History of Project HOPE Programs in the United States
Project HOPE began conducting health programs in the United States in 1969, focusing on the Southwest and working primarily with Hispanic and Native American communities. Programs traditionally targeted rural, medically underserved areas and focused on developing primary care services and the training of primary health care workers. More recently, our programs in the United States have addressed chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Our programs in the United States have included the following.
- Laredo, Texas – In 1969, Project HOPE implemented a program to train individuals recruited from the local “colonias” in health science professions to address the severe shortages in health professionals in this community.
- Ganado, Arizona Navajo Reservation – In 1969, Project HOPE began a five-year project working with Navajo leaders to help establish the first Native American-operated health care system in America.
- Navajo Community College Arizona – At the invitation of the Board of Regents of the Navajo Community College, the first Indian-owned and Indian-operated institution of higher learning in the United States, Project HOPE helped establish the first nurse education program on an Indian reservation.
- El Paso, Texas – Over a five-year period, Project HOPE provided extended educational opportunities to increase the number of allied health personnel in the El Paso regional area.
- San Diego, California – Project HOPE in partnership with the Graduate School of Public Health and the School of Nursing at San Diego State University provided resources and training to develop bi-national health programs in serve, education and research for the purpose of improving border health.
- Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California Southwest Border Programs – The Southwest Border Project, implemented by Project HOPE and funded by the Federal Office of Community Services, targeted medically underserved, economically depressed communities along the U.S. Mexico border in 10 counties in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The purpose of this four-year initiative was to address poverty through job training in the health professions.
- Yuma, Arizona – Project HOPE helped train poverty-level residents for permanent jobs in the health care industry and developed linkages between Arizona Western College and area health care providers to initiate health occupational training programs.
- Cameron and Hidalgo Counties, Texas – In the early 1990’s, Project HOPE initiated a lay health care worker training program to educate community residents on Medicaid eligibility standards and procedures with a goal of increasing access to health care among low-income, disenfranchised people along the Texas/Mexico border. The lay health care workers were trained to perform disease prevention, screening, patient referral and education services.
- Community-Oriented Primary Care: Laredo, Texas – In the late 1990’s, Project HOPE in partnership with the state of Texas and health care providers in Laredo, implemented a pilot community-oriented primary care project aimed at coordinating services and resources, providing outreach and helping restructure the local health care system.
- Tuberculosis Treatment and Prevention: U.S.-Mexico Border – In 1998, to address the critical health challenge of drug-resistant TB facing the Texas/Mexico border region, Project HOPE developed a program linking TB treatment providers in both the U.S. and Mexican border states, aimed at significantly reducing the total case number as well as the number of drug-resistant cases.
- Hurricane Katrina Response – When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, HOPE responded by sending 75 medical volunteers to the region to work aboard the U.S Navy Hospital Ship Comfort. After answering the call for immediate relief, Project HOPE continued to help the damaged health care system rebound by partnering with Coastal Family Health Centers (CFHC) in Moss Point, Mississippi, establishing and furnishing a primary care clinic with the help of donors and partners who supplied buildings.
- Habits for Life: New Mexico – From 2009-2012, Project HOPE and United Health Group collaborated on a program to address the problem of chronic diseases in New Mexico using state-of-the-art mobile health technology. The initiative included an effective healthy habits outreach campaign promoting better understanding of the links among diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer and how to prevent them. The program also included a comprehensive screening initiative, which reached more than 10,000 individuals.
- Mississippi Delta – In an effort to address the lack of critical care access in the Mississippi Delta, Project HOPE has established a partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the Delta Health Alliance and five rural Critical Access Hospitals to offer remote monitoring of critical care patients in rural communities. The three-year program (July 2012-June 2015) is funded by the US Department of Agriculture under its Rural Development initiative.