Frequently Asked Questions

Nantahala Health Foundation is a public charity with a mission to improve the health and well-being of the residents of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, as well as the Qualla Boundary.

Nantahala Health Foundation was created in 2019 to serve as a catalyst for innovation and to collaborate with others to improve the health and well-being of everyone living in our service area.

Our work focuses on empowering partnerships for vibrant communities and healthy people.

We believe that community organizations are the best catalyst to breaking down barriers to improved health and well-being. Therefore, we will build and maintain partnerships with forward-thinking organizations focused on the key social determinants (or drivers) of health.

Specifically, we will:

  • Invest in innovative nonprofit and governmental programming.
  • Support capacity building within existing and newly formed organizations.
  • Ensure the financial resources that have been put in our care are used in the most effective manner.

For a more detailed look at our plans, we invited to you review our 2022-25 Strategic Plan.

Our work is designed to benefit the residents of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, as well as the Qualla Boundary.

There is no formal nature to the relationship between Nantahala Health Foundation and Dogwood Health Trust. Our organization does not belong to Dogwood Health Trust; we are a fully independent public charity.

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 community leaders, grantmaking, and more.

Nantahala Health Foundation is fully independent of Dogwood Health Trust in our strategy for funding. While no formal relationship exists between our two organizations, we are committed to working together through creative partnerships designed to remove barriers to health in Western North Carolina.

Nantahala Health Foundation will continue to engage community leaders to better inform our ongoing strategic planning process, including further refinement of our current funding priorities.

Visit Dogwood Health Trust to learn more about their strategic priorities to improve the health and well-being outcomes in their 18-county service area.

YES. Our mission to improve health outcomes for all citizens of far Western North Carolina will require a significant commitment of resources over many years. While we received $15 million in seed money in 2019, that figure on its own is not sufficient to provide us with a consistent, reliable, and stable source of funding into the future.

We encourage those who find value in this work to invest in our Health Future Movement and results. At any level of giving, your support helps ensure our effort will continue until every resident of Western North Carolina has equitable access to improved health outcomes.

We are a public charity, and as such your financial donations are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law. 

Our federal tax ID # 83-2682447. Additional financial information about this organization and a copy of our license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Section at (919) 807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.

Whether you can contribute a one-time gift, establish a monthly sustained give, or help us well into the future by making health and wellness for all your life’s legacy, we invite you to contact us for more information.

Our Board of Directors is made up of representatives from the six counties in westernmost North Carolina and the Qualla Boundary. Our Board of Directors can have up to 15 members, per our bylaws.

A list of our board members and brief biographical information for each can be found on our website at WHO WE ARE.

You are not alone. The term ‘social determinants (or drivers) of health’ is used to describe a complex set of circumstances and interactions we experience daily. These interactions and the choices we make related to them influence our health in the long term as they build upon themselves. At its most fundamental, human health is greatly impacted by where and how we live, learn, work and thrive.

Think of all the things that affect our health: We could all eat better, move more, and make sure we get our annual check-ups, but there’s much more. The quality of our homes, the safety of our neighborhoods, and our chance at a good education all influence health outcomes.

For some people, the essential elements for a healthy life are readily available. But for others, the opportunities for healthy choices are limited.

Because social drivers of health impact an individual’s health so greatly, even more than actual face-time with clinicians, our work to improve health and well-being will prioritize enhancing equitable access to quality healthcare, education, and economic stability.

If you think of health as a weighted equation, the components could look like this:

Your underlying genetics (1) + Your health behaviors (4) + Your daily interactions with social and environmental factors (4) + Your access to quality health care (1)  = Your health outcomes, from birth to death, (10).

Our grantmaking priorities can be found on our website at FUNDING NEEDS & PRIORITIES. As these are reviewed, updates will be posted to the same page and on our social media platforms.

After receiving community input through meetings, surveys, and interviews to better inform our decision-making about how best to impact improved health in our service area, we awarded 28 WNC nonprofits a total of nearly $1.5 million in December 2019.

We have increased that initial invested to more than $3.46 million in some 175 programs, all of which have contributed a total regional investment of more than $11.4 million and.

More importantly, these investments have improvement of thousands of lives.

Going forward, we will continue to explore the work of local organizations to identify partnership opportunities to address the root causes of health inequalities in our region. 

Our mission allows us to invest in and collaborate with community organizations, including other nonprofits and governmental agencies, addressing social determinants (or drivers) of health that significantly impact the people living, learning, working and doing their best to thrive in the communities we serve.

Our physical office is located at 1547 Highlands Road in Franklin, N.C.

The best way to keep up with information about us is to subscribe to our emails. We generally send our subscribers information monthly, but occassionlly we will communicate more often if the need arises.

If you’re reading this, you have already found our website. Well done! This site contains the most up-to-date information about what is happening at the Foundation, as well as links to educational and scientific updates related to social drivers of health.

We maintain a limited social presence on Facebook and Instagram. Please ‘follow and like’ and use these platforms to communicate with us.

You may also contact us directly at (828) 634-1527 or by email through [email protected]. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Contact us, and we will get back to you within 2 business days. If warranted, your question could be added to this list. If you were wondering, others may be too.