Dogwood Health Trust

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

The Nantahala Health Foundation and Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation hope to address the region’s housing crisis by helping homeowners keep their homes livable.  

Lori Bailey, executive director of nonprofit Nantahala Health Foundation explains their new Healthy Homes Initiative.

“If you’re a family that is really struggling to get by already then you need a little assistance just to keep it in good repair going forward and so that you are able to keep living there,” said Bailey.

Lilly Knoepp

In this week’s BPR Presents “The Porch,” news director Matt Bush talks with our regional report Lilly Knoepp about her recent reporting on HCA Healthcare’s commitment to the Mission Health System.

For-profit HCA purchased Mission Health in 2019. Here’s a transcript of the conversation along with links to resources: 

Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced three new board members.

“There is a wealth of talented leadership in Western North Carolina from which to select our directors, and these three are all great examples,” said Dogwood Health Trust Board Chair Janice Brumit.

Three WNC hospitals are on the list to receive the first COVID-19 vaccine shipments.  Earlier this week, North Carolina health officials announced that Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville would be among the 11 “early ship sites” that would hold the vaccine in cold storage during the approval process, which is expected to continue this weekend with the meeting of the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust, the foundation created to disburse the profits of the sale of Mission Health, is required to host an annual public meeting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the meeting was hosted via Zoom this week.  

About 600 people virtually attended Dogwood Health Trust's first annual public meeting. 

Janice Brumit, chair of the Dogwood board, reports the foundation has given out about $40 million in total across the 18-county region it covers including the Qualla Boundary.

Farisha Mohammed

The Dogwood Health Trust has chosen an interim CEO after the foundation’s CEO Antony Chiang stepped down in September.

Jessi Stone/Smoky Mountain News

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 of Empire Health Foundation in Washington state

Courtesy of U.S. Census

Right now only about 30 percent of Jackson and Swain Counties have responded to the U.S. Census. Statewide almost 60 percent of North Carolians have already responded to the census. 

“Western North Carolina has historically been undercounted in the Census and 2020 is no exception,” said Jackie Simms, chair of the programs and grants committee at Dogwood Health Trust in a press release. 


Find the latest COVID-19 updates & info here   Along with restaurants, hotels, and many small businesses – physician practices across Western North Carolina are feeling the financial crunch from the coronavirus.  A  MAHEC  survey of 100 primary care practices finds many are being hit hard by both the shortage of  supplies  - and patients.  

Courtesy of Kitsbow

A cooperative effort of Western North Carolina outdoor gear companies will bring personal protective equipment to local healthcare workers.

In Old Fort, about 30 employees have been working around the clock at Kitsbow’s factory which just opened 5 months ago. 

You can hear the whirring of a mechanical tool. That’s a computer controlled fabric cutter. Until recently, the machine made high end cycling clothing explains CEO David Billstorm. Now it’s cutting layers of fabric to make face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment, known as PPE. 

Lilly Knoepp

Dogwood Health Trust has committed to spending $10 million to fight COVID-19 in Western North Carolina.  

In a Zoom call on Wednesday afternoon, Dogwood Health Trust CEO Antony Chiang explained that the foundation, which was created after the $1.5 billion dollar sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare, is working with local partners across the region to address the COVID-19 epidemic.  

Chiang says that the foundation is focusing on three areas: flattening the curve, preparing the region and mitigating negative impacts from the virus.   

Lilly Knoepp

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina(CFWNC) has announced an Emergency and Disaster Response Fund to help nonprofit’s addressing issues impacted by COVID-19, as well as, relief efforts across the 18-county region. 

Lilly Knoepp

The independent monitor overseeing HCA’s compliance with the agreements it made when it bought Mission Health has completed its round of public meetings.  BPR’s Lilly Knoepp talked with Gibbins Advisor’s co-founder about what’s next: 

During the first two months of this year, Gibbins Advisors held 7 public meetings in Mission Health’s service area.  Ron Winters estimates over 600 people attended those meetings to share their experiences on how healthcare at Mission facilities has changed since HCA bought the health system in February of last year. 

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

The Dogwood Heath Trust announced its first awards with money from the sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA.  Nearly 300 different nonprofits and government agencies received more than $3.7 million from Dogwood Health.  The grants were spread across the entire 18 counties of Mission Health System's coverage area as well as the Qualla Boundary, according to Dogwood.

