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Dogwood Health Trust Board Announces Two More Members

Lilly Knoepp
This map made by the SEARCH committee pinpoints the locations of 5 rural hospitals in the Mission Health System compared to where the Dogwood Health Trust Board members live.

The Dogwood Health Trust Board has confirmed Vivian Bolanos (Henderson County) and Jacquelyn “Jackie” Shropshire Simms (Buncombe County) as new members. This brings the total board to 11 including Vice Chair Jack Cecil and Chair Janice Brumit.

Critics have argued that there is a lack of diversity on the board as well as a lack of inclusivity of community leaders outside Buncombe County. The Asheville-Buncombe NAACP has called for current board members to step down so that more diverse leaders can be included.

With the two additional members, there are now three women on the board, two board members who are not white and five who live outside of Buncombe County.

Vivian Bolanos has lived and worked in Henderson County since 2000. She is the vice president and business development officer for First Bank in Hendersonville, NC.

“I recognize the incredible responsibility of this Board appointment and feel honored and grateful to serve,” says Bolanos in a press release.

Jackie Simms, a teacher in the State's Early Intervention Program for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, has been a passionate advocate for education and children with hearing impairment for over 50 years, states the press release.  In 2016, Ms. Simms was presented with the Martin Luther King, Jr. award by The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County.

“Serving on the Board for Dogwood Health Trust is such a wonderful and unique opportunity,” says Simms in the press release. “I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of a team that is charged with making real and positive change in the lives of western North Carolinians.”

The rest of the board is made up of: John R. Ball, MD, JD (Buncombe County), Michell Hicks, CPA (Qualla Boundary), Sam Lupas (Jackson County), George Renfro (Buncombe County), Robert C. Roberts (Buncombe County), Wyatt S. Stevens, JD (Buncombe County) and Martha Tyner (Yancey County).

You can nominate board members at Dogwood Health Trust online.

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