…
Ring in A Smoke Free New Year
Posted on January 4, 2016 by Jana Renner
Another year has come and gone, and it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Many of us will set a health goal for 2016. Some of us will vow to exercise more or eat less. If you smoke, you may set a goal to quit smoking. If so, congratulations! The decision to quit is a significant first step in improving your health.
Here are some facts that might help further motivate you to quit or assist a loved one in quitting. Quitting smoking may be the best way to significantly increase the life expectancy of smokers. In fact, smokers who quit by the age of 40 can increase their life expectancy…
Add Some Festive Vegetables and Fruits to Your Holiday Meals
Posted on December 7, 2015 by Leah Whigham
The holiday season is upon us, and many of us have a hard time maintaining healthy eating habits during this time of year. One approach is to focus on including more vegetables and fruits.
Adequate intake of vegetables and fruits is important for several reasons:
1) Many vegetables and fruits are good sources of nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of such as folate, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.
2) Eating vegetables and fruits is associated with decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart attacks and stroke) and some types of…
Learn to monitor kid's social media activity
Posted on November 9, 2015 by Bianca De León
I remember as a teenager, my mother complained that I spent all day with my friends at school and the minute I got home, I immediately hopped on the telephone with them. She would often question, “What else is there to talk about when you’ve spent all day with them?” Of course for us, there was plenty to discuss. My friends and I would party line other friends and talk about nothing in particular and everything that was happening in our lives. It was a way for my friends and me to be connected even when we weren’t in the same room.
For most teens, peers are everything. Their opinion…
Practicing Acts of Random Kindness Brings Better Well-being to All
Posted on October 5, 2015 by Enrique Mata
Working in the health promotion and healthcare arenas, I’ve witnessed people perform some wonderful life changing, selfless acts. Nothing inspires me more than to see folks connecting with each other to build a better community. Altruism is defined as unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others, which is an important element for emotional well-being and quality of life. In fact, research shows that acts of kindness, generosity and compassion, can boost happiness in both the recipient and the person doing the good deed.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a…
Improving health for the past 20 years
Posted on September 7, 2015 by Jon Law
You may have noticed the mysterious blue “20” lighting the El Paso skyline on the Wells Fargo building at night. I’ll let you in on the secret – the “20” is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.
Have you heard of the Health Foundation? Do you remember Walk El Paso? Have you seen the commercials with former smokers, sitting on a blue coach, with dates above their heads? How about the mom in her car practicing what she’s going to say to her daughter about the new boyfriend? These are some of our projects.
The mission of the Paso del Norte…
School Health: We All Have a Role to Play
Posted on August 10, 2015 by Dr. Michael Kelly
From my days as an elementary school student, I recall the teacher’s counsel to eat a nutritious breakfast before a big test. Therefore, I can testify that at least as far back as the 1970s some teachers knew that nutrition was important for academic performance. Even today, my children are encouraged to eat a well-balanced breakfast before standardized tests. Likewise, conventional wisdom holds that kids of all ages need to burn-off energy during the school day and not simply sit still in their desk. I think teachers and parents alike can list many benefits of integrating nutritious meals…