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The Healthy Families Healthy Kids Initiative (HFHKI) is a community-based initiative developed based on the socio-ecological model to address preventive health care needs in El Paso County, Texas, one of the most economically and health-challenged border communities in the United States. HFHKI’s three main goals are to increase access to experiential learning and health education, service delivery, and sustainable systems/linkages of care. These were accomplished through seven critical activities. We present the rationale, background, setting, and conceptual framework for the initiative, followed by the methods used to develop and assess the success of the activities and results of our project outcomes. We end with a discussion of lessons learned and future directions. We also share insights gained from our community health promotion intervention during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will enrich current conversations among applied social scientists. Overall, our project served 2,347 participants of all age ranges during our first year of project implementation across all 7 activities. We recommend the use of the socio-ecological model in designing, implementing, and improving health interventions aimed at enhancing family and community health, with each intervention tailored to the needs of different segments of the community. While the need to contain the COVID-19 virus amid the pandemic has created challenges in health promotion efforts, the need to help affected communities regain control of their health cannot be stressed enough. Our project can serve as an implementation framework for community-based projects on the U.S.-Mexico border.


© The Author(s) 2023

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Publication Title

Journal of Applied Social Science



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