Paso del Norte Health Foundation
Celebrating 25 Years
Promoting Health and Preventing Disease
in the Paso del Norte Region
“A just return to the community that has given us our livelihood will be an investment in its health and that of generations to come.” – Sam D. Young
These words of Sam D. Young ring as true today as they did when first spoken in 1947 when, as president of El Paso National Bank and community leader, he worked on the capital campaign to build the new Providence Memorial Hospital.
Providence Memorial Hospital & A Legacy of Healthcare
A hallmark of healthcare since 1902, Providence Hospital was established by Dr. Michael P. Schuster and a group of doctors as the city’s first non-denominational hospital. Dr. Schuster was a Vienna-born physician who came to El Paso in 1892 with his family to establish and operate a clinic for employees of the American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO). He and his wife, Eugenia, bought the hospital in 1906 from its original founders. The family ran the hospital until 1945, when the State of Texas granted a corporate charter to establish Providence Memorial Hospital and take advantage of changes in health care funding.
The community board of the new Providence Memorial Hospital pursued a new and expanded home for the hospital at this time, funded by a successful capital campaign, which raised over $1.8 million from the community and $1.6 million in federal funds. The new hospital opened in January 1952, and continued to expand and grow through the 1990s, when changes in health care law once again required consideration of a new corporate structure for the beloved hospital.
In 1995, Providence Memorial Hospital was sold to Tenet Healthcare Corporation, establishing the Paso del Norte Health Foundation with the proceeds from the sale. The hospital, now part of The Hospitals of Providence system, continues to deliver high quality healthcare to the residents of our region.
The remarkable history of Providence Memorial Hospital was chronicled by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in 2015 as part of the Health Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration.
The birth of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation was established on September 29, 1995 from the sale of Providence Memorial Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The Health Foundation was seeded with an initial $130 million from the proceeds of the sale.
During its first year of operation, the Health Foundation worked to identify the health needs of the region that included El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and southern New Mexico.
In September 1996, the board adopted a three-year strategic plan establishing its mission to “effect long-term improvements in the health status of the population in the Paso del Norte region through education and prevention” and vision to “ensure that the people of the binational, tri-state region have the knowledge, resources, support and environment to live healthy, happy and productive lives.” The board also determined that it would invest its resources for long-term growth granting 5% of assets a year to support its grantmaking portfolio to improve health.
Paso del Norte Health Foundation
1995 Founding Board of Directors
Robert H. Hoy, Jr. Chairman
Victor Diaz, M.D.
George DiDonna, M.D.
Dionicio (Don) flores
Jacob Heydemann, M.D.
W.L. (Woody) Hunt
Olga (Cookie) Mapula
Joseph L. Motes, M.D.
Margarita (Margie) Velez
W. Burney Warren
Board Chairs, 1995-2020
1996-1997: Woody Hunt
1997-1998: Edmundo G. Archuleta
1998-1999: Jesse Alvarez
1999-2000: Jack Heydemann, M.D.
2000-2001: Don Flores
2001-2002: Robert E. Skov
2002-2003: Margarita Velez
2003-2004: Victor A. Diaz, M.D.
2004-2005: Jackson Curlin
2005-2006: Dwayne Aboud, M.D.
2006-2008: David Osborn
2008-2009: Jack Chapman
2009-2010: Bert Mijares
2010-2011: Cindy Lyons
2011-2012: Susana Navarro
2012-2013: Sandra Almanzan
2013-2014: Allan Goldfarb
2014-2015: Robert E. Ash
2015-2016: Carolyn Mora
2016-2017: Jose Prieto, Jr., M.D.
2017-2019: Sharon Butterworth
2020: Ruben Guerra
25 Years of Promoting Health and Preventing Disease in the Paso del Norte Region
The first fourteen years of the Health Foundation’s life were focused on health initiatives. These highly focused initiatives were designed by the Health Foundation and implemented in collaboration with key community partners.
Click on a year to view a detailed description of initiatives founded that year.
Healthy Paso del Norte/Healthy Communities
Healthy Paso del Norte/Healthy Communities - a three-year, $2.5 million initiative that was created to work with nine community health councils across the region to create a vision for a healthier community, set achievable goals and implement health and wellness programs.
