top of page



The Health Foundation received a $15 million gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott. This gift will supplement resources available to invest in our network of community partners to improve health and prevent disease.


MacKenzie Scott

Philanthropist and Author


Playa de Luminarias

Playa de Luminarias  –  PDN Trail Walk  –  December 2022

Dear Friends:

Much like the work we do, papel picado, our inspiration for this Annual Report, embodies skill, beauty, creativity, and challenge. Its intricate designs echo the complexity of our mission. Its color and creativity represent the diversity, vibrance, talent, commitment, and generosity of those we serve in our binational, tri-state region.

The Paso del Norte Health Foundation was founded in 1995 to promote health and prevent disease in our region. In 2022, the Health Foundation invested a record $13.7 million in grants and charitable expenses supporting 116 grantees and bringing total grantmaking to more than $237 million since inception. Additionally, the Health Foundation received a generous $15 million gift from MacKenzie Scott that will be thoughtfully invested in the community over the next few years.

In the beauty and spirit of papel picado, we are pleased to share the impact of our work in 2022, independently and in partnership with numerous area entities, across our three priority areas.

PRIORITY AREA: Healthy Living
PRIORITY AREA: Disease Prevention & Management
PRIORITY AREA: Health Leadership

A special thanks to our board members, staff, partners, and grantees for your collaboration and commitment to improve health in our region. We invite you to learn more at


Charles de Wetter

Chair, Board of Directors 

Tracy J. Yellen

Chief Executive Officer


In 2022, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation worked to promote health and prevent disease through grantmaking, collaboration, communications, and advocacy in three main priority areas – Healthy Living, Disease Prevention and Management, and Health Leadership. The Health Foundation’s impact is a result of valued partnerships to effectively plan and implement programs by investing $13.7 million in grants and charitable expenses with 116 grantees across the region to improve health and quality of life in the region. We are pleased to highlight just a few of the partnerships in 2022 that made an impact.

We invite you to learn more about the work of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation at

Lincoln Park / Chicano Park Murals - El Paso


To support efforts that promote positive behaviors to prevent disease including healthy eating, physical activity, smoking/vaping prevention, and positive opportunities for youth.

In 2022, the Health Foundation invested $4.91 million to support 55 grants under the Healthy Living priority area.

Amigos Garden
Mustard Seed Cafe


To make healthy eating a priority in our community by providing health education, policy, and promotion.

MUSTARD SEED CAFÉ AND AMIGOS GARDEN – Developing healthy eating habits can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. The Health Foundation partnered with Mustard Seed Café and Amigos Garden to provide healthier meals at the cafe with the hiring of a part-time nutrition educator, and nutritional and gardening classes for their Vida Natural program participants. Monthly nutritional and gardening classes include an emphasis on identifying healthy portion sizes and increasing fruits and vegetables in one’s diet with 30-40 participants per month.

PDNHF - Playa Drain Trail
PDNHF Playa de Luminarias


To make physical activity the easy choice for the residents of our region through the promotion of exercise, outdoor activity, trail and park development, and use.

PLAYA DE LUMINARIAS – Playa de Luminarias was a fun holiday event for the whole family along the Playa Drain Trail. More than 300 residents walked along the illuminated Playa Drain Trail on Independence Drive, serenaded by mariachi music, with visits from elves, the Grinch and much more. This event was supported by the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, which promotes the trail as a safe place for physical activity for residents in our region. The Playa Drain Trail stretches 8.3 miles from Ascarate Park to Capistrano Park and is part of a 68-mile countywide Paso del Norte Trail that will span the length of El Paso County when completed. 

Spot the Vapes - PDNHF

To learn more, visit


To support coalition and media efforts to prevent and reduce the use of vaping devices through education and outreach to parents, teachers, and youth. 

VAPING – New reports indicate more than 2 million U.S. youth currently use e-cigarettes. About 2 in 4 use e-cigarettes frequently and 1 in 4 use e-cigarettes daily. Smoke-free Paso del Norte, which is an initiative of the Health Foundation and advocates for tobacco control and prevention, developed a new, hyper-targeted campaign to inform parents, school teachers, and community stakeholders on the importance of identifying a vaping device. The campaign “Can you spot the vape?” builds on skills of learning how to recognize vaping devices and supports parents on talking to their children about the dangers of vaping.

Organización Popular Independiente


To improve a range of health outcomes by engaging disconnected youth ages 5-17 in high quality programs during out-of-school hours. 

OPI (ORGANIZACIÓN POPULAR INDEPENDIENTE) – Research has shown out-of-school programs support students’ academic achievement and may play a role in reducing health disparities. For more than 30 years, Organización Popular Independiente, A.C. (OPI) has offered families in Ciudad Juárez a safe environment for children to engage in healthy programs and activities. The Health Foundation has partnered with OPI to provide more than 600 participants, ages 5 to 17, with out-of-school and summer activities such as soccer, basketball, music, dance workshops, and artistic make-up among others that encourage a healthy future by promoting good decision-making, healthy friendships, academics, and emotional resilience. Niñas, niños y jóvenes en acción program has allowed participants to build friendships, improve academically, channel feelings of anger and stress, and stay linked to positive activities that promote healthier development.

As a result, participants enhanced their social skills, build character, have reduced health risks associated with disconnection, and have better long-term health outcomes.



To support and improve efforts to prevent and manage diabetes and mental illness across the region.

In 2022, the Health Foundation invested $3.73 million to support 40 grants under the Disease Prevention & Management priority area.


To develop, lead, and invest in partnerships, organizations, programs, and communications to promote emotional well-being, reduce stigma, and negative bias, and improve access, ease of navigation, and continuity of care for mental and behavioral health services.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso

THINK.CHANGE BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF EL PASO – Research shows that 50% of all mental illnesses begin by age 14 and 75% by the mid-20s. With support from the Health Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso is helping the community address these youth mental health concerns, helping enhance mental health awareness and reduce stigma and negative bias. Youth Mental Health First Aid is a beneficial program for teachers, school staff, coaches, camp counselors, youth group leaders, parents, and adults who work with youth. It is designed to teach caring citizens how to help an adolescent (ages 12-18) experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or crisis. The Mental Health First Aid program has made it possible for Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso staff members to become Mental Health First Aid Instructors. The agency now offers training to mentors and parents to become certified Mental Health First Aiders creating awareness and reducing stigma.