Lilly Knoepp

Since Mission Health’s sale to for-profit HCA, the six local legacy foundations have given out about $12 million in grants to 169 organizations. Let's take a deeper look at the foundations and the organizations they funded:  

In the great room of Wildcat Cliffs Country Club in Highlands, representatives from 26 organizations were welcomed by the Highlands-Cashiers Health Foundation: 

“Good evening, it’s such an honor to welcome you all to our inaugural grant awards.”  

Photo courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced that two Buncombe County board members have stepped down in accordance with a deal with the North Carolina Attorney General. 


Dogwood Health Trust, the foundation created by Mission Health’s $1.5 billion sale to for-profit  HCA, is following through on Attorney General Josh Stein’s stipulations of the deal. Dogwood agreed to the terms in a commitment letter.


Lilly Knoepp

The Nantahala Health Foundation  has awarded its first round of grants. The Macon-County based foundation created out of the sale of Mission Health gave out almost $1.5 million to organizations in five counties and the Qualla Boundary.  Lori Bailey has been the executive director of Nantahala Health since September. 


Photo courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced a new grant called Immediate Opportunities and Needs (ION). These grants will be one-time funding options for needs ranging from technology to consultants. 

“The work of nonprofit organizations and government agencies is unpredictable – especially when dealing with factors that contribute to the overall health and wellness of people,” said Brian Myers, chief strategy officer for Dogwood Health Trust in a press release. 


Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced a fund to help local organizations hire grant writers. 

It’s called the Leverage Fund, explains Antony Chiang, Dogwood’s new CEO.


Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has approved Gibbins Advisors as the independent monitor of HCA Healthcare. The healthcare consulting firm based in White Plains, New York will be responsible for watching over HCA as outlined in the asset purchase agreement with Stein. 

“That commitment to engaging with local communities, along with the monitor’s qualifications, led me to direct my office to consent to the selection of this monitor,” says Stein in a press release. 

Jessi Stone/Smoky Mountain News

Leaders representing local nonprofits and community organizations packed a conference room at Southwestern Community College. Janice Brunmit, Chair of Dogwood Health Trust introduced the new CEO Antony Chaing.


Dogwood was established in February 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 counties and the Qualla Boundary. Chaing says the aim is to improve public health. 


Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust, the nonprofit foundation created by the sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA, has chosen its initial CEO. 

Antony Chiang, president of Empire Health Foundation, has been chosen as the initial CEO of Dogwood.  He has been president of he organization for the last nine years. It is similar to Dogwood but based in Spokane, Washington. 

Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced another member of their board of directors. 

The non-profit health foundation that was formed when Mission Health sold to for-profit HCA Health announced that Dr. Donna Tipton-Rogers  will join the board. 

A Cherokee County native and graduate of Murphy High School, Tipton-Rogers became the first woman to serve as president of Tri-County Community College in 2007. 

Lilly Knoepp

Nantahala Health Foundation has hired Lori Bailey as executive director of the organization. The new nonprofit health foundation formed after the February sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA Health.

Photo courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Since the sale of Mission Health earlier this year, the foundation tasked with spending the profits of the deal has been quiet.  BPR got an update from the chair of the organization’s board:

Photo courtesy of NC Rural Center

Jackson County resident and executive director of the Southwestern Commission Sarah Thompson is the newest member of the Dogwood Health Trust Board.  Officially known as the  Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission, the regional council of government works with the seven westernmost counties on technical, economic and planning resources.   “I think it's an incredible opportunity for all of WNC, and I'm thrilled to be able to bring my perspective on rural community and economic development to the board,” says Thompson in an email.   Thompson is 14th member of

Courtesy of Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust has announced that it has added  Dawna Goode-Ledbetter to the organization’s board of directors.

Goode-Ledbetter is a native of McDowell County. She currently serves as executive treasurer of the McDowell Chamber of Commerce and as vice-chair of the McDowell County Health Coalition.

Goode-Ledbetter is the 13th member of the Dogwood Health Trust Board of Directors.  

Lilly Knoepp

Nantahala Health Foundation has officially announced its board of directors.

Lilly Knoepp

The Dogwood Health Trust Foundation has officially opened up the search for a CEO.

The organization, which was created by the sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA Health, has posted a leadership profile on their website with details about applying for the position.

Lilly Knoepp

The Dogwood Health Trust Board has announced Jackie Godlock of Rutherford County will join the board of directors. This brings the total board to 12 including Vice Chair Jack Cecil and Chair Janice Brumit.