El Paso, Texas – Sept. 14, 2023 – El Paso Health and University Medical Center Foundation (UMCF) hosted a check presentation announcing a $60,000 sponsorship, and a 7th year of partnership between El Paso Health and UMCF for the El Paso Health Car Seat Safety Program. The $60,000 from El Paso Health will fund the 2023-2024 program, which has been managed by UMCF and has served community families since 2014.
The sponsorship will allow for the purchase of car seats, both conventional and special needs car seats for children that cannot travel safely in a conventional car seat. The funding also covers the costs associated with the program’s free monthly car seat safety events, including event supplies, transportation, volunteer food and refreshments. The events rotate between east, central, and west El Paso to teach parents and caregivers which car seats are appropriate for their child’s age, height, and weight, and how to properly install and utilize the car seat.
“El Paso Health is not only proud to fund the Car Seat Safety program, but we are actively involved by hosting installation events at our location. We are always excited when we can provide additional staffing. As the only local health plan, we are a dedicated partner of the UMC Foundation,” said El Paso Health President and CEO Carol Smallwood.
During the check presentation, UMCF Program Director, Carolyn Williams, shared information about the importance of having car seats checked, recent program results, and the program’s commitment to improving safe travel for children in El Paso. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States and more than half of the car seats vehicles are not installed correctly.
“According to NHTSA, Hispanic children ages 4-7 are 14% less likely to be appropriately restrained in a car seat compared to white children,” said Lorrie Walker, Car Seat Expert, Safe Kids Worldwide. With proper installation, car seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.
“The El Paso Health Car Seat Safety Program is thankful for the hundreds of families that attend our events to learn about child passenger safety, and ensure that their child has the appropriate car seat for their child’s age, height and weight,” said Carolyn Williams, UMC Foundation, Program Director, Community Programs. “The families, volunteers, and certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians make it possible for us to work toward improving safe travel for children in our community.”
“Each year, our hospital cares for many victims of car accidents,” said Jacob Cintron, President and CEO, El Paso County Hospital District. “Thankfully, through efforts such as this, we know that many children were spared serious injury because they were protected by a properly installed child car seat. My thanks to Carolyn, UMC Foundation and El Paso Health for ensuring more children will live safer lives in the coming year.”
Over the course of the last year, the Car Seat Safey Program here in El Paso has served 416 families with installation instruction and child passenger safety education. 668 children have been evaluated for safe travel. 582 car seats have been provided to children in need. This year’s program launches with its first event on Saturday, September 16th.
The September 16th kick-off event is full. However, families can sign up for upcoming events by calling 915-521-7229 or visiting umcfoundationelpaso.org/car-safety.
Check Presentation at El Paso Health – 9.14.23 – pictured from left to right – Jaob Cintron, Carolyn Wiliams, Janel Lujan, Dr. Abigail Tarango, Carol Smallwood, and Gustavo Gonzalez
About El Paso Health
El Paso Health is a Texas licensed health maintenance organization (HMO), established by the El Paso County Hospital District. The mission of El Paso Health is to enter into contract with the Health and Human Services Commission for the purpose of improving access to medical care for STAR, CHIP, and CHIP Perinatal recipients in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in far west Texas. El Paso Health also manages a number of healthcare-related programs for the El Paso County Hospital District. In 2019 El Paso Health was awarded the contract for Medicare Advantage Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This contract allows El Paso Health to administer Medicare Advantage Dual SNP to a select group of members who are also covered by Medicaid. For more information, visit elpasohealth.com.
About University Medical Center Foundation
University Medical Center Foundation of El Paso (UMCF) is the designated 501(c)3 charitable organization for University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC). The mission of the foundation is to support healthcare services across the Southwest Border Region through philanthropic and charitable resources. In recent years, with the help of the UMCF, millions of dollars have been spent to help support programs, provide equipment, and assist UMC in providing the highest quality of care for the El Paso community. https://umcfoundationelpaso.org/