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 focuses on the resources people need to stay healthy, by engaging upstream instead of responding downstream and by investing in the human service organizations that are creating healthy opportunities in Western North Carolina through this innovative pilot program. Impact Health is led by Executive Director Laurie Stradley, DrPH.
Support programs and networks that reduce deaths, treat addiction, and prevent first use
Help reduce disparities based on race, location, education and income factors
Invest in integrated heath care with seamless connections to supportive services
Support communities that promote healthy living and resiliency and help mitigate the impact of trauma, isolation and stress on individuals and families, especially those experiencing poverty
Support a well-funded, sustainable, competitive entrepreneur and small business ecosystem throughout the region
Help build a regional economic ecosystem that supports increased creation/retention of jobs and business ownership
Help build a skilled workforce with the knowledge and technical abilities to excel in a wide range of industry employment opportunities that provide a competitive, sustainable wage
Source, analyze and share a comprehensive, county-by-county data set that paints a full picture of work readiness, economic development and entrepreneurial needs and opportunities specific to Western North Carolina
Work in tandem with Economic Opportunity Strategic Priority to invest in career readiness at the community college and university levels
Support K-12 learning experiences with the resources and sustainability to provide an excellent academic and social-emotional education, so that all students graduate ready for college or career
Invest in an improved early childhood education ecosystem with the resources and sustainability to provide developmentally appropriate, affordable and accessible education and care to support ages birth to five, so that all children in WNC enter kindergarten ready to learn
Source, analyze and share a comprehensive set of publicly available data that provides a regularly updated, county-by-county picture of access, workforce and student outcomes in early childhood education and K-12 education specific to Western North Carolina
Loans, guarantees, and other financial tools to leverage funding opportunities
Increase affordable housing for lowest-income individuals and families
Support age-appropriate resources in affordable and workforce units, rental and owned
Invest in housing with sustainable supports for physical and mental health and wellbeing
Support healthy and safe revitalizations that work against displacement and gentrification, preserve home ownership and create generational wealth.