UTEP named Backbone Organization for mental health priority area

November 13, 2017

Paso del Norte Health Foundation awarded the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) – Office of Research & Sponsored Projects a grant of $1.1 million over two years to serve in the role of Backbone Organization (BBO) for the Health Foundation’s Mental Health and Emotional Well-being Priority Area. The BBO will provide leadership and expertise to catalyze efforts in the Paso del Norte region.

“The Health Foundation’s ‘Backbone Organization’ grant to UTEP will leverage the UTEP team’s extensive technical expertise and professional networks to build upon existing community partnerships and support a collaborative approach to transforming behavioral health systems in the region,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO, Paso del Norte Health Foundation. “With UTEP’s leadership and support, we will continue the collaborative work necessary to decrease the negative bias associated with mental illness; take advantage of new funding sources made possible by the Texas legislature this past session; and achieve the goals that local leaders have developed to improve access to quality mental and behavioral health services in El Paso, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez.”

Areas of focus:

  • Support and increase regional coordination.
  • Identify and support effective strategies for stigma reduction and mental health literacy.
  • Support and increase workforce development in mental health.
  • Develop a communications and public relations infrastructure for mental health and emotional well-being in the region.
  • Achieve sustainability for gains in regional mental health and emotional well-being.

For more information, contact Enrique Mata, Senior Program Officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation at or 951-218-2617.

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