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH), When Water Works for Health, Clinic HELP (Health Education and Lifestyle Promotion)
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) – a seven-year, $6 million initiative that worked in partnership with more than 100 public, private and parochial schools to promote healthy eating and increase exercise among more than 80,000 elementary school children and families through school-based programs. Over time, results showed moderate to vigorous physical activity had increased from 30% to 53% in third, fourth and fifth grade students and reductions in obesity in fourth and fifth graders. El Paso was one of the first communities to implement CATCH. Because of its success, it was adopted by the State of Texas as a model school-based health program.
When Water Works for Health - a two-year, $1.7 million initiative, administered by the Center for Environmental Resources Management at the University of Texas at El Paso in collaboration with several partnering organizations that focused on the ongoing problems of drinking water and sanitation in the region through school-based education and community outreach.
Clinic HELP (Health Education and Lifestyle Promotion) – a four-year, $3 million initiative that worked with non-governmental indigent health clinics to support high-quality health education and lifestyle programs with a focus on behavior changes like diet, exercise, stress management and tobacco use.
Walk El Paso, A Smoke Free Paso del Norte, County. It Takes Two Pregnancy Prevention, Action for Youth, Center for Border Health Research, The Prevention Network
Walk El Paso – a five-year, $2.5 million initiative designated to inspire and mobilize the sedentary population with educational materials, walking groups, events and a media campaign that promoted the “Walk El Paso Walk, 20 minutes a day, three times a week” jingle as the principal message to increase physical activity. The success led to Walk Doña Ana, Walk Otero and Camino Juárez.
A Smoke Free Paso del Norte – an initial four-year, $3.3 million collaborative initiative designed to reduce smoking, the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More than 20 years later, Smoke Free continues to address tobacco use among youth, pregnant women, people living with small children and those with limited financial resources with emphasis on reductions in vaping, including vaping THC. In 2001, the City of El Paso adopted the Clean Air Ordinance, which prohibited indoor smoking. At the time, this ordinance was the first in Texas, and one of the most comprehensive in the nation. Socorro, Texas pass a similar ordinance in 2006. The ordinance was later expanded to include public parks and vaping. The Health Foundation ran tobacco control media campaigns and started 915-534-QUIT, a local smoking cessation hotline that continues today. Smoking rates have decreased from 24% to 12% in El Paso County.
It Takes Two Pregnancy Prevention – a three-year, $1 million initiative that was developed by a cross-section of community organizations and led by the YWCA El Paso del Norte region to implement pregnancy prevention education in schools in El Paso County.
Action for Youth – a six-year, $12 million initiative developed to prevent high-risk behaviors among youth ages 12-18 years of age, such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use, and promote the development of healthy youth. More than 200 schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses and churches worked with youth and parents in 11 selected communities.
Center for Border Health Research – a five-year, $9 million initiative designed to ensure a well-coordinated regional research agenda to provide insight into and address better health outcomes for the Hispanic population. The Prevention Network – a three-year, $500,000 initiative that partnered with The Cancer Consortium of El Paso to coordinate The Network in 56 area health care facilities. The Network offered cancer screening and educational programs to agencies, schools, health fairs, and work sites throughout the region.
Begin at Birth!, Ageless Health, Paso del Norte Mapping for Public Access (PDN MaPA), Border Diabetes, Walk Doña Ana and Walk Otero
Begin at Birth! – a five-year, $6.9 million initiative that was created to improve the overall health, safety and well-being of children 0-3 years-of-age, through high childcare standards, caregiver education and fatherhood engagement. Newborn calendars with health tips were provided to all hospitals in the region to distribute to new parents.
Ageless Health – a four-year, $4.5 million initiative that was developed to expand volunteer-based projects to support the promotion of independent, healthy living and prevention of isolation for persons 60 years-of-age and older in the region.
Paso del Norte Mapping for Public Access (PDN MaPA) – a one-year, $1.6 million initiative that promoted the development and use of an electronic mapping technology (Geographical Information System) to share census data and health statistics.
Border Diabetes – a five-year, $3.5 million initiative that worked with the El Paso Diabetes Association to increase the awareness of diabetes risk factors and provide prevention education to reduce the impact of diabetes in the region.
