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Home | Tag Archives: Paso del Norte Health Foundation (page 2)

Tag Archives: Paso del Norte Health Foundation

New Teen Dating Violence Prevention Curriculum Shows ‘Significant Effects’ on Students

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation, in partnership with the YWCA, and Health Advocates, developed the Me & You curriculum in an effort to address dating violence in schools.

“Every step along the development process, we gained community input, which makes me confident it is the right fit for our youth,” said Lucy Hernandez, Dating Violence Prevention Project Manager, YWCA El Paso del Norte Region. “After participating in this curriculum, youth will gain skills to resolve conflict and talk out disagreements, and they will increase knowledge in preventing dating violence leading them to build healthy relationships.”

This new dating violence prevention curricula, for middle and high schools, is based on the National Sexuality Education Standards and health education standards for Texas and New Mexico.

The interactive learning experience is designed to increase classroom participation and teach adolescents the value of healthy relationships, warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, ways to prevent and stop dating violence.

Teen dating violence is defined by the physical, sexual, psychological or emotional violence within a dating relationship.

El Paso has higher percentages of physical dating violence among youth than the national average. According to an El Paso Youth Health Behavior Survey in 2015, among high school students who date:

  • 17.1% of female students and 17.6% of male students experienced physical dating violence
  • 17% of female students and 11.3% of male students experienced sexual dating violence
  • 34.3% of sexual minority youth reported physical dating violence compared with 14.8% of heterosexual youth
  • 30% of sexual minority youth reported sexual violence compared with 11.7% of heterosexual youth

Officials add, “Research shows that well designed and implemented teen dating violence prevention curriculum can decrease risks of being in an abusive relationship.”

The YWCA and Health Advocates conducted a pilot test with more than 2,000 students and 31 teachers from seven middle schools and five high schools in El Paso Independent School District and Deming Public Schools that participated in the curriculum.

Results showed that after youth participated in the Me & You curriculum youth indicated:

  • It was wrong to hit other people, say mean things to other people, take anger out using physical force, and say mean things if you’re angry with someone you date.
  • They disagreed that girls sometimes deserve to be hit by the boys they date.
  • They were more confident they could stay out of fights, understand another person’s point of view, and talk out a disagreement.
  • A greater sense of support from an adult they feel comfortable talking about their problems with.

To learn more about the curriculum or to get your school involved, contact Lucy Hernandez, Dating Violence Prevention Project Manager, YWCA El Paso del Norte Region at 915-519-0002 or

PDN Health Foundation Awards $2m Grants to Support Mental Health, Emotional Well-Being

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) recently awarded 10 grants totaling more than $2 million under the Mental Health and Emotional Well-being Priority Area – Think.Change Initiative.

Via a news release, PDNHF Officials stated, “The purpose of the Think.Change Initiative is to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, increase training for mental health providers and explore structural changes in the region’s behavioral health treatment system.”

The area organizations that were funded, and the amounts granted are as follows:

City of El Paso Housing Authority – $49,094.10
Think Change Housing
To conduct a review of housing policies and practices, identify strengths and gaps, and develop an action plan with recommendations to build a mental health supportive environment for residents and applicants, and to provide training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to sixty (60) Housing Authority employees who have frequent contact with residents and applicants.

Comision de Salud Fronteriza Mexico-Estados Unidos – $98,721.78
Strengthen Mental Healthcare and Reduce the Stigma Associated with Mental Illness in Ciudad Juárez, Phase 2: Carry “ROTMENAS” to Action
To strengthen the recently developed behavioral health system of care collaborative (ROTMENAS), and provide “Program of action to overcome gaps in mental health (mhGAP)” trainings for professionals and lay health workers in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

County of El Paso – $71,500.00
Regional Mental Health Stigma Reduction Campaign
To continue providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for over 250 patrol officers, detention officers and civilian staff with inmate contact, and to explore changes in detention standards of practice to promote a Think.Change culture.

