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Health & Wellness

Our Strategic Priorities

Single white dogwood flower with green leaves poking out form behind,

Everyone deserves to be healthy regardless of status, resources or circumstances. Equity within health and wellness occurs when people can attain their full health potential. No one should be disadvantaged in this opportunity. The Health and Wellness strategic portfolio aims to support access to care and improving on current conditions, as well as upstream interventions and social determinants of health.

Dogwood’s COVID-19 initiatives have been central to our short-term work in health and wellness, along with bold goals to address substance use disorder. We are currently developing other long-range goals and strategies for health and wellness, and will share those as they are identified. In the meantime, we are interested in learning more about work currently happening throughout Western North Carolina, and invite organizations to complete a pre-application to share your ideas, plans and projects with us. 

Partner Spotlight

In recent years, Harm Reduction, a movement started in the 1980s with an established set of principles, has become more talked about but not more widely understood. Since its founding, Steady Collective has been committed to the principles of Harm Reduction through its investment in and support of programs that make the rights of people who use drugs central to their mission and daily operation.

“We want to grow the movement with integrity and intention, and we know that new Harm Reductionists need education and support to run quality programs that continue the tradition that Steady Collective is a part of.”
- Hill Brown, Co-Director of Steady Collective

With support from Dogwood, Steady Collective hired a full-time registered nurse to provide wound care to the uninsured at outreach events and to offer consultation and direction to Holler Harm Reduction, a new Harm Reduction program in Madison County. Early treatment of injection-related injuries prevents complications that could require surgery or extended hospital stays, and onsite wound care also allows people who have experienced discrimination in doctor's offices or hospitals based on their use to receive non-judgemental care. “We are so grateful for this new partnership with Dogwood Health Trust and the ways it makes it possible for Steady Collective to keep showing up for people using drugs in this region of Appalachia,” Brown added. “We are honored to be able to afford people the care that they need and want in a low barrier, dignified way.”
“As the Pandemic spread across Western North Carolina, the PPE shortages impacting medical practices required a unified response from many partners who were willing to rapidly mobilize and work together. In April 2020, Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) began sourcing and distributing much needed free PPE to medical practices, including over 10,000 surgical masks and face shields. With help from Dogwood Health Trust, WCMS was then able to acquire and distribute for free more than 8,000 isolation gowns to medical practices throughout Western North Carolina. WCMS is currently poised to distribute an additional 148,000 KN-95 asks, 1,700 gowns, 5,000 pairs of gloves, 2,000 face shields and 250 IR thermometers thanks to Dogwood Health Trust. This partnership has made it possible for us to assist WNC medical practices during what has been a tremendously difficult year.”

- Miriam Schwarz, Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Director WCMS


The Community Table

The Community Table works to solve immediate hunger needs in Jackson County. They serve hot meals daily, offer a free table with excess bread and produce and stock a food pantry where clients can get a supplemental box of groceries twice a month.

Outside of the Vecinos Mobile unit with logo and green to yellow swooshes.



Vecinos serves both migrant (workers who travel from other countries and return home each year) and seasonal (workers who live in our community) farmworkers. Vecinos’ new mobile clinic includes a nurse’s station for taking labs and vitals and conducting patient education; a private exam area; a bathroom; and an outdoor awning-covered area with a TV screen for patient education.

Images of healthcare workers and volunteers with "THRIVE" written over them.