Frequently Asked Questions

Nantahala Health Foundation, a public 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was created to advance the efforts of improving the health and wellness in the lives of those living in the six-county, westernmost region of North Carolina. This area includes Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, as well as the Qualla Boundary.

This is a great question, and one we receive often. Angel Medical Center’s Hospital Service Area reached into the far corners of all six-counties of WNC. The Board of Directors decided to ensure that the health and well-being of these communities would be their focus. This Foundation will produce profound and unprecedented effects on the health and wellness of our six-county region and the Qualla Boundary.

The Nantahala Health Foundation was created from a capacity-building grant dispersed by Mission Health System. The grant was funded initially by an investment from the Mission Health-HCA transaction proceeds. Future funding will be determined by the progress the foundation makes in its inaugural year through a diverse array of initiatives that are currently in development.

Nantahala Health Foundation is a wholly independent organization with no affiliation with HCA Healthcare.


There is no formal nature to the relationship between Nantahala Health Foundation and Dogwood Health Trust. NHF does not belong to Dogwood Health Trust and is a fully independent foundation. Our focus is to enhance resources in the broader space of health and well-being for the communities we serve through fundraising, leveraging opportunities, convening of community leaders, grantmaking, and more.

NHF is fully independent of DHT in our strategy for funding. While no formal relationship exists, we are committed to working together through creative partnerships designed to remove barriers to health in Western North Carolina. NHF will also continue to engage community leaders to better inform our ongoing strategic planning process, including further refinement of our funding priorities.

Nantahala Health Foundation’s Board of Directors is made up of representatives from the six counties in westernmost North Carolina and the Qualla Boundary (the territory of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians). The Board of Directors can have up to 15 members, per our bylaws.

Our grantmaking will focus on investing in innovative programming to better address: Education, Economic Stability, Healthcare, Neighborhood and Built Environment, and Social and Community Context. Please visit our Funding Priorities and Needs page to learn more about these Social Determinants of Health specifically.

After receiving community input through meetings, surveys, and interviews to better inform our decision-making throughout most of 2019, we awarded 28 WNC nonprofits a total of nearly $1.5 million in December 2019. 

Few would disagree that 2020 will forever be remembered as the year of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. In this year Nantahala Health Foundation responded to the immediate needs of regional nonprofits and governments by creating our Needs Immediately Met, or NIMble, Grant. Awards in this category of grantmaking are expected to be announced in October 2020. 

With our Collaborative Health Innovation Program (CHIP), our second grant cycle in 2020, we encouraged grant-seekers to consider innovation and collaboration as equally valuable components in their work to remove barriers to health. An announcement of CHIP recipients is anticipated in December 2020.

Going forward, we will continue to explore the work of local organizations to identify partnership opportunities to address the root causes of the health inequalities in our region. Check back regularly for updated information, sign up to be included in our correspondences through our contact page on our website, or contact us directly at (828) 634-1527 or by email through


Our mission is to invest in and collaborate with community organizations including nonprofits and governmental agencies addressing issues that significantly impact the health and well-being of all people in the communities we serve.


Our physical office is located in Franklin, N.C.


Through our website at Our website is a great resource for interested parties to learn more about the Foundation, social determinants of health, ask questions, and be kept up to date on funding opportunities. You can also sign up to be included in our correspondence list through our contact page on the website or contact us directly at (828) 634-1527 or by email through