Walk Doña Ana and Walk Otero – a three-year, $1.4 million initiative inspired by Walk El Paso to mobilize the sedentary population of Doña Ana and Otero counties to begin walking programs.
Qué Sabrosa Vida, HOT Projects, Health Career Opportunity Programs – HCOP
Qué Sabrosa Vida - a five-year, $3 million initiative designed to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity, while supporting the rich tradition and cultural aspects of the regional diet.
HOT Projects – a five-year, $2.3 million initiative that provided financial assistance to regional universities for the purpose of helping students complete research projects focused on promoting good health.
Health Career Opportunity Programs – HCOP – a four-year, $1.1 million initiative that worked with Southern Area Health Education Center to coordinate school-linked Health Career Awareness programs to increase the number of local students applying to, entering, and completing degrees in the helping professions.
Herbal Safety, Healthy Homes and Handwashing
Herbal Safety– a three-year, $245,000 initiative designed in partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso and UT Austin Cooperative Pharmacy program to develop an extensive educational program for healthcare providers and the general public to assist in the promotion of prudent herbal product use in the region.
Healthy Homes and Handwashing – a five-year, $2.9 million initiative that was designed to encourage handwashing, thereby improving personal hygiene and aiding in the reduction of communicable disease, pesticide exposure, and asthma triggers. Also partnered with YWCA El Paso Paso del Norte Region to train child caregivers working at 15 child facilities to reduce chances of infectious disease rates and environmental exposures in preschool-aged children in EI Paso by improving handwashing skills in childcare facilities and in the children’s homes.
Border Urban Research Center, Heart Smart Seniors
Border Urban Research Center – a five-year, $2.2 million commitment designed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research to target specific health challenges in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border related to personal health behaviors and environmental factors.
Heart Smart Seniors – a two-year, $93,664 project designed to empower elders to live healthier lives by providing an environment of good food, fun exercise, relevant and accessible medical information, and peer support.
KidFit, Step It Up
KidFit – a two-year, $321,860 grant to the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region to encourage kids and their families to make healthier eating choices as well as to encourage increased physical activity in 65 after-school sites run by the YWCA.
Step It Up – a five-year, $3 million initiative in collaboration with the American Cancer Society to support physical activity programs that aim to decrease the sedentary lifestyle of adults who are considering or actively making plans to exercise or start a physical activity program.
Rio Grande River Park and Ciclovia, Nonprofit Enterprise Center
Rio Grande River Park and Ciclovia – a one-year, $370,000 initiative designed to leverage City, County and State investments to build safe places to exercise including the Rio Grande River Park trail located south of Country Club Road to the New Mexico/Texas border, and support the Ciclovia project, an event developed by the City of El Paso that closed key streets for a period of time to promote physical activity.
Nonprofit Enterprise Center – a four-year, $635,600 project to establish a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the nonprofit sector by providing workshops, technical assistance, networking events, clinics, conferences, reference library, and other services.
Two Should Know, Health Literacy
Two Should Know – a five-year, $3.4 million initiative expanding the It Takes Two Pregnancy Prevention program to implement effective programs to reduce poor health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unintended pregnancies and sexual violence/abuse as well as for the promotion of healthy sexuality.
Health Literacy – a one-year, $187,000 project to identify, inventory and replicate best practice models, communication tools and effective programs for the advancement of health literacy in the region.
Community Tool Shed Project, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
Community Tool Shed Project – a three-year, $207,000 project that was a partnership with Keep El Paso Beautiful to install 30 tool sheds at area fire stations for free use by the public, supporting more than 350 clean-up projects and collecting 10 tons for trash. Keep El Paso Beautiful received the state’s highest environmental recognition for the program.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – a one-year, $21,741 project to implement the “Improving Knowledge, Communications, and Skills: Working with Grandparents and Grandchildren” program to serve grandparents who raise grandchildren as primary caregivers/guardians as well as their grandchildren (between 7-14 years) in Doña Ana County, NM.
Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medical Forgivable Loan Fund, Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medical Forgivable Loan Fund
Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medical Forgivable Loan Fund - a $1.25 million grant to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine to provide forgivable loans to medical students establishing practices in El Paso after completing medical school and residencies.
