Recognizing the importance and power of connection, the Meadows Institute continues to find ways to bring together people who reflect the unique cultures, traditions, and voices of all parts of Texas and beyond. After years of working with the El Paso community, facilitated by long-time Institute partner, the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, we were entrusted by the Foundation and the community to establish the Paso del Norte Center to cultivate local collaboration and provide independent policy and program guidance grounded in the strengths and needs of the people of the El Paso region.
Since its establishment in 2021, the Paso Del Norte Center has developed strong relationships with local leaders across the healthcare, government, and nonprofit sectors. Central to this was establishing the Center’s Leadership Cabinet, chaired by Meadows Institute Board Member Sharon Butterworth and composed of highly-respected local leaders able to inform and guide further regional mental health improvements.
The core work of the Center in 2022 focused on leveraging Meadows Institute expertise in partnership with El Paso County leaders to move regional collaboration forward based on recommendations from our 2021 El Paso Behavioral Health System Assessment. As the 88th Legislative Session drew closer, work began in earnest with state representatives to accelerate planning and development for a new state hospital for El Paso County.
The Center also expanded its presence in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties and took the first steps in exploring partnerships in Southern New Mexico and the city of Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Other notable achievements of the Center included:
- Partnering with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation Program staff as they updated their Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being Strategic Plan and funded a new grant portfolio of regional grantees to complement the work of the Regional Behavioral Health Consortia.
- Providing regional nonprofit organizations with technical support to support their implementation of the 2021 assessment recommendations.
- Hosting local events featuring Meadows Institute experts to teach community stakeholders about best practice behavioral health system interventions.