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Dogwood Health Trust

Annual Meeting - 2021

Thank you for your interest in our September 2021 virtual community meetings where we shared updates on regional investments, provided an overview of the progress made toward developing goals in each of our four Strategic Priority areas and heard community input.

More than 600 people joined us for our virtual Annual Meeting on October 28, 2020. During that meeting, we shared Dogwood’s strategic priorities and updates on our work so far.

We also asked for community input – through questions submitted in advance, through a live chat during the meeting, and through two online surveys launched during the meeting that remained open for several days. Your ideas and suggestions help to inform our strategic planning and decision-making processes. More than 300 people shared their thoughts, and we’re pleased to share the key themes and common questions here.

Key Themes

  • Our community supports our four strategic priority areas of Housing, Education, Jobs, and Health & Wellness. You also overwhelmingly agreed with us that these four areas are comprehensive and interrelated and added that much of our work can and should thread between two or more of them.
  • Many of you asked about issues that are not expressly named in our strategic priorities, such as transportation, child care, broadband, mental health, aging, and food insecurity. We believe that these and other issues will play a role in addressing the goals we develop for each strategic priority. We know that many issues will align within each strategic priority and that multiple investments will be needed to reach the goals we set.
  • Several people asked questions about how to engage with Dogwood to become a partner or to receive funding. Our internal work to develop well-defined processes was slowed down during our response to COVID-19, but we are working diligently to finalize these processes and will communicate them clearly once complete. However, one thing remains unchanged: Any organization that has an idea that aligns with our four strategic priorities can reach out to any Dogwood team member at any time. Anyone on our team can connect you with the best team member for your particular conversation. Find a team member or send your inquiry to [email protected].
  • You asked that we continue to learn more about every community, their needs, and the organizations within them in order to help address issues of capacity and make connections. We agree that this is an important role for Dogwood and one that we will continue to pursue and develop. Continued conversation and learning will be an integral part of how we do our work.
  • In addition, you suggested that Dogwood base its approaches on the expertise and assets that exist here in the region, supplemented with additional outside expertise if needed, to create a dynamic and inclusive infrastructure for change. We couldn’t agree more!

Common Questions

During our annual meeting, we addressed many of the questions submitted in advance. We encourage you to watch the recording of the meeting. The most common questions that emerged before and during the event are answered below.

You can visit our online portal to fill out a pre-application. This pre-application offers a place to share ideas and plans and initiate the process of working with the Dogwood Health Trust Impact Team.

We recognize that there will be partners within our four strategic priority areas who will need capacity support to help achieve common goals. We are working internally to determine how we will define “capacity building” and how we will invest in the capacity of our partners within the context of our work toward our four strategic priorities.

Every strategic priority will have a number of specific goals and metrics, which we will identify early in 2021. Some will be shorter term, and some longer term. For example, we might choose to identify a minimum number of affordable housing units created in a certain timeframe or a percentage decrease in those experiencing food insecurity. We will share those goals and metrics and work with partners who also commit to achieving them. We will hold ourselves and one another accountable and adapt our work as needed to achieve them.

Always. Listening and learning are critical to our ongoing work. As the world around us changes, the needs of communities will change. New ideas will spring forth. New opportunities and assets will present themselves. In order to dramatically improve the health and wellness of our region, we must stay in constant communication. We will share what we learn as we go along, and we will continue to seek and gather ideas and recommendations from our partners and communities. We may not be able to respond to every individual inquiry, but we will always listen with respect.

Within our four strategic priorities, we seek to create a WNC where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive with dignity and opportunity for ALL. No exceptions. We will strive to ensure that each of our four priority areas is inclusive of everyone and make special efforts to ensure that inclusion occurs.

As our staff began to grow in 2020, we considered how to accommodate the need for more space. Our first plan was to lease an additional floor in our current office building at 890 Hendersonville Road in Asheville. However, when the opportunity to purchase the entire campus presented itself in late summer, we conducted a financial analysis and realized that we could purchase the campus for only slightly more than we’d pay to rent two floors of space. The entire campus includes four acres and five floors of office space in two buildings. We also recognized that this might eventually allow us to create an easily accessible gathering and convening space for nonprofit organizations, which was a need we have heard frequently from those throughout the region. We are currently renovating the space.

As we’re sure everyone can understand, we cannot discuss specifics of personnel matters. However, we are happy to share the news of new arrivals, such as of our Interim CEO, Dr. Susan Mims. Selecting Dr. Mims as an Interim CEO gives our organization time for reflection before beginning the search for our next CEO. Our board will work to design a thoughtful and intentional search process in 2021, and we will provide more information as that effort gets underway. We are also delighted to welcome a new Senior VP of Impact, William Buster, and we will continue to share news as other senior leaders join our team.

Although Dogwood Health Trust was formed from the proceeds of the sale of the assets of Mission Health System to HCA, Dogwood Health Trust itself has very limited areas of influence over HCA’s actions. Our oversight is restricted to 15 commitments HCA made during the sale of Mission Health System. We work with an Independent Monitor to fulfill that oversight role and report our findings to the North Carolina Attorney General. There are a number of other organizations that oversee hospital quality, care, and cost in North Carolina.