Greenville Health System (GHS) recently awarded the PASOs team in Greenville County with the GHS Pillar Award. This quarterly honor is given to a program that transforms healthcare for the benefit of the people GHS serves. Programs that receive the GHS Pillar Award are distinguished by their ability to create positive results within the community and impact people, service, quality, growth, finance and/or academics.
“PASOs helps build a stronger South Carolina by supporting the Latino community,” says Ms. Jennifer Snow, director of accountable communities at GHS and PASOs board of advisors vice chair. “PASOs really is the face for the hospital out in the community.”
With an annual budget of $1.3 million, PASOs is a community-based organization, whose central office is housed in the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health. They specialize in connecting Latino families with critical education and resources in areas such as maternal and child health and early childhood development. The non-profit uses custom programming and collaborative partnerships with the Latino community and hundreds of service providers to educate, support and empower families.
Established in 2005 by executive director Ms. Julie Smithwick, PASOs was created with support from Palmetto Health’s Division of Women’s and Neonatology Services and a community grant from the South Carolina March of Dimes. In 2008, PASOs partnered with the Arnold School. With funding from The Duke Endowment for this partnership, the Arnold School provides support and technical assistance to PASOs. Over the past 12 years, PASOs has expanded to provide local programming into 15 counties, with services provided to families from 28 counties.
PASOs established a presence in Greenville County in 2009 through a partnership between the University of South Carolina and GHS. The Greenville team provides services such as education for individuals and families on family health and prevention, community health outreach on women’s health and family health topics, connection to needed resources, cultural competency consulting and training, and training teams of community health workers.
Greenville PASOs began its partnership with GHS in the system’s obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) Center. It later expanded to their Center for Pediatric Medicine and has since been fully integrated into the Accountable Communities division.
“PASOs, in its 12 years, has developed amazing trust with our community,” says Ms. Rut Rivera, manager of the PASO’s program in Greenville. “So when our Latino community sees PASOs and knows about us, they trust us already because we have already developed that trust within the community.”