Growing a Community of Philanthropy

Team hands in the middleThe word ”philanthropy” means the love of humanity. It manifests itself as generosity by individuals and organizations for the public good. We’ve seen extraordinary transformations in the Paso de Norte region brought about by the generous spirit of philanthropists – large and small – whose love for others contributes to our quality of life. There is not a shelter, food pantry, orphanage, animal shelter, arts organization or health program that doesn’t benefit from the love of so many.

In light of that, the Paso del Norte Foundation was founded in 2013 to support the philanthropic goals of individuals, corporations, foundations and nonprofit organization to improve education, health, economic development and quality of life in our region. In our five-year history, we have awarded more than $5 million in grants and scholarships, instituted a community-wide giving day, and supported a wide-range of nonprofit organizations and charitable causes through a growing number of foundations and funds that make up our community of philanthropy.

After a successful five years, the Paso del Norte Foundation and Paso del Norte Health Foundation (Health Foundation) are pleased to announce a new organizational structure and relationship that will enable both foundations to better meet our individual and joint missions on behalf of the people of the Paso del Norte region. The organizational change is designed to maximize the operating efficiencies of both foundations by sharing executive, program and development staff as well as administrative, financial and investment support.

The Health Foundation was established in 1995 from the sale of Providence Memorial Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation to lead, leverage and invest in initiatives, programs and policies to promote health and prevent disease in the binational, tri-state region. Since its inception, the Health Foundation has invested more than $164 million in grants and partnerships to improve health while growing assets to more than $241 million.  In its 23 year history, the Health Foundation has supported successful efforts to reduce smoking (by more than 11%), binge drinking, obesity and the social stigmas associated with mental illness, and to increase healthy eating, physical activity (like with ourWalk El Paso, Walk! campaign) and health leadership (with leadership gifts to great initiatives like the Texas Tech for the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine and University of Texas at El Paso School of Pharmacy). 

Under the new structure, the Health Foundation will maintain its assets, board of directors, mission, name, leadership and grantmaking. The new structure will provide cost savings to the Health Foundation and opportunities to grow resources through philanthropy and partnerships with external funders.

We are excited about the organizational change and the additional investments we expect to be able to make as a result. Our collective vision is to ensure that the people of our region have the knowledge, resources, environment and support to live healthy, happy and productive lives.

We look forward to working with donors and partners to increase the resources available to meet the needs of our region, with gifts and funds large and small, for a wide-range of charitable causes, establishing a legacy of philanthropy for the benefit of the people in our binational, tri-state region today and for the future. With a lot of love.


Tracy J. Yellen is the CEO of the Paso del Norte Foundation, which includes the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, Fundación Paso del Norte para la Salud y Bienestar, El Paso Giving Day and a growing community of foundations and funds.

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