El Paso Child Guidance Center – $146,400.00
Trauma Informed Care: Create and Implement an Education and Contact-Based Trauma Informed Care Model to Reduce Mental Health Stigma Amongst Professionals
To reduce stigma associated with mental illness among professionals who have frequent contact with consumers by developing the El Paso Child Guidance Center into a trauma informed care resource center, increasing the number of mental health providers who are trained in evidence-based therapeutic approaches and providing trauma informed care trainings to El Paso County organizations that serve children and adolescents.

Emergence Health Network – $166,049.38
Project Emerge
To provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings for at least 1,000 individuals in El Paso County, hold a MHFA Instructor summit and expand MHFA training to areas in Hudspeth County.

Family Service of El Paso, Inc. – $273,688.62
People Empower El Paso (PEEP)
To provide National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) evidence-based programs including Family to Family, NAMI Basics, Parents and Teachers as Allies, NAMI Provider Training and In Our Own Voice in El Paso County and to strengthen NAMI – El Paso as a central mental health advocacy and education provider in the region.

Techo Comunitario, A.C. – $42,900.00
Triple P – Positive Parenting Program: Change the Stigma to Ask for Help in Parenting and Continue Building Healthy Communities
To implement the Triple P evidence-based program in eight at risk neighborhoods in Ciudad Juárez.

The Regents of New Mexico State University- $74,970.72
Foster Community Partnerships and Education to Reduce Mental Illness Stigma in Otero County
To strengthen a mental health system of care collaborative, provide crisis intervention team training (CIT), and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings for officers and other professionals to promote a Think.Change culture in Otero County.

The University of Texas at El Paso – $1,131,311.00
Promote Mental and Emotional Well-being in the Paso del Norte region
To create a backbone organization (BBO) that will help lead mental health and emotional well-being priority area programs. The BBO will provide both leadership and expertise to catalyze efforts to reduce stigma and negative bias associated with mental illness and explore structural changes in the behavioral health systems in the Paso del Norte border region.

UTEP Awarded Grant to Improve Mental Health in Region

A new mental health and emotional wellness initiative at The University of Texas at El Paso will bring together experts in psychology, social work, educational psychology, counseling and rehabilitation counseling to improve behavioral health systems in El Paso, Juárez, and southern New Mexico.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) has granted UTEP $1.1 million over two years to create Empower Change: The Paso del Norte Center for Mental and Emotional Well-being. The center will be the backbone organization for the PDNHF’s Mental Health and Emotional Well-being priority area.

“The center will lead and support this interdisciplinary, cross-organizational effort to build the mental health infrastructure of the Paso del Norte region,” said UTEP Vice Provost John Wiebe, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. “There’s a lot of great work happening in the community in mental health. We plan to leverage the resources of the area’s academic institutions and community partners to coordinate this work and develop a strategic plan for the future of mental health and emotional well-being in the region.”

The center will promote collaboration among expert faculty and mental health professionals at UTEP, New Mexico State University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It also will provide professional development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

“The foundation’s ‘Backbone Organization’ grant to UTEP will leverage the 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 PDNHF CEO Tracy Yellen.

“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 and quality of mental and behavioral health services in El Paso, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez.”

Among the center’s objectives, investigators plan to develop an expertise portal that can be used to search and identify mental health experts in the community. They also intend to create an interactive database of comprehensive mental health services, including substance abuse and community reintegration programs and affordable or free treatment services.

Other priorities include developing a comprehensive workforce development plan to increase the number of mental health professionals specializing in behavioral and mental health in the region; establishing leadership councils to provide up-to-date advanced best practices and research; identifying funding sources and grant development opportunities to promote interdisciplinary mental health research; designing legislative policy recommendations to advance mental health services; and developing a communications and public relations infrastructure to educate stakeholders about mental health and emotional well-being.

