Dogwood Health Trust awards grants to agencies in WNC

Dogwood Health Trust has awarded more than $3.7 million to a diverse range of 259 non-profit and government agencies from every county, including McDowell, and the Qualla Boundary in western North Carolina through its Immediate Opportunities and Needs (ION) grant program.

Of the 492 applicants, 53% were awarded a grant, with the average award amount totaling $14,600. Of those funded, 34% 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 grant-making 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 non-profits 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 day center expansion at a rescue mission, cybersecurity improvements, roof repairs, and a portable X-ray device, to name a few.

Erica Allison, spokeswoman for the Dogwood Trust, said more than 12 organizations based in McDowell County received grants but a total of 59 organizations serving McDowell got grants as well.

The organizations based in McDowell that received the grants include: the city of Marion on behalf of the Tailgate Market, Eagle Market Street Development Corporation, CDC (on behalf of People on the Move for Old Fort), Foothills Industries, McDowell County EMS, McDowell County Head Start, McDowell Health Coalition, McDowell County Schools/West McDowell Middle School, McDowell Local Food Advisory Council, McDowell Mission Ministries, McDowell Senior Center, McDowell Technical Community College, New HOPE of McDowell and the West Marion Community Forum.

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

Dogwood Health Trust is a North Carolina non-profit 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, please visit

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