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Nantahala Health Foundation Announces Board Of Directors

Lilly Knoepp
The Nantahala Health Foundation is a newly formed nonprofit which covers the six westernmost counties in North Carolina.

Nantahala Health Foundation has officially announced its board of directors. The foundation covers the six westernmost counties in North Carolina following the sale of Mission Health to for-profit health system HCA Health. The foundation was formed at the beginning of 2019.

Candidates from all six counties and the Qualla Boundary were asked to serve based on criteria ranging from their expertise with social determinants of health to their community ties, according to the press release.

“I’m so grateful for the incredible experience and dedication these board members bring to our newly-formed organization,” says Jane Kimsey, chair of the board. “Their investment in improving the lives of those in our community is inspiring and will make an impact on generations to come.”

The new board members are as follows: David Garrett, Vice Chair (Regional Representative/Jackson County); Sonya Wachacha, Secretary (Qualla Boundary); Lisa Leatherman, Interim-Treasurer (Regional Representative/Macon County); Alison Cochran (Swain County); Jason Johnson (Cherokee County); Angie Knight (Graham County) and Debbie Mauney (Clay County).

The board may still add up to six additional members, according to their by-laws.

After the sale, Mission promised $15 million to all six of the regional hospital foundations.Each foundation has transformed to support the region instead of the for-profit hospital. Dogwood Health Trust recently launched their search for a CEO.

The foundation headquarters is currently listed in Franklin, NC. They have not yet announced the opening of their offices.


Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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