“We have set many goals to complete over the course of two years and will be actively creating multiple partnerships with important community stakeholders,” said Eden Hernandez Robles, Ph.D., the center’s director. “Everything we do will be in the spirit of excellent service to our community through the strategic use of our wealth of knowledge, expertise and resources for the good of our region.”

Mental Health Support, Treatment Options Offered by ‘Family-to-Family’ Program

Thanks to a nationally-recognized program, El Paso families and care givers are making connections and learning that support and treatment options do exist to help loved ones with mental health conditions.

The program, known as Family-to-Family, teaches concise, empathetic communication with a family member who has a mental health condition. Participants learn how the brain and medications work and learn how to be advocates for their loved one at different levels.

Through Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s Think.Change initiative, the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) signature program is available in El Paso.   According to the PdNF’s program website, “the goal of Think.Change is to reduce stigma and negative bias associated with mental illness. Increasing availability of NAMI’s Family-to-Family courses is a leading effort to accomplish the goal.”

Nellie Mendoza, Family-to-Family Coordinator for NAMI El Paso, explains that after attending the classes, “Many of the family members see that there is hope in whatever situation they may be in at that moment in time,” said Mendoza. “There is a common ground at the end of each course, and they start seeing and saying that ‘there is hope’ and that they are ‘not alone.’”

The curriculum helps family members to not only learn about the myths and facts of serious and persistent mental illnesses, but also to understand how the experience of these conditions and the associated negative bias affects their relative.

“The course helps family members deal with the trauma of coping with life and family crises,” Mendoza says. “Families also learn how to reinstate their own life plan as an essential element of self-care, and take collective action to advocate for better treatment and recovery-oriented services for their loved one.”

Enrique Mata, Paso del Norte Health Foundation senior program officer and program lead for the Think.Change initiative, says the Family-to-Family program has consistently demonstrated an ability to reduce stigmas associated with mental illness. The other big success of the program, says Mata, is participants coming out of the classes advocating for the program and helping spread its messages to other families who can use the help and support.

“I have seen families and individuals face anxiety, despair, and hopelessness. I see families in shock, sidetracked by an unfair, relentless, and undiscriminating force. I also see victories, progress, and resolve,” says Mendoza.

Mendoza adds, “There are so many complexities with each story. Thanks to the efforts of NAMI teachers, facilitators, presenters, and staff I see dedicated people performing extraordinary work with kindness, dedication, and compassion. El Paso is truly fortunate to have NAMI programs.”

Since the inception of the Think.Change initiative in 2013, NAMI El Paso has held 27 Family-to-Family classes. Each class has between 15 and 25 participants, with up to three different class groups going on in a single month.

For more information, visit the NAMI El Paso website or call NAMI El Paso directly online or via phone at 915-778-5726, 915-534-5476 or 915-534-5478.

PdN’s Institute for Healthy Living: Food Insecurity Remains a Challenge in Area

With the holidays drawing to a close and a new year virtually upon us, food insecurity and the need for donations – especially to area food banks and pantries – remains high throughout the Borderland.

The Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living (IHL), in partnership with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, is working to address food insecurity in our region.

According to a recent report by the IHL, although economic times seem to have improved since the Great Recession, many people still struggle to make ends meet.

One measure of this is food insecurity – limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.

Nationally, food insecurity has come down in the past 2 years. Data from 2014 show food insecurity in the US at 15.4%. El Paso fared better at 11%. However, if data from households with children is included, food insecurity rates in El Paso climb to 25.5%, well above the US rate of 20.9%.

Officials the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living say “To think that more than 1 in 4 of the children living in our county does not have enough food to eat is heartbreaking, but it also means they are at greater risk of many health problems. When children live in a food insecure environment, they are more likely to be hospitalized and have a higher risk of obesity, asthma, and behavioral and social issues such as fighting, hyperactivity, anxiety, and bullying.”

“We have a unique environment here along the border,” Miriam Manon from The Food Trust says, “It is important to take into consideration the culture of the border as it relates to how people purchase and access food. The border dynamic can present challenges, but also great opportunities. We look forward to working with the IHL and other stakeholders in the region to discuss the state of access to healthy food and the role that public policy and philanthropic efforts can play in helping to address these issues.”

