Of the 492 applicants, 53 percent were awarded a grant, with the average award amount totaling $14,600. Of those funded, 34 percent of requests will advance equity or reduce disparities.
“Originally, we planned to begin funding in fall 2020, but the board was eager to begin investing in the community at the start of the year,” said Janice Brumit, chair of the Dogwood Health Trust board of directors. “The purpose of this round of funding was to meet immediate needs and build initial relationships throughout our region. We plan to use what we learned from this round of funding to inform the work we’re doing now to design our strategic initiatives. Meeting immediate needs is one thing, but what we really want to do is move the needle on key issues and make lasting change.”
An initial budget of $2.5 million was allocated to the ION grant program.
“Our goal throughout the ION grantmaking process focused on awarding grants to a diverse representation and on inclusion in our 18-county and Qualla Boundary region,” said Jackie Simms, chair of the programs and grants committee. “We gave particular attention to smaller nonprofits headquartered in the counties and tribe served by Dogwood and to organizations led by people of color. Choosing recipients was a challenging and awe-inspiring task; so many organizations are doing such important work in our region.”
ION grants awarded will support affordable housing development, dependable cars for working families, a rescue mission day center expansion, cybersecurity improvements, roof repairs, and a portable X-ray device, to name a few.
The Vecinos Farmworker Health Program, located in Jackson County, and serving Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania counties, received an ION grant that will support a larger project to address and improve patient data security within their mobile clinics.
“This is a game changer for us as a clinic,” said Marianne Martinez, executive director for Vecinos. Martinez plans to purchase laptops and technology to support secure connections while treating patients in their mobile clinics. “Patient data security should not be sacrificed, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status,” adds Martinez. “Providing a health care system that is both standardized and secure promotes equity of care and reduces barriers to health care while increasing patient safety.”
ION grants awarded were in alignment with Dogwood’s work to improve health and wellness and address the social determinants of health in the region. To see a full list of award recipients or to learn more about Dogwood Health Trust’s grant opportunities, including the Leverage Fund, visit www.dht.org.
Dogwood Health Trust is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust became operational upon the sale of Mission Health’s assets to HCA Healthcare and is the recipient of the net proceeds of the sale.
To learn more, visit www.dht.org.