Improving health through collaboration and data technology

June 13, 2024

Data is more than numbers on a chart. By using data, healthcare professionals and advocates can improve the health of their patients and our community.

PHIX is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by El Paso health leaders to improve health through collaboration and data technology. Based in El Paso, PHIX serves healthcare providers and patients in west Texas and southern New Mexico.

Specifically, PHIX facilitates data sharing between hospitals, emergency departments, clinics, public health organizations, laboratories, imaging centers, other health providers, and social service organizations. It was integral to the COVID-19 response in El Paso and continues to develop new and innovative services with the support of its partners.

Additionally, PHIX leads key public health initiatives like the Diabetes Data Workgroup as part of the Diabetes Alliance. The workgroup’s goal is to use data to support the prevention and management of diabetes and help medical professionals connect patients with diabetes education, including resources that promote healthy eating.

The data provides key insights into disease prevalence and other risks. “In El Paso, if you have diabetes, you’re two and a half times more likely to get heart disease,” said Emily Hartmann, PHIX Executive Director. “PHIX is an important resource and tool that providers can use to help educate patients in even more meaningful ways.”

Data can be instrumental in driving grant funding and community investments for targeted programs, such as diabetes outreach. It can also allow healthcare professionals and advocates to assess trends and improvements in specific areas, allowing informed decisions on resource allocation and promoting equitable healthcare outcomes.

“PHIX has been a valuable resource for healthcare and population health,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. “It is a tool that medical providers can use to understand a patient’s medical history and records, avoid duplication of services, and better treat the patient. It also has capabilities to help the community respond more effectively in times of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we can improve public health more broadly by understanding data and trends.”

When looking at diabetes data in the PdN region, PHIX focuses on multiple areas of diabetes.

“We really focused on pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes in 2023, which can be related to diet and nutrition. And then this year, we’re analyzing gestational diabetes, so diabetes during pregnancy, and type one diabetes,” Hartmann said.

PHIX is able to evaluate the data for specific zip codes and to evaluate demographic factors, such as age, that are most affected by diabetes. This can help organizations identify groups with the greatest disease risk to support patient education, promotora outreach, and other community programs.

“We are a predominantly Hispanic community, which means that our local analyses predominantly reflect Hispanic needs, and that is not typically the case nationally. So being able to have local data analysis to understand local nuances to health brings a lot of power back to our community, and being able to help communicate that information is key, Hartmann said. “The Health Foundation has provided leadership and resources to help us grow and expand our capabilities. ” PHIX was founded by healthcare leaders in El Paso, including the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, University Medical Center of El Paso, El Paso Children’s Hospital, The Hospitals of Providence, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, El Paso Health, City of El Paso Department of Public Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Emergence Health Network, and the El Paso County Medical Society. Its network has expanded to include the U.S. Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, Federally Qualified Healthcare Clinics (FQHCs), as well as local physicians, physician practices, healthcare insurers, and laboratories.

To learn more about PHIX, visit and visit to learn more about the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.

PDNHF Priority Area: Health Leadership

To support leadership development for executives, boards of directors, and nonprofit organizations. Leverage resources through partnerships, invest in strategic initiatives and catalytic projects, and respond to immediate needs for the benefit of the region’s health.

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