School-aged Health – a one-year, $187,600 project that supported best practice and innovative programs for the development of healthy children.
In 2008, the Health Foundation adopted a new Strategic Framework and mission statement to “promote health and prevent disease in the region thought leadership in health education, research, and advocacy.” This updated mission was applied with a special emphasis on children and youth. Within the new strategic framework, the Health Foundation identified four health goals.
Health Goal 1: Children and youth will be physically active and have proper nutrition for a healthy weight and strong body. To address this first goal, the Health Foundation convened a border summit on child health, developed a new approach for advancing healthy eating and active living, and supported research around physical activity and proper nutrition. Pilot grants were issued, and new partners cultivated in the midst of an economic downturn. In all, the Health Foundation invested $3.8 million in this health goal working with 13 grantee organizations.
Health Goal 2: Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use will be eliminated among adolescents. To address underage drinking and binge drinking, the Health Foundation focused its efforts on policy change, advocating for social host ordinances in El Paso and Luna Counties and enforcement of under-age sales laws in Ciudad Juárez. Efforts under A Smoke Free Paso del Norte initiative were expanded to reach youth and at-risk populations with creative media campaigns like “The Squad” and “Live Outside the Pack.” Youth received preventive messages and participated in health promoting activities. Local communities expanded their Clean Indoor Air Ordinances to include outdoor public spaces like public parks and vaping. In all, the Health Foundation invested $6.7 million in this health goal working with 32 grantee organizations.
Health Goal 3: Children, youth, and families will have access to health care, including access to mental health services. The Health Foundation funded efforts to increase enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and invested in other approaches to improve access to healthcare. The Health Foundation further identified the need to improve mental health access across the region. In all, the Health Foundation invested $3.2 million in this health goal working with 15 grantee organizations.
Health Goal 4: Children and youth will grow-up in healthy family and social environments. To address this goal, the Health Foundation funded a grant portfolio under its “Two Should Know” initiative to support positive sexuality programming. The El Paso Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition was established. Funding was expanded to include out-of-school time programs, especially for organizations in Ciudad Juárez that provided a safe place for youth impacted by violence that ravaged the city during this time. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $5.6 million in this health goal working with 28 grantee organizations.
YW Zones, AVANCE, Comprehensive Smoking Cessation,Plain Talk/Hablando Claro, Straight Talk for Teens, FEMAP Foundation Un Juarez Mas Fresco
YW Zones - a three-year, $803,128 grant that improved the “YW Zone” to a quality YWCA after-school program by modifying the structure and content of the program curriculum for more than 50 sites in El Paso County. (Physical Activity & Balanced Nutrition)
AVANCE – a 3-year, $1.4 million partnership that provided model parent education programs with a focus on children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs. AVANCE was able to build upon work done as a result of earlier funding made possible by the Begin at Birth! Initiative. (Physical Activity & Balanced Nutrition)
Comprehensive Smoking Cessation - a two-year, $158,747 partnership with Centro San Vicente to provide best practice smoking cessation programs within the organization’s service area including Mission Valley in east El Paso and San Elizario area in El Paso County. (Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use Elimination)
Plain Talk/Hablando Claro - a four-year, $590,962 grant to the Ben Archer Health Center to support a community-based program to help adults develop the skills and tools they need reducing sexual risk-taking in Doña Ana county. (Access to Health Care and Mental Health Services)
Straight Talk for Teens - a four-year grant for $547,147 grant to the El Paso Child Crisis Center to support presentations to middle school students in Socorro Independent School District on the realities and responsibilities of young parenting, including issues related to child support and paternity. (Healthy Family and Social Environment)
FEMAP Foundation Un Juarez Mas Fresco - a four-month, $50,000 grant to prevent injury and death related to extreme heat explosive by providing fans. (Health Leadership)
Get HIP, Breathe Smart, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Enrollment, Crianza de Carino Program, University of Texas at El Paso Simulation Lab
