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The State’s New Healthy Opportunities Pilot

A Great Opportunity for Western North Carolina

What is Western North Carolina Doing to Engage in Healthy Opportunities?

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has a bold new plan for Medicaid services, and Dogwood Health Trust and Western North Carolina are part of it. In a nutshell, NCDHHS has created a new pilot program called the Healthy Opportunities Pilot that will make it possible for Medicaid dollars to fund much more than just clinical health care.

Through the Healthy Opportunities Pilot, organizations that provide services related to nutrition and food assistance, transportation, housing and interpersonal safety can receive payments for services they provide to a subset of NC Medicaid patients. The goal? To ultimately improve health and save millions on treatment of clinical illnesses or conditions by investing in evidence-based interventions before health becomes a problem.

NCDHHS is supporting Healthy Opportunities Pilots in three areas across the state including Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust launched ImpactHealth, a WNC-based nonprofit to serve as the network lead for our pilot region.

Impact Health

Impact Health is responsible for building and supporting our region’s network of human service organizations that provide housing, nutrition, transportation and interpersonal safety services through the Healthy Opportunities Pilot. It serves as a bridge between network members and NCDHHS. Impact Health is led by Executive Director Laurie Stradley, DrPH.

Laurie Stradley, DrPH

Laurie Stradley, DrPH

Executive Director

A long-time WNC resident, Laurie Stradley, brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience in community health and early intervention healthcare. Prior to her role as Impact Health’s executive director, Laurie served as the chief strategy and program officer of the national nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation. She was the executive lead for Healthier Generation’s single strategy to convene and equip health, school, and community champions with an array of tools and resources that prepare them to equitably transform environments surrounding young people and their families.

Laurie’s experience also includes serving as the director of system wellness at Mission Health, where she worked to improve employee health and well-being and develop population health strategies for the healthcare system. She was a founding member of the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville, holding the role of director of state and community collaboration. An active community leader, Laurie has served on numerous boards, including the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Mountain Area Health Education Center, NC Alliance for Health, and the YWCA of Asheville. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellow.

Laurie earned a doctorate of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. The focus of her dissertation was the intersection of social drivers of health and the work of local public health agencies in North Carolina. She has a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

Laurie lives in east Asheville with her husband Matt, daughter Millie, son Sam and their two rescue pups Daisy and Astra. When she finds a moment of free time, you can find her hiking, reading historical fiction or watching a good action flick.

Impact Health will be hiring positions over the next few months. Check out current listings here