Western North Carolina Health

Picture of the Flatiron building, a seven-story building in downtown Asheville with some older architectural trappings and window designs. A tree borders the left side.
Cass Herrington / BPR News

Around one in four Buncombe County residents reported having more than a week of poor mental health in a month, according to a 2018 report by the county's Health and Human Services Department. Finding and affording a therapist are two barriers for treatment, but historically marginalized communities also face cultural stigma and a lack of providers who share their experiences.

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

Lilly Knoepp

Today, Mission Health System has officially been purchased by for-profit hospital system HCA Healthcare for $1.5 billion dollars. The sale has been in negotiations since March 2018.

“We’re looking forward to investing in western North Carolina and helping ensure Mission Health’s 133-year tradition of caring for communities throughout the region continues for many years,” says Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA Healthcare in a press release.

Lilly Knoepp

 More than 2 million people in North Carolina will be impacted when changes to the state’s Medicaid program take effect.


At the end of last year, North Carolina finalized terms to move to a managed-care system for Medicaid in the state. The first regions of North Carolina where those changes will be rolled out will be announced at the beginning of February says Deputy Secretary for North Carolina Medicaid Dave Richards.