Manon and the Food Trust are studying the border dynamics and how they affect food access in our region

The Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living (IHL), and the PdNHF say among their outreach and assistance programs are:

  • A project in partnership with The Food Trust, a national non-profit organization that specializes in assessing the food access landscape, convening stakeholders to develop recommendations, and providing training to build local capacity to implement healthy food access programming.
  • Re-establishment of the Food Policy Council in El Paso in partnership with Margaux Dalbin from United Way and Gary Williams from El Paso Community Foundation.
  • A program called Fresh Start at Kelly Memorial Food Pantry.
  • A project called Growing Food Connections out of Doña Ana County in partnership with the Mesilla Valley Food Policy Council and La Semilla Food Center.
  • Many community-based organizations in Juárez working to provide food to food-insecure children and families including Ciudadanos Comprometidos con La Paz (CCOMPAZ), Centro de Asesoria y Promoción Juvenil (CASA), and Arbol de Vida.
  • Working with local school lunch programs to help increase participation.

A recent partnership with UTEP for the “UTEP Grand Challenge” event that challenged teams of students and faculty to “create innovative public/private policies or programs that will increase fruit and vegetable access to food insecure people.


In addition to the partnerships and outreach programs, officials say that residents can help as well.

IHL Officials suggest that, parents “encourage your children and others to participate in the school lunch program. These lunches are regulated through the USDA and provide low or no-cost nutritious meals for school children…(and) volunteer their time or give a financial donation to a local food pantry or food bank  here in El Paso or Las Cruces.

For more information about the projects and programs described here, contact the Institute for Healthy Living at

Town of Anthony, Texas Adopts Smoke-Free Ordinance

On Wednesday, a Smoke Free Paso del Norte congratulated the Mayor and Council of the Town of Anthony, Texas for adopting an ordinance that protects its’ residents from the negative consequences of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Monday evening, under the direction of Mayor Martin Lerma and Alderman Shawn Weeks, the Anthony Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will prohibit the smoking of both commercial and electronic cigarettes in restaurants, bars, parks, and playgrounds.

José O. Rivera, Founding Dean of The University of Texas at El Paso’s School of Pharmacy and Principal Investigator of the Smoke Free Initiative issued this statement:

“Those who work in public health, and especially tobacco control, know that through policy adoptions, such as this one, we move closer to achieving a level of health equity in our region. The A Smoke Free Paso del Norte initiative applauds the Town of Anthony for their efforts.”

Alderman Weeks recognized both the council and the community effort toward the adoption of the ordinance after the vote.

“This happened for a few reasons, one of which is that this Council recognized that change, not just any change but healthy change, is good for the community. But also the support of the community, as shown by the people who spoke after the passage.”

“I quit over six years ago for my family and for my own good health,” said Amanda Crawford, Anthony resident. “For my health and others, I am glad that this ordinance was approved.”

The Public and Workplace Smoking Restrictions ordinance prohibits smoking in all enclosed properties, open spaces within or between enclosed facilities, outside areas within 20 feet of a doorway, and all properties owned or leased by the Town of Anthony.

It also offers protection to youth and families that utilize the city’s parks, baseball fields, and skate park.

In 2015, the Clean Air Coalition and Paso del Norte Tobacco Control Network members conducted a survey during school registration week for the Anthony Independent School District.

The survey of over 250 residents showed that over 90% support a policy protecting youth and families from secondhand smoke in parks and playgrounds.

The results of the survey were presented to the Council in January 2017. The ordinance was introduced in September and the Council took immediate action to ensure its passage.

According to officials, the Town of Anthony and the City of El Paso Department of Public Health will work together to educate the community and enforce the new ordinance.

A Smoke Free Paso del Norte will provide technical assistance as needed to the Town of Anthony.

