Pisgah Health Foundation is committed to working with local organizations whose missions are centered on enhancing the overall health and well-being of all people in western North Carolina. Through these efforts we will foster impactful and meaningful relationships with the ultimate goal of developing innovative solutions to the health needs of our communities.

As we develop new collaborations we will continue to update the communities we serve.

WNC Health Consortium: Healthy Opportunities Pilot


Under the recently approved Medicaid 1115 waiver, NC DHHS will launch “Healthy Opportunities Pilots” in 2-4 geographic areas of the state to test nonmedical, evidence-based interventions designed to improve health and reduce costs for a subset of Medicaid beneficiaries. Pursuant to waiver requirements, NC DHHS will develop a first-of-its-kind Medicaid fee schedule that will define and price Pilot interventions, which will address housing instability, food insecurity, transportation insecurity, interpersonal violence and toxic stress.

6 legacy foundations, 4 of which are former rural hospital foundations, have rearticulated their articles of incorporation to improve the regional social determinants of health as community health foundations. The foundation headquarters are dispersed throughout Medicaid service Region 1 in Cashiers (Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation), Franklin (Nantahala Health Foundation), Brevard (Pisgah Health Foundation), Spruce Pine (AMY Wellness Foundation), Marion (Gateway Wellness Foundation) and Asheville, (WNC Bridge Foundation, formerly Carepartners Foundation).

These foundations have formed a consortium along with medical providers in the nationally recognized accountable care organization Mission Health Partners (MHP) known as WNC Health Consortium. The consortium will apply for a Healthy Opportunities pilot as part of the state’s Medicaid transformation efforts. Our proposed pilot would serve all of Region 1. The Consortium expects to expand the use of the human service organization framework built over the five years of the pilot to benefit the entire region by leveraging private investment into all five of the social determinants of health.



The current Foundation leaders are Ms. