Wells Fargo Bank recently awarded the Promotores de Salud/Community Health Workers program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso a gift of $15,000 to provide financial and health care literacy to nearby residents.
The Promotores de Salud program delivers health education to underserved families in El Paso with a special focus on residents of the 79905 ZIP code where the TTUHSC El Paso campus is located. The program has provided critical COVID-19 outreach by working alongside the El Paso Health Education and Awareness Team (EP-HEAT), a university organization of volunteer students and faculty founded in the wake of the pandemic. EP-HEAT creates and distributes COVID-19 educational resources to the community regarding vaccines, boosters, prevention, treatment and testing.
Promotores de Salud has also worked in partnership with Microsoft to provide 79905 residents with computer literacy training through LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Digital Literacy courses. Basic computer literacy and broadband internet service are essential for individuals to access health care information and medical services.
“Wells Fargo has developed a strong relationship with the TTUHSC El Paso network over the past several years, and we are excited to be able to continue supporting the important work they are doing to combat COVID-19,” said Wells Fargo Middle Market Executive Ryan McGrath. “The work being done by TTUHSC El Paso President Dr. Richard Lange and his team is exemplary and Wells Fargo is proud of the partnership that’s been created. We hope this grant provides critical health and financial literacy to the El Paso community.”
Promotores de Salud will use resources from Hands on Banking, a financial education service provided by Wells Fargo, to offer training sessions to the public on health care, insurance options, retirement planning, banking, personal and home loans, debt and money management, and preparing for financial emergencies. Diane Golding, Ed.D., assistant professor of instruction in the Department of Education at the University of Texas at El Paso, will help instruct promotores on integrating technology into the training.
“The support from Wells Fargo will allow us to build upon our existing initiatives by adding health care and financial literacy to our efforts,” said Jessica Chacon, Ph.D., director of Promotores de Salud and EP-HEAT. “Health care and financial literacy are especially important to teach individuals how to navigate the wide variety of benefits and services available to them. Ultimately, health and financial health go hand-in-hand, so building these resources is important for our neighboring families.”
Providing health care financial literacy will help residents of the 79905 neighborhood access health resources, including direct care and financial assistance to help cover the cost of services and medication in their area of which they are not aware. Dr. Chacon, who is also an assistant professor of immunology and microbiology at the Foster School of Medicine, said providing financial literacy will help improve the health and quality of life for families in South Central El Paso who often lack access to basic services.
Through its Community Giving program, Wells Fargo works to open pathways to economic advancement for racially and ethnically diverse and low- and moderate-income individuals and families through programs that increase financial inclusion and access.
TTUHSC El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It is designated as a Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care heroes, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation college students.