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Dogwood Health Trust CEO Stepping Down

Jessi Stone/Smoky Mountain News
Antony Chiang met with WNC nonprofits and community leaders in Sylva in October 2019 for the first time.

The Dogwood Health Trust Board of Directors has announced that Antony Chiang is stepping down from his role as Chief Executive Officer. 

Chiang started his role at Dogwood Health Trust in November 2019 after moving to the region from  his role as president ofEmpire Health Foundation in Washington state

“During the past year, Antony worked closely with the Board to establish an innovative vision for Dogwood Health Trust. His contributions have been both impactful and valued,” says Janice Brumit, chair of the board of directors in a statement. “As our focus shifts to operations, capacity building, and deepening relationships with our non-profit and community-based partners, our needs have evolved, and we require a different approach moving forward.”

Dogwood Health Trust, was established in February 2019 when private hospital giant HCA Healthcare bought the non-profit hospital Mission Health for $1.5 billion. The foundation is tasked with allocating profits from that sale to organizations across the 18 Western counties and the Qualla Boundary.

Chaing orchestrated Dogwood’s pandemic response to COVID-19 and launched responsive grantmaking for Immediate Opportunity and Needs Grants as well as a Racial Equity grant which was announced on Tuesday.

The Racial Equity Community Grants are set up for historically underfunded organizations serving Black, indigenous, and communities of color in the region.  These grants can be up to $25,000 for one-time needs, program support, general operations, and for purposes that the organizations deem important.  The Board of Directors for the Dogwood Health Trust approved $1 million for these grants as part of a $5.5 million allocation to address racial equity in Western North Carolina. 

In addition, Chaing built out the Dogwood Health Trust staff in support of its grantmaking and programmatic activities, according to a press release. 

The Board expects to appoint an interim CEO by the end of October while conducting a search for a permanent leader.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She 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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