Wellness roundup: Dogwood releases 2021 annual report

COMMUNITY SUPPORT: Nonprofit Dogwood Health Trust made more than $78 million in community investments in 2021. Graphic courtesy of DHT

Dogwood Health Trust releases 2021 annual report 

Dogwood Health Trust made more than $92 million in investments across 18 Western North Carolina counties and the Qualla Boundary in 2021, according to its 2021 annual report. The nonprofit was created from the $1.5 billion sale of Mission Health to Nashville-based, for-profit HCA Healthcare in February 2019.

Among Dogwood’s investments were $78.6 million in grant awards in housing, education, economic opportunity and health and wellness. Roughly 39% of grant funds — more than $30 million — supported housing efforts, including securing 1,135 units of affordable housing. 

Dogwood Health Trust allocated Buncombe County over $16 million in grants; Haywood, Henderson, Transylvania, Madison and McDowell counties were each allocated between $4 million and $5 million. 

Grant awards and recipients included a $250,000 grant for the HIV prevention nonprofit Western North Carolina AIDS Project; $499,968 for the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, a nonprofit supporting local farmers; $169,124 for workforce development nonprofit Green Opportunities; and $200,000 for Helpmate, a nonprofit supporting domestic violence survivors. 

In total, Dogwood approved 287 funding requests of the 354 grant applications in 2021. The nonprofit also reports that it added 21 new staff members to the organization.

“Having a foundation that is driven to support substance use disorder work has been lifesaving to individuals and has allowed organizations like ours to pursue expansion to communities that have not previously had services for people who use drugs,” says Peggy Weil, interim chief operating officer at WNCAP, in the report.

Read the full report at avl.mx/bbk.

Mercy Urgent Care expands operating hours  

Mercy Urgent Care, a nonprofit network of urgent care centers based in WNC, expanded its operating hours at four locations in Buncombe County. 

The Weaverville clinic, 61 Weaver Blvd., Suite 106, will now be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. -5 p.m Saturday-Sunday. The East Asheville, South Asheville, Brevard, Burnsville, Columbus and Waynesville clinics will now be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.,  seven days a week. The hours for the West Asheville location remain the same — 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. More information at avl.mx/prwm.

Buncombe hires behavioral health manager

Buncombe County announced Feb. 22 the hiring of Victoria Reichard as its first behavioral health manager. Reichard studied human services at Elon University and completed her master’s degree in social work at the University of Maryland. The position is part of the county’s Behavioral Health Justice Collaborative, which was established through the Justice Resource Advisory Council. Reichard’s first day was Feb. 28.

Pardee’s vaccination clinic recognized in the International Journal of Infection Control

The December issue of International Journal of Infection Control recognized Pardee UNC Health Care for its development and operation of an indoor mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The article details how Pardee developed its clinic during a time when guidelines for indoor clinics were limited. 

The clinic operated from January-May 2021 at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock. It provided 23,000 free COVID-19 vaccines for Henderson County residents and others. 

Asheville Yoga Center changes leadership

Asheville Yoga Center will come under new leadership after owners Stephanie and Sunny Keach announced that The Ayurvedic Institute and its sister organization AyurPrana are taking over the facility. 

The Ayurvedic Institute, which trains practitioners in ayurveda, a medicine system originating in India, will relocate its campus from Albuquerque, N.M., to Asheville. The Ayurvedic Institute is currently accepting applications for fall 2022 enrollment of its Ayurvedic Studies Programs 1, 2 and 3. Asheville Yoga Center will continue to offer yoga classes, yoga teacher training and workshops. 

Members of the public will have the opportunity to meet the new owners Thursday, March 31, 4-7 p.m., at 211 S. Liberty St.

MAHEC launches addiction psychiatry fellowship 

The Mountain Area Health Education Center added addiction psychiatry fellowship to the graduate-level medical education programs at its Asheville-based campus. 

The yearlong fellowship, the first of its kind in North Carolina, will train psychiatrists in the areas of substance withdrawal, medications for opioid use disorders, trauma-informed care and psychotherapeutic approaches to support long-term recovery for a variety of substance use disorders. The fellowship will be led by Dr. Stephen Wyatt, an addiction psychiatrist and medical educator currently in private practice in Charlotte.

Training addiction psychiatry fellows will begin in July. Fellows will treat patients at MAHEC’s Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness, Mission Health, the Charles George VA Medical Center, Julian F. Keith Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center and the Behavioral Health Group.

AdventHealth Hendersonville Foundation welcomes new board members 

The AdventHealth Hendersonville Foundation, which provides community support and fundraising for the hospital, added the following members to its board: Michael Dexter-Smith, president and CEO of Xtremesoft Inc. and founder of Pine Brook Ventures; Fair Nabers-Waggoner, city president at United Community Bank; and retired U.S. Army Col. Peter Champagne.

Mark your calendars

  • Speech language pathologist Alicia White of Lifespan Therapy in Arden will hold a free speech and language screening for children of all ages Saturday, March 19. Screenings take approximately 10-15 minutes and will determine if a more comprehensive evaluation is needed. The event will take place at 2159 Hendersonville Road, Suite 50, 8:30-11am. More information at avl.mx/bci.


  • Asheville on Bikes will hold Spring Out ’22, its spring community ride, on Saturday, March 19, at 1p.m. The ride will begin at 37 Paynes Way in the River Arts District. Four routes are available, ranging from 1.7 miles to nearly 12 miles. For more information, visit http://avl.mx/bcv.  


  • The Asheville Spring Herb Festival will take place in April in the Exhibition Hall at the WNC Agricultural Center, 761 Boylston Highway in Fletcher. It will be held ​​Friday-Saturday, April 29-30, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. The festival will include herbalists, herb growers and herb businesses, including makers of medicines, balms and teas.

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