Get HIP– a 4-year, $2.5 million grant to the El Paso Independent School District to integrate a health curriculum into core subject areas (math, language arts, social studies and sciences, and physical activity) for more than 43,000 kindergartens through 8th grade students in 74 schools. (Physical Activity and Balance Nutrition)
Breathe Smart – a one-year, $54,900 grant to the American Lung Association that delivered the Not on Tobacco and Breathe Smart from the Start program to 900 youth smokers and 600 pregnant women and their partners to reduce the number of youth and pregnant women who smoke. (Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use Elimination)
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Enrollment - a one-year, $387,000 grant in partnership with Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, Texas A&M and YWCA Paso Del Norte Region to support the enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program to provide coverage for El Paso’s working families. (Access to Health Care and Mental Health Services)
Crianza de Carino Program – a one-year, $920,000 grant to the Ben Archer Health Center designed to improve parents’ ability to raise healthy children and reduce the risk of child abuse for the Hatch, NM community. (Healthy Family and Social Environment)
University of Texas at El Paso Simulation Lab– a five-year, $1.5 million grant that developed a state-of-the-art clinical practice simulation laboratory for training of nursing and allied health students and to provide opportunities for continuing professional education for licensed health professionals in the region. (Health Leadership)
Baby Café, Tigua Smoke-Out, Addressing Mental Health Provider Shortages, Jovenes, Cultura y Sexualidad Program, Building an El Paso Children’s Hospital
Baby Café – a one-year, $7,333 program that supported a joint venture with University Medical Center to improve breastfeeding success in their service population, through the implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital initiative, a WHO/UNICEF model program. This program was later developed to the Baby Café. Elements included opening a Baby Café to the public (only the second one in the US), expanding and improving the Breastfeeding Advice Line, and supporting the work of the Baby Friendly Task Force for training and policy implementation. (Physical Activity and Balanced Nutrition)
Tigua Smoke-Out – a 2-year, $143,000 grant to the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo that provided tobacco cessation and youth tobacco prevention education to tribe members in El Paso County. (Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use Elimination)
Addressing Mental Health Provider Shortages – a 1-year, $37,602 grant to the El Paso Child Guidance Center to address the shortage of trained mental health professionals by providing access to a resource library for therapists in the El Paso community and providing advanced training for mental health professionals. (Access to Health Care and Mental Health Services)
Jovenes, Cultura y Sexualidad Program – a six-year, $420,000 grant to the FEMAP Foundation that provided 11,000 youth in Ciudad Juárez with educational workshops, including puppet shows and art exhibit for the promotion of sexual health and teen group discussion. (Healthy Family and Social Environment)
Building an El Paso Children’s Hospital– a one-year, $157,800 project from the Harry A. Tell Memorial Fund to the El Paso Children’s Hospital to furnish a Pediatric Playroom for hospitalized children and their families. (Health Leadership)
Fit To Grow, Mi Familia No Fuma, No Means No, REALIZE Executive
Fit to Grow – a two-year, $111,000 grant to the County of El Paso to develop a community garden and build a model program for employee/family wellness. (Physical Activity and Balanced Nutrition)
Mi Familia No Fuma – a one-year, $81,550 grant to Texas A&M that reduced the exposure to secondhand smoke in the colonias of El Paso County. (Tobacco, Alcohol, and Illicit Drug Use Elimination)
No Means No – a six-year, $670,000 grant to the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence that led interventions to improve sexual health among adolescents and primary prevention of child abuse and policies in schools.
REALIZE Executive – a one- year, $175,000 leadership development program coordinated by the Health Foundation that was designed to transform already effective leaders to “transformational leaders for the benefit of the regions health.” In 2016, REALIZE Board Training was developed to provide training nonprofit organizations in the region. The program has expanded to Ciudad Juárez and has 80 cohorts graduate in the U.S. (Health Leadership)
In 2011/2012, the Health Foundation gathered health leaders from across the region to get input and collect data the emerging public health challenges. More than 75 individuals from 40 organizations created the Regional Strategic Health Framework to improve the general health of families living in the region. The Health Foundation refined its own strategic framework to include five health priority areas and added Luna County, New Mexico and Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico to the service region.
