Project Vida receives certification for a Community-Based Psychiatry Residency Program

June 22, 2023

Project Vida was recently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to provide a Community-Based Psychiatry Residency Program for medical students. This new residency program will offer the opportunity to train the next generation of psychiatrists to help treat underserved communities in El Paso and the Paso del Norte region.

The accredited program was made possible thanks to a $330,000 grant from the Health Foundation that helps support additional staff and faculty, curricula development, and programmatic efforts for the first few years until it can be self-sustainable.

“We are pleased to support Project Vida’s efforts to attain this important accreditation and increase the number of mental health residents and providers for our community,” said Tracy J. Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. “The Health Foundation is committed to working with organizations to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and improve access to high quality, appropriate, and timely mental and behavioral health services.”

Border communities face several unique challenges when it comes to mental health, including high levels of stress, limited access to mental health services, language and cultural barriers, and exposure to trauma and violence. The Community-Based Psychiatry Residency Program at Project Vida Health Center will focus on providing specialized training in community psychiatry, cultural competency, and social determinants of health.

“We are thrilled to offer this new residency program to medical residents interested in serving the unique needs of border communities,” said Bill Schlesinger, CEO of Project Vida Health Center. “The USA-Mexico border region is home to a diverse population with unique mental health challenges, and we believe this program will help to ensure that all individuals have access to high-quality mental health services.”

The Community-Based Psychiatry Residency Program at Project Vida Health Center will begin accepting applications in Fall 2023. For more information, please visit or contact Dr. Cynthia Garza at

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