Via a news release, A Smoke Free Paso del Norte shared, “(We) applaud the Town of Anthony’s leadership for adopting a clean air ordinance and joining the over 80 Texas communities who are creating an air of respect for their residents and the Paso del Norte region.”

ASFPdN is an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.

Foundation Awards $1.2m in New Grants to Support Healthy Eating, Active Living

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation recently awarded 10 grants totaling more than $1.2 million under the Healthy Eating and Active Living Priority Area – HEAL Initiative.

According to PdnHF Officials, “The purpose of the HEAL initiative is to make healthy eating and active living the easy choice for youth and their families.”

Via their website, the foundation explains, “Nutrition and physical activity have well documented effects on health. Regardless of weight, a high quality diet can combat many chronic diseases. Active living involves two important and distinct components: being physically active and minimizing sedentary time. The HEAL initiative places emphasis on program and policy interventions that positively impact large numbers of residents, are sustainable, can potentially be scaled, and have measurable results.”

The Funded organizations are:

Arbol de Vida – $142,973.88

HEAL To promote physical fitness and nutrition among children in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Border Partners – $78672.00

Healthy Eating and Active Living in the Binational Border Region of Luna County, New Mexico and Puerto Palomas de Villa, Chihuahua, MX To offer promotora-led nutrition classes, home gardening and the creation of facilities for physical activity to increase fruit and vegetable intake and physical activity opportunities for 1,400 children and their families in Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Children at Risk – $6,000.00

El Paso Legislativa Update To provide a legislative debrief in El Paso, Texas.

Ciudadanos Comprometidos con la Paz, A.C. – $176,722.44  |  Movimiento Saluable

To provide healthy meals, teach portion control and preparation of healthy foods and offer physical activities for 250 children ages 6-16 across six community centers in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México over 12 months.

Counseling Center Inc. – $31,328.00  |  Eat Well Otero

A partnership with Otero County Community Health Council to implement the Eat Well Otero program, which helps restaurants offer h

ealthier options and standardized appropriate portion sizes in Otero County, New Mexico over 12 months.

Kelly Memorial Food Pantry – $143,535.00  |  FreshStart @Kelly, Phase 2

To pilot test sustainability of the Fresh Place model to assist pantry clients in achieving self-sufficiency in El Paso, Texas.

New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc. – $212,602.50  |  Aggie Play

To encourages young girls after-school to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity through mentorship by female volunteer role-models (i.e., NMSU female student-athletes) over 24 months in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc. – $96,197.20  |  NMSU Dietetics Intern Program

To increase the annual graduation of Registered Dietitian (RDs) from 6 to 12 per year and prepare additional qualified professionals to fill open RDs positions in the Paso del Norte region.

Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center – $262,101.62  |  Off to a Good Start Eating Our Way to a Healthy Life

To introduce, implement and sustain the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding Program® in the Paso del Norte region. The SOS helps children with special needs eat healthy.

Texans Care for Children – $25,000.00

General purpose grant in support of policy and advocacy programs to improve the health and wellness of Texas children and families To provide a legislative debrief in El Paso, Texas.


For more information on these grants, call Michael Kelly, Vice President of Programs at 915-544-7636 or

Paso Del Norte Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative Builds Community, Museum Staff in Juarez

The regional partnership between the Paso del Norte Health Foundation and Juarez’s La Rodador museum is starting to bear fruit.

Through the Health Foundation’s IGNITE Initiative, more than 250 youth have been trained in La Rodadora museum’s RODIS Jr. program in Juárez.

With La Rodadora being the only interactive museum in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and the largest museum in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, program participants get a unique opportunity to help themselves and help others.

Ehudy Escobar, Instructional Relations Coordinator for La Rodadora Museum says, “La Rodadora engages disconnected young people from high school into an extracurricular training program, where they learn about art, science and technology, with the aim of strengthening their life skills, which in turn seeks to keep them away from potentially harmful activities for their health and development.”

