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A Catalyst for Collaboration and Innovation




October 2023

Hello and Welcome to Nantahala Health Foundation's monthly newsletter. There's no shortage of newsletters you can subscribe to, so THANK YOU for reading ours today. If you find value in the content below, please share this information with your friends and colleagues.

In this Edition

  • A Message from our Executive Director
  • Now + Next 2024 Dates Are Set
  • Nantahala Health Foundation in the News
  • Partner Spotlight: REACH of Macon County
  • Supporting Our Community

Happy Gathering Together Season!

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the glorious change of season, from the heat of summer to the warmth that comes from gathering together with those we love during autumn.

I've been thinking lately about how strong our gathering instincts are this time of year. We gather from our gardens so that we may share the harvest bounty at our dinner tables. We gather in football stadiums so that we may share our community pride with our neighbors. We begin to gather tokens of appreciation so that we may share these feelings through the act of giving gifts at Christmas.

As the Executive Director of a regional nonprofit, I know that Gathering Season marks the official start of reaching out to supporters to ask for year-end contributions, and for good reason. Successful year-end fundraisers can mean the difference between more or less staff next year, more or less support for clients, more or fewer lives changed for the better. And as always, nonprofits like Nantahala Health Foundation are in need of donations now more than ever before.

Our case for support this and every season is simple: Your gifts assure both our continued collaborative response to address the root causes of poor health in far Western North Carolina, as well as our work to build the capacity of organizations we partner with. In fact, if you are reading this, you are likely a part of one of these organizations.

Support for Nantahala Health Foundation ensures our dedication to improving health by addressing the social drivers of health continues for several critical reasons. Firstly, we are committed to remaining steadfast in our attention to how social drivers of health such as income, education, housing, and access to nutritious food are impacting individuals. By collaborating with others on innovative projects aimed at these root causes, our goal is to prevent serious health issues and reduce the burden on our local healthcare system, leading to cost savings for our community.

Furthermore, your support of a nonprofit such as ours fosters a sense of unity and empathy within the community. Your gift could be the example others need to come together, pool more resources, and work toward a common goal – the well-being of their fellow community members. This sense of shared purpose strengthens social bonds and fosters a more caring and compassionate community.

Ultimately, by supporting Nantahala Health Foundation’s focus on addressing the social drivers of health, you are investing in our work to gather in support of the most innovative ideas so that we may all share in the benefits of a stronger, more connected, and thriving community.

With warmest regards,

Lori Bailey

Executive Director

P.S. Instead of setting a monetary goal to reach before December 31, we want to add 25 sustaining donors to our growing list of supporters. Thank you in advance for being a part of this ambitious plan.


Reserve Your Now + Next Seat for 2024


Seats are filling fast for our 2024 Now + Next training cohorts.

When determining how best to support the organizations through which our mission of improved health and well-being for all will be achieved, we quickly realized that the various aspects of our rural environment would require a unique brand of collective problem-solving. Our response to that reality included inviting some of our region's most impactful leaders to help us build a region-specific training opportunity.

The result is Now + Next, our program designed in Western North Carolina to build organizational capacity and regional connectivity to create a healthier future for all.

Now + Next graduates are already having a positive impact on the organizations and individuals they serve. Program alumni are being equipped with the tools and knowledge to drive organizational growth, operationalize efficiency, and achieve strategic objectives that ultimately benefit all they serve. Use the link below and join the ranks of our region's most noteworthy leaders.


β€œThe Now + Next Leadership Program connected me with other leaders within the WNC community that I now consider colleagues and friends. This program encouraged me to not only challenge my leadership skills, but to explore professional growth opportunities with others through diversity and inclusiveness.”

β€” Deidre McMahon, Assistant Director

Southwestern Child Development


Press Partnerships Help To Tell Our Story

Nantahala Health Foundation is grateful to be working with various print media outlets in Western North Carolina to help get the word out more widely about how social drivers are leaving too many people behind when it comes to accessing opportunities to improve their health.

Our five-part series written by Associate Director Lisa Duff focuses on housing, education, economic stability, access to healthcare, and nonprofit capacity building. Please watch for these articles to appear and send a note of thanks to your paper's editor for being part of our movement to improve health for those among us who need it most.


Partner Spotlight: REACH of Macon County

During our 2022 NIMble grant cycle, we invested $5,000 in REACH of Macon County's 24-hour crisis response line to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.


Nantahala Health Foundation grant funds allowed REACH to ensure the accessibility of a 24-hour crisis line, including a traditional crisis hotline, a text line, and enhanced security for after-hours calls through the agency's security camera system.

"Our advocates work tirelessly to assist folks who are often at the lowest and scariest points in their lives," a REACH spokesperson said. "We see people from all socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, etc. Because our services are diverse, the cross-section of support we provide on the hotline varies. For most, it's their first point of contact when they are experiencing a major crisis.

"Our advocates provide a safety assessment and safety planning, then immediate crisis intervention including information and referrals for court advocacy, shelter, housing, counseling, and other supports."

24-Hour Crisis Hotline and Textline: 828-369-5544. 

 Those seeking assistance will receive a response from an on-call worker. Should an individual call as opposed to texting, they can request to be patched through directly to an advocate instead of waiting for a callback. REACH has worked very hard to ensure accessibility for all persons and has the ability to patch in an on-call translator if needed. Victims may also dial 911 in case of an emergency. REACH's services are free and confidential. 


In Support Of Our Shared Community

Executive Director Lori Bailey (top, far left) and Associate Director Lisa Duff (top, yellow shirt) participated in Hands on Jackson, a one-day volunteer event organized by the Jackson County Department on Aging to provide housing repairs for more than 30 elderly residents. In addition to staff, Lisa Leatherman, NHF's board chair, was among the more than 200 volunteers to pitch in for this annual event.

Lori (below, right) and Lisa were honored to be invited to the annual Senior Celebration sponsored by Southwest Commission. Nearly 500 regional residents enjoyed line dancing, a car show, bingo, and a hot lunch at the Smoky Mountain Event Center near Bryson City.


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.


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.

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1547 Highlands Road
Franklin, NC 28734
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