Antony Chiang, the new leader of the $1.5 billion foundation resulting from the sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare, shared details on the nonprofit’s plans to support partner organizations with grant writing and engaged an audience of roughly 290 people at the Mission Health/A-B Tech Conference Center around its strategic priorities.
As she wrapped up her work on the AVL Greater and AVL 5×5 2025 plans in late September, we chatted with futurist Rebecca Ryan about her upcoming encore keynote address at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s WomanUP gala on Thursday, Nov. 18, what makes Asheville and Buncombe County different and how we’ll know if the area is on track to make good on the new strategies.
Leadership Asheville pulled in some high-octane local speakers for the final installment of its summer Buzz Breakfast series held on Aug. 14. The composition of the panel reveals some key trends shaping the power dynamic that’s emerged over the past year.
Fundraisers to support injured Hendersonville Fire Department Capt. Josh Poore abound, while Western Carolina presents a program exploring the connection between wilderness and wellness.
While the trust’s professional leadership remains under consideration, board chair Janice Brumit confirms that its board has filled out its inaugural complement of 14 members from WNC. After the nonprofit hires its inaugural CEO and finishes its strategic plan later this year, she estimates that other organizations will be able to apply for its grants starting in the spring of 2020 and receive money the following fall.
Buncombe did see its unemployment tick up from the 2.8% April rate; the May rate was also higher than the 2.8% reported for the same month last year. However, the Department of Commerce noted that all of the state’s other metro areas also saw rate increases, and the Asheville metro area actually added about 1,900 nonfarm jobs in May.
When the time comes for a new leader or a new strategic direction, nonprofits recognize that sound decisions can mean the difference between a sustainable future and irrelevance. That’s why Mountain Xpress took a look at a spectrum of local nonprofits that have recently experienced significant change s or are now in the midst of transformative shifts in management or focus.
Activists with the Health Equity Coalition are organizing a Friday, May 24, community forum to explore how the $1.5 billion Dogwood Health Trust, created from the sale of Mission Health, offers the prospect of “life-changing” investments in the wellbeing of residents in 18 Western North Carolina counties. Also, it’s time to strive to drive less in the runup to the Strive Beyond Summit at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Mills River on Friday, May 31, from 3-5 p.m.
“The only way we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve optimal health is to work together with a shared and well-coordinated commitment to improving our community’s health.”
“The we-know-what-is-best bubble forms when officials lose touch with their own institution’s stated goals and with the community’s pulse.”
As a result of the HCA acquisition of Mission Health, proceeds of the sale created the Dogwood Health Trust, a nonprofit foundation whose purpose is “to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities in Western North Carolina,” according to a press release from the trust.
“The proposed money and power grab by nonprofit insiders, corporate outsiders, financial underwriters and city mothers/fathers (the crazed clique on the City Council) will undermine this fine institution and set the scene for large health care price increases.”
Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.
“No one, and I mean no one, is asking whether or not HCA will continue to serve everyone who comes to them for care.”
“Why is it self-interested for people to work to preserve their medical services and ensure diverse representation on the DHT board, but altruistic for Mission board members to anoint themselves or their predecessors?”
“There’s real fear among nonprofit organizations that not supporting the current iteration of the board could mean retaliation in the form of being cut from the $1.5 billion that DHT will control once the sale is final,” wrote Asheville-Buncombe NAACP President Carmen Ramos-Kennedy. “In order to truly build trust, citizens and organizations must feel free to speak their hearts and minds without fear.”
“To me, the biggest question of all is: What is our leverage to make sure this private corporation fulfills its contract?”
In a Sept. 25 open letter, ten local organizations called on the Dogwood Health Trust, which would come into existence to receive the proceeds of the proposed sale of Mission Health to for-profit Healthcare Corporation of America, to ensure proportional representation of women and nonwhites on its board. The signatories also called for all geographic areas served by the trust to be represented.
“As the Dogwood Health Trust forms its board, I urge its founding members to address the underlying determinants of our failing health by investing in a local food system with soil-building at its core.”