A Catalyst for Collaboration and Innovation
Healthy Opportunities Are Coming to WNC
NC Department of Health and Human Services
Nantahala Health Foundation's coverage area of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain, Macon, Jackson counties, and the Qualla Boundary has been included in one of three North Carolina Healthy Opportunities pilot programs designed to improve the health and wellness of the state's Medicaid beneficiaries. Following a competitive application process, our partners at Dogwood Health Trust were chosen to implement the only WNC pilot program, which also covers Avery, Burke, Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, and Yancey counties. 

On July 1, North Carolina launched this major transition to its Medicaid managed care program, which will impact how millions of North Carolinians receive care. In a nutshell, the Healthy Opportunities Pilot will allow nonprofit human service organizations (HSOs) providing services related to housing, transportation, food, or interpersonal safety to receive Medicaid reimbursement for those services delivered to eligible Medicaid members. 

The goals of the Healthy Opportunities Pilot are to:
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of select, evidence-based, non-medical interventions and the role of the Network Leads in improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs for high-risk NC Medicaid Managed Care members.
  • Leverage evaluation findings to embed cost-effective interventions that improve health outcomes into the Medicaid program statewide, furthering the department’s goals for a sustainable Medicaid program.
  • Support the sustainability of delivering non-medical services identified as effective through the evaluation, including by strengthening the capabilities of Human Service Organizations and partnerships with health care payers and providers.
Dogwood Health Trust, as a Healthy Opportunities Network Lead, has created a new, separate, community-led 501c3, called Impact Health, to manage this work. Impact Health, under the leadership of Executive Director Robyn Hamilton, will spend the upcoming months building its network of human service organizations and developing its capacity and that of regional HSOs to participate in the pilots. NCDHHS anticipates that pilot service delivery will begin in the spring of 2022.

We at Nantahala Health Foundation want to express our thanks to Dogwood Health Trust for their work to bring this opportunity to our region. We look forward to supporting this initiative's goals as we are able at every step along the way to better health and wellness for those in need.
Attend In-person CHIP Demonstration
Nantahala Health Foundation invites nonprofit service providers to partner with us to improve health and wellness outcomes in the Western North Carolina region.

Our Collaborative Health Innovation Program (CHIP) grant application window has opened and will available for submissions through August 12. This opportunity includes the potential to award a collaborative project up to $50,000 in support of an innovative approach to better outcomes for individuals in the areas of healthcare, wellness, education, and/or economic stability.

Grant recipients will be selected based on their demonstrated innovative approach to problem-solving. They will work inclusively with their communities, make the most of existing resources, and collaborate with at least one other organization to achieve their goals.
Three in-person grant application demonstrations are scheduled for organizational leaders considering applying for a 2021 CHIP grant. Nantahala Health Foundation staff will be on hand to walk you through the application process and answer your questions. Each presentation will cover the same information, so participants are invited to choose the most convenient session:

Jackson County
2 - 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 13
Burrell Building, Southwestern Community College
447 College Drive, Sylva

Cherokee County
10 a.m. - Noon Wednesday, July 14
Crisp Building, Tri-County Community College
21 Campus Circle, Murphy

Graham County
2 - 4 p.m. Thursday, July 15
Media Center, Robbinsville High School
301 Sweetwater Road, Robbinsville

Registration is required. Additional meeting details will be provided with your registration confirmation closer to the event. A review of the CHIP grant template and our funding priorities on our website prior to attending an in-person session is highly recommended.
If you are unable to attend an in-person session (attendance is not required to apply) or want to get a head start on your application, please visit our website for detailed instructions and resources, including a downloadable comprehensive grant template, related to the application process.
Or use the link below to jump directly into our grants management platform:
Innovation Alert: Libraries reach out and touch virtually everyone in their communities across the economic spectrum. The same way libraries brought high-speed Internet to underserved communities, could they also deploy telehealth services to bring affordable healthcare where it is needed most?

Click on the link below to learn more about how and why a rural Texas library decided to expand its services to include telehealth opportunities for its patrons.
Improving Healthcare Literacy

"Many people don't understand the biology behind their bodies," said Dr. Jen Gunter in her Body Stuff TED Talk series. "The truth is that when you understand how your systems function, you are able to make better decisions; you're not as prone to fall for hype or pseudo-science."

Summer is the perfect time to find out how much you understand about hydration. Answer the true-or-false question below, then click on the video link to find out if you answered correctly.
True or False: You need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
Partners Making Progress:
Graham County Schools
In late 2019 within our Education priority funding category, Nantahala Health Foundation invested in a greenhouse construction project at Robbinsville High School. This project was designed to address several needs in the community, including teaching some of the area's most vulnerable students self-help and workforce development skills to enable them to be productive, responsible citizens.

"Our school is always striving to provide students with skills that will assist them in making a successful transition to either the workforce or secondary education," said Robert Moody, director of the Graham County Schools Educational Academy. Once greenhouse plants begin to produce fruits and vegetables, students will learn how agriculture work within such a facility can provide food for a community in need, showing them how to be of service to others, Moody continued.

While COVID-19 forced school officials to put greenhouse construction plans on hold for much of 2020, the building is finally taking shape on the school campus. Please join us in congratulating all involved in this innovative approach to educating students and strengthening nutrition systems in Graham County!
Our Funding Priorities
Our grant-making priorities are designed to create a strong network of organizations by investing in your strategies to remove barriers to health.
Meet Our Partners
At Nantahala Health Foundation, we build partnerships with forward-thinking organizations focused on improving the overall health of the region. 
Our Values Statement

Our values speak to who we are as an organization and how we intend to achieve our mission. Read our full statement of values and let us know what you think.
Western North Carolinians are known for their generosity and their willingness to help neighbors in need. Please share this newsletter with all who would benefit from learning more about regional efforts to improve health and wellness.
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Following health and safety guidance to promote social distancing, NHF staff has shifted mostly to telework and is conducting business through virtual platforms. However, we strive to be accessible and minimize disruptions as much as possible under these circumstances. During this time, you may contact us through email or by leaving a message on our office voicemail, which will be forwarded to us.
Financial information about our organization and a copy of our license are available from the N.C. State Solicitation Licensing Section at (919) 807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.