Through their RODIS Jr. program supported by the Health Foundation, ‘disconnected youth’ were recruited and trained to be museum guides.

“We refer to ‘disconnected youth’ as individuals between the ages of 7-18, who are not involved in out-of-school activities or participating in the labor market,” PDNHF Officials said.

“Rodis Jr. helps the participants strive educationally and socially, which seeks to transform them into agents of change to find their social identity within the community,” they added.

More than 250 youths have completed the three-month program and the museum continues receiving applications for future training sessions.

Paso del Norte Health Foundation officials say, “The program has shown positive outcomes for both the youth participants and museum patrons.”

During the sessions, participants learn museum operations and how to guide children and families through museum exhibits. They also receive encouragement through mentoring on how to pursue an education and obtain a professional degree.


Health Foundation Launches REALIZE Executive Leadership Cohort

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation Board  introduced the 2017-18 REALIZE Executive Leadership recipients at the annual launch reception on Wednesday.

The event kicks off an intensive nine-month REALIZE leadership development program where twenty-one participants will learn to harness their leadership qualities. Each of the participants represent a notable health and/or scholarly institutions. Prior participants and PdNHF board members will speak on their experiences, expectations and the importance of leadership for improved health.

PdNHF officials share, “The goal of the REALIZE experience is to inspire already effective leaders to become transformational leaders for the benefit of the region’s health…with strengthened leadership in place, regional organizations and individuals are better positioned to promote health and prevent disease.”

Key REALIZE interventions include a customized 360 and other leadership assessments, executive coaching around personalized leadership goals, two transformational off-site experiences, at least six one-day cohort connect learning sessions, networking opportunities, assessments to measure individual growth, and more.

“The Health Foundation is committed to improving the U.S./Mexico border community through leadership in health-related advocacy, initiatives and education,” Health Foundation officials added.

For a list of all recipients and more information on the REALIZE Executive Leadership program, click here.

Foundation Awards New Grants to Support Healthy Eating, Active Living

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation awarded 10 grants totaling more than $1.2 million under the Healthy Eating and Active Living Priority Area – HEAL Initiative.

The purpose of the HEAL initiative is to make healthy eating and active living the easy choice for youth and their families.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation is one of the largest private foundations on the U.S. – Mexico border. It was established in 1995 from the sale of Providence Memorial Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation for $130 million.

The Health Foundation’s mission is to improve the health and promote the wellness of the people living in far west Texas, southern New Mexico, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico through education and prevention.

The funded organizations are:

Border Partners – $62,700.00

Healthy Eating and Active Living in the Border Region of Luna County, New Mexico and Palomas, Chihuahua
To offer promotora-led nutrition classes, home gardening instruction, and lead community efforts to update recreational facilities for physical activity for 1,400 children and their families in Palomas, Chihuahua, Mexico.

Centro de Asesoria y Promocion Juvenil, A.C. (CASA) – $129,800.00

Build healthy children, families and communities
To increase fruit and vegetable intake by meal provision, nutrition education, and creating home gardens. Also to provide opportunities for physical activity for disadvantaged adolescents and adults across five CASA community centers in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico over the next 12 months.

Ciudadanos Comprometidos con la Paz, A.C. – $146,179.00

Healthy Movement

To provide meals and teach portion control and preparation of healthy foods. Also to offer physical activities for 200 children ages 6-16 across five community centers in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico – $118,918.00

Early Child Nutrition Education Program          

To increase fruit and vegetable consumption among children ages 3-5 years by use of the HOP’N Home curriculum in child care centers in Doña Ana County, New Mexico.

La Semilla Food Center – $192,776.10

Edible Education          

To use a three-tiered teacher-training model to provide school garden and nutrition education programming to schools in Doña Ana County, New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas.