Health Priority Area 1: Healthy Eating Active Living. While there are many factors that contribute to diseases like diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, eating healthy and being active are essential to preventing and reversing these lifestyle chronic diseases. Eating nutritious meals, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with exercise and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle contributes to overall good health and helps prevent disease onset. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $12 million in this health priority area working with 38 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 2: Alcohol & Tobacco Prevention. While there are fewer cigarette smokers in the region than a decade ago, smoking tobacco is still the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. On the policy front, vaping was added to El Paso’s Clean Indoor Air Ordinance in 2014. The Health Foundation continues to fund the quit line, 915-534-QUIT. The Health Foundation and the Clean Air Coalition succeeded in decreasing exposure to second and third hand smoke by collaborating with multi-unit housing complexes including the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso. The Health Foundation also invested in Shift+, an initiative to work on policy strategies to reduce binge drinking in youth and adults. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $6.7 million in this health priority area working with 34 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 3: Mental Health and Emotional Well-being. The Health Foundation works to promote emotional well-being and reduce negative bias associated with mental illness by funding evidence-based education programs such as Mental Health First Aid, trauma informed care and others. By increasing emotional well-being, decreasing misinformation about mental illness, and improving access to timely treatment, residents will experience an improved culture of support and acceptance, decreased social isolation and enhanced continuity of care. At this time, the Health Foundation and partner organizations commissioned a needs assessment to improve the systems of mental and behavioral health in the region. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $3 million in this health priority area working with 23 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 4: Healthy Relationships. Kids who have positive out-of-school activities and caring adults in their lives experience a host of positive life outcomes, including good health. After school clubs, summer programs, and weekend youth activities all contribute to keeping kids out of trouble while providing skill development, leadership, and other positive opportunities. The Health Foundation partners with the United Way of El Paso County and other agencies to support out-of-school programs for youth who otherwise would not have an opportunity to participate. More than granting funds, the work is supported by the Borderland Out of School Time Network, frequent staff training on topics like positive youth development, and online safety, and parent engagement have been implemented. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $8.3 million in this health priority area working with 55 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 5: Health Leadership. Effective leadership is essential for strong organizations and a productive society. Leadership is also something that can be taught and improved. To support the development of strong leaders among nonprofit organizations and healthcare organizations essential to the health of the region, the Health Foundation developed the REALIZE Executive program, a leadership development experience designed for transformational leaders committed to improving health. In addition, the Health Foundation developed REALIZE Board in partnership with the United Way of El Paso County and BoardSource to prepare current and future board members to ensure effective leadership of nonprofit organizations in the region. The Health Foundation made strategic investments in two new organizations and programs to significantly improve health and social determinants of health like the new Health Information Exchange, Paso del Norte Community Foundation and Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $4.1 million in this health priority area working with 64 grantee organizations.
Paso del Norte Health Information Exchange (PHIX HIE), El Paso Psychology Internship Consortium
Paso del Norte Health Information Exchange (PHIX HIE) – a four-year, $245,700 initiative developed to allow medical providers to exchange clinical data using electronic means. (Health Leadership)
El Paso Psychology Internship Consortium – a three-year, $363,000 partnership with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health in Austin, Texas that opened opportunity to establish a new multi-institutional collaborative to improve access to mental health services in the region. The consortium trained at least six students per year as psychologists to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health service in the border region. (Mental Health and Emotional Well-being)
Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living, Enroll El Paso, Paso del Norte Community Foundation
Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living – a five-year, $5 million grant that established a center of excellence at the University of Texas at El Paso to promote healthy eating and active living and reduce childhood obesity through a model of regional and commitment and collaboration across the region. (Healthy Eating Active Living)
Enroll El Paso – a two-year, $51,000 grant to the United Way of El Paso County to hire promoter and coordinate outreach efforts to help residents select healthcare insurance options under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Health Leadership)
Paso del Norte Community Foundation – a six-year, $6.5 million grant to support the philanthropic goals of individuals, families, corporations, foundations and nonprofit organizations to improve health, education, social services and quality of life in the region. The PDN Community Foundation now includes more than 100 donor-advised funds, designated funds and supporting foundations that make up its community of philanthropy. Signature projects of the PDN Community Foundation included the Challenge Fund to leverage and inspire charitable giving in partnership with nonprofit organizations in the region and El Paso Giving Day to increase giving to nonprofit organizations through a dynamic, social media driven on-line campaign. (Health Leadership)
