At Nantahala Health Foundation, we are working to build and maintain partnerships with forward-thinking organizations focused on improving the overall health of the region.

In December 2019, we awarded 28 grants for a total regional investment of nearly $1.5 million to these Innovative Nonprofits. Scroll below to learn more about their Stories of Success.


Stories of Success

Kitchen staff
Meals on Wheels Volunteer and client

Jackson County Council on Aging used their NHF grant award to purchase 40 thermal pads to ensure hot meals remained at the proper temperature until they reached those in need.

Pictured are, top left,  COA kitchen staffer Spence Howell shows off a thermal pad; top right, volunteer Kevin Stanberry delivers a hot meal to Meals on Wheels client Pat Purdy; and left, volunteers Larry and Marilyn Morton preparing their deliveries. (All photos were taken prior to the COVID pandemic.)

Swain County EMT

Seeing a need to reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency room for their homebound and under-served residents, Swain County EMS used NHF funds to install a MedPod unit on one of their ambulances. Trained in its use, paramedics like Brandon Wiggins, left, can now facilitate physician house calls via the device’s internet connection and state-of-the-art medical equipment. Learn more about Swain County’s EMS success here >

Inside a 15-passenger van
Outside a 15-passenger van

With their 2019 NHF grant award, Grace Extended Ministries purchased two vehicles in support of a residential drug treatment program in Graham County. Unlike any other currently offered in Robbinsville and the surrounding area, the program is a response to the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic and is intended to save lives, strengthen families, and produce positive, life-long changes in participants’ spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, social, and economic lives.

HERE Director and recently housed client

The challenge of moving from homelessness to permanent housing, which is difficult in normal times, has been made more so during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to HERE in Jackson County Director Robert Cochran (pictured far left). Even so, with NHF grant funds, HERE hired a case manager, who has successfully placed 19 individuals in permanent housing since January 2020.

Cherokee Indian Hospital Simulation Lab
Hospital Training Supplies

Congratulations are in order for Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority leaders who used NHF grant funds to complete Phase I of a two-phase training project. In the initial phase, a simulation room was constructed (left) and supplies (right) were identified. Phase II will include the purchase of a simulation mannequin. One of the first trainings to be conducted will be to teach Home Health nurses to perform COVID-19 nasal swabs.

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