Las Cruces Public Schools – $280,927.00

Las Cruces Public Schools Healthy and Fit Project          

To adapt and pilot test, health and physical education components into the curricula and initiate staff wellness programs at schools in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

New Mexico State University Foundation, Inc. – $74,573.40

Aggie Play

To offer college-age female athletes community service hours to teach elementary girls the benefit of an active lifestyle, while engaging in physical activity in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Texans Care for Children – $25,000.00

General Support Grant in Support of Children’s Health and Policy and Advocacy Program
To help Texans Care for Children strengthen statewide Texas obesity and healthy living policy initiatives through policy analysis, advocacy, collaboration, and strategic communication.

The FEMAP Foundation – $130,000.00

Children’s Nutritional Assessment and Care       

To increase fruit and vegetable intake by meal provision and nutrition education. Also to provide opportunities for physical activity for 500 disadvantaged children in after-school programs across five elementary schools in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

Ysleta Independent School District – $80,000.00

Full CATCH    

To use the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program as a comprehensive approach to school health in 23 elementary schools, in El Paso, Texas.

County-Wide ‘Paso del Norte Trail’ Public Meetings Set for This Week

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s project team, Sites Southwest/Alta Design will hold two public meetings to provide an overview of the county-wide linear trail project, August 9th and 10th.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PdNHF) is partnering with the Institute for Healthy Living (IHL) to develop a route map for a county-wide linear trail in El Paso.

The sessions will feature interactive exercises, opportunities for input, and a discussion of next steps from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s project team, Sites Southwest/Alta Design.

Officials with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation say, “Trails and outdoor recreation opportunities are an excellent way for people to get outdoors, exercise, and explore their neighborhoods…they also create important connections between amenities (parks, schools, businesses), can lead to economic development, and improve overall quality of life.”

First Meeting -Wednesday, August 9, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Westside Regional Command Center 4801 Osborne Drive El Paso, TX 79922

Second Meeting – Thursday, August 10, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Mission Valley Regional Command Center 9011 Escobar Drive El Paso, TX 79907

Video+Story: Paso del Norte Health Foundation Releases 2016 Annual Report

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation Board and Staff announced Wednesday the release of their 2016 Annual Report – Health is Elemental.

The online 2016 Report shares the many ways that the Health Foundation is investing in more than 100 organizations and grantees to bring about healthy change in the region.

The report also includes the work of the Health Foundation’s affiliated foundations: Paso del Norte Charitable Foundation and Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar. This Family of Foundations are collaborating to unify the health of the region.

Entering their third decade as a leader in health promotion and disease prevention, the Health Foundation remain as committed as ever to ensuring that the residents living in far west Texas, southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico have the knowledge, resources and environment needed to live healthy lives.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s work includes strong financial investments to nonprofit organizations in the region.

Since 1995, the Health Foundation invested more than $140 million towards its mission to improve health. The $140 million mark is significant because it exceeds the amount that the Foundation received from the sale of Providence Memorial Hospital.

Despite this level of grantmaking, the Foundation’s assets now surpass $225 million, positioning the Foundation to maintain its commitment to the region into perpetuity.

Visit the 2016 Annual Report at

Local Groups Set to Discuss Results, Impact of 85th Legislative Session on Children

“How did Texas’ children fare in the 85th Legislative Session? The Institute for Healthy Living,  in partnership with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, invites community members for a legislative update, presented by Children at Risk.

Attendees will learn about what was accomplished and discuss the local impact of new legislation on nutrition, physical and mental health, public education, human trafficking, and other key issues impacting children in El Paso.

Highlights include a conversation with a legislator; a State-of-the-State review; Key Wins, Misses, and Next Steps; as well as a panel featuring local experts. Children at Risk staff, Dr. Bob Sanborn (President and CEO), Mandi Kimball (Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs), Jenny Eyer (Senior Policy Analyst) and Dr. Claire Bocchini (Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist and Child Advocate), will lead an engaging discussion on key legislation impacting our children.