Mental Health First Aid, Doña Ana County
Mental Health First Aid, Doña Ana County – a six-year, $446,000 grant in partnership with the Dona Ana County Health and Human Services Department to expand the number of community providers and lay health workers trained in Mental Health First Aid and to develop a stigma reduction and promotora education curriculum. (Mental Health and Emotional Well-being)
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Organización Popular Independiente, A.C., Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar, REALIZE Board
Increasing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption – a one-year, $195,000 project that applied social learning theory and basic marketing principles to increase fruit and vegetable intake among middle school students in Ysleta Independent School District. (Healthy Eating Active Living)
Organización Popular Independiente, A.C. – a two-year, $182,000 grant that provided after-school and summer programming for 350 youth in Ciudad Juárez that includes music, art, dance, and sports activities. (Healthy Relationships)
Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar - a six-year, $650,000 commitment to support the new Fundación Paso del Norte - an Asociacion Civil in Ciudad Juárez with its own board and staff - with the mission to lead and promote partnerships and initiatives to improve health and quality of life for people in the Ciudad Juárez. The Fundación Paso del Norte received a $1 million challenge grant from the Hunt Family Foundation matching fifty cents for every dollar raised to support nonprofit organizations in Ciudad Juárez. Through this and other partnership efforts, the Fundación has contributed more than $3 million to more than 15 nonprofit organizations working to improve health.
REALIZE Board – a three-year, $257,884 initiative to strengthen nonprofit board members governance capacity by offering the REALIZE Board Training program across El Paso and southern New Mexico. (Health Leadership)
In 2016, the Health Foundation adopted a five-year strategic plan that affirmed its commitment to the five priority areas and updated its missions to “lead, leverage and invest in initiatives, priorities and programs that promote health and prevent disease in the binational, tri-state region.” In 2018, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation became a supporting organization to the Paso del Norte Community Foundation to grow assets through philanthropy and increase grantmaking to improve health. The Health Foundation continued and made new strategic investments in each of the five priority areas.
Health Priority Area 1: Healthy Eating Active Living. The Health Foundation continued its work with the Institute for Healthy Living to provide technical assistance and evaluation of programs for Health Foundation grantees. The Institute also spearheaded the “Food for Every Child” report in 2017 that led to the creation of the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables in the region’s food desert. The Health Foundation further invested in community and school gardens in collaboration with La Semilla Food Center, and the built environment including the Playa Drain Trail, to make health eating and active living the easy choice for the residents of our region. The Health Foundation also promoted community education with programs like Sabrosa Vida offering cooking classes in partnership with the El Paso Diabetes Association. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $9.7 million in this health priority area working with 55 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 2: Alcohol & Tobacco Prevention. The Health Foundation continued its work to reduce binge drinking among youth in partnership with FECHAC and merchants in Ciudad Juárez. It supported enforcement of social host ordinances in El Paso. With vaping, including vaping THC, on the rise, in collaboration with the YMCA of El Paso, the Health Foundation is leading educational efforts on the new Texas 21 state law that prohibits the sale, possession and consumption of smoking/vaping under the age of 18, and to warn against the dangers of vaping THC oil. In all, the Health Foundation invested over $4.9 million in this health priority area working with 25 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 3: Mental Health and Emotional Well-being. The Health Foundation expanded its work in reducing negative bias associated with mental illness under the “Think.Change” Initiative and continued to support the three regional consortia (El Paso Behavioral Health Consortium, Dona Ana Wellness Institute and ROTMENAS in Ciudad Juarez) dedicated to improving the mental and behavioral health systems that make access to mental health services challenging. In all, the Health Foundation invested more than $6.2 million in this health priority area working with 39 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 4: Healthy Kids. The Health Foundation expanded its work investing in the development of the positive factors that contribute to the development of disconnected youth by providing technical assistance and a network of nonprofit organizations that work in after school and summer programs throughout the region. In all, the Health Foundation invested nearly $5 million in this health priority area working with 43 grantee organizations.
Health Priority Area 5: Health Leadership. The Health Foundation continued its investments in leadership including the REALIZE Executive and REALIZE Board program, expanding the leadership development programs into Ciudad Juarez. The Health Foundation made a few significant leadership gifts including a $6 million commitment to the new Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech and more than $1 million commitment to UTEP’s Doctorate of Pharmacy. In all, the Health Foundation invested more than $10 million in this health priority area working with 73 grantee organizations.