More information and registration @

Children at Risk – Texas Legislative Update 

Tues., June 27, 2017, 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM

The Hospitals of Providence East Campus – Main Auditorium


Health Foundation Announces New Board Chair and Members

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation is pleased to announce the election of Sharon Butterworth as the new 2017-18 Board Chair. Ms. Butterworth has served on the board since 2013 and is a community advocate on mental health issues.

Hector Retta was appointed as Vice-Chair and Chair-Elect. He has served on the board since 2014 and is Vice Chairman and CEO of Capital Bank.

The Health Foundation also elected three new members to the Board of Directors – Ernesto Avila with Capital Bank, Ed Escudero with High Desert Capital and Susan Melendez with Borderplex Alliance.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s board members are a diverse group of business and community leaders dedicated to upholding the vision, mission, values and goals established to promote health and prevent disease in the Paso del Norte region.

The volunteer board meets bi-monthly and through committees, oversee the Foundation’s strategic planning, grantmaking, investments, finances, audit, communications and governance.

Health Foundation Seeks Public Input on the Playa Drain Trail

Earlier this year, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation (PDNHF) announced a partnership with the City of El Paso and El Paso Water to build a linear trail on the Playa Drain from Ascarate Park to Riverside High School.  Now, officials with PDNHF want to meet with the public to discuss and share ideas about the project.

Tracy J. Yellen, CEO, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, says , “The Playa Drain Trail will offer opportunities for recreation and physical activity (walking/biking) for use by residents throughout the region and as an alternative to driving for near-by residents, and is part of the Health Foundation’s commitment to making active living the easy choice in our region.”

The Playa Drain Trail project is possible because of the creativity and collaboration of multiple entities committed to improving quality of life in the region. El Paso Water purchased the Playa Drain from the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 (Improvement District) in 2014 for $2.75 million to become part of the storm water management system.

El Paso Water entered into an agreement with the City of El Paso to allow use of the Playa Drain for recreation, with the City committing to its maintenance.

The City also committed $300,000 for amenities on the trail as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Project. Finally, the Health Foundation Board approved up to $2,000,000 for design and construction for a 3.4 mile section with the goal of leveraging additional funds to convert the entire 8- mile stretch of the Playa Drain from Ascarate Park to Capistrano Park (just past Ysleta High School) into a safe, well-designed walking and biking trail.

Ultimately, the Health Foundation seeks to work with multiple partners like the City and County of El Paso to develop an ambitious, and potentially continuous, county-wide urban trail.

The Playa Drain is part of the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 Historic District, a large, narrow district that spans from Caballo Reservoir in New Mexico south along the Rio Grande, following the Franklin and Riverside canals and their associated laterals and drains.

According to the Improvement District, drains, like the nearly 100-year old Playa Drain, were developed to carry salty water that leached from the cotton fields during irrigation. The drains are characteristically deep, versus irrigation canals which are above ground, allowing water to flow through the soil and into the drains, removing the salt that can be harmful to farming.

For the Health Foundation, the conversion of the drain from its historical use to a storm water and recreation use helps the Health Foundation promote health in the region.

Foundation officials say that their research shows nearly 30% of adults in El Paso have reported no physical activity over the last 30 days. A sedentary life is often associated with poor health.

“We believe that well-designed trails that are close to neighborhoods and connected to other amenities like parks and schools will promote physical activity and make active living the easy choice for residents in our region,” says Yellen.

She adds, “We extend our sincere thanks to the Improvement District, El Paso Water and City of El Paso for their partnership on this project and look forward to working with residents in the neighborhoods around the Playa Drain and throughout the community to promote active living in our region.”

With the partnerships and funding in place for the Ascarate Park-Riverside High School portion of the Playa Drain Trail, the Health Foundation and partners turn their focus from visioning to design.

To that end, they are inviting the community to join them for the first set of public planning meetings to work on the trail design:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 6 p.m.

Riverside High School Cafeteria

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 – 6 p.m.

Riverside High School Cafeteria

For more information, contact Tracy Yellen, Paso del Norte Health Foundation at or 915-544- 7636.

playa trail

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