Texas Tech Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine, Social Host Ordinance, RODIS Jr.
Texas Tech Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine – a six-year, $6 million commitment to support the new TTUHSC – El Paso dental school for the development of a unique, community-centered curriculum, which in turn would increase awareness and importance of oral health and support local supply of future dentists and hygienists. (Health Leadership)
Social Host Ordinance – a five-year, $1.9 million investment working with the YMCA of El Paso and the Alcohol Impact Network to spearhead a civil social host ordinance for the city of El Paso. The ordinance went into effect in 2017, holds adults accountable for providing places for underage parties, to reduce underage and binge drinking. (Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention)
RODIS Jr. – a five-year, $276,000 grant to La Rodadora Museum to recruit and train disconnected youth to be museum guides where they learned about art, science and technology with an aim of strengthening their life skills. (IGNITE Healthy Kids)
Playa Drain Trail, New Mexico State University’s Dietetic Internship program, Creative Kids Project ABLE, University of Texas at El Paso School of Pharmacy Pharm D program
Playa Drain Trail – a two-year, $2.25 million project to design and construct a 3.4-mile linear trail along the Playa Drain in south central El Paso from Ascarate Park to Riverside High School. The trail offers the opportunity for recreation and physical activity (walking/biking) for use by residents and as an alternative to driving for near-by residents. The Playa Drain Trail is now part of the larger Paso del Norte Trail - a plan to develop 68-miles of hike/bike trails across El Paso County. (Healthy Eating Active Living)
New Mexico State University’s Dietetic Internship program – a three-year, $96,000 program that increased the number of qualified registered dietitians/nutritionist in the region. (Healthy Eating Active Living)
Creative Kids Project ABLE – a three-year, $739,000 grant to reduce disconnection through an innovative arts-based after-school and summer program to disconnected youth in Fabens, TX. (Healthy Kids)
University of Texas at El Paso School of Pharmacy Pharm D program - a one-time, $1 million grant to the University of Texas at El Paso to support the establishment of a doctoral program for pharmacy. (Health Leadership)
NAMI El Paso, Smoke-Free Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP)
NAMI El Paso – a five-year, $1.8 million grant to provide evidence-based programs to strengthen NAMI El Paso as a central mental health advocacy and education provider in the region. (Mental Health and Emotional Well-being)
Smoke-Free Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP) – a one-year, $110,000 project that worked with residents to successfully adopt a smoke-free policy for HACEP, the 14th largest Public Housing Authority in the nation and the largest in Texas with 52 housing communities across El Paso. (Tobacco and Alcohol Prevention)
Border Partners, Trauma-Informed Care
Border Partners – a four-year, $391,000 grant to establish home and school gardens and greenhouse, provide promotora-led nutrition, exercise, and gardening science classes to students, nutritious lunches to schools, teach exercise classes to children and adults, and maintain facilities and sports leagues for physical activity in Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico. (Healthy Eating Active Living)
Trauma-Informed Care– a seven-year, $906,000 grant to reduce stigma associated with mental illness among professionals who have frequent contact with consumers by strengthening and expanding the existing Trauma Informed Care Learning Community (TIROLC) with at least seven community organizations and to increase the number of mental health providers that serve children and adolescents who are trained in evidence-based therapeutic approaches and trauma informed care practices. (Mental Health and Emotional Well-being)
Since its inception, the Health Foundation’s assets have grown from the initial $130 million in seed funding to nearly $250 million as of December 2019. The Health Foundation has granted $198.8 million working with more than 300 organizations in this same time period to measurably improve health in the region.
As the Health Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020, we extend our gratitude to the hundreds of board and committee members, volunteers, nonprofit partners, community leaders, and staff that have ensured “a just return to the community…for generations to come.”
September 18, 2020
For the lives she touched, contributions she made, and legacy she leaves Myrna served as CEO of YWCA El Paso del Norte Region for more than 30 years, growing the organization from an annual budget of $150,000 when she joined in 1970 to over $35 million when she retired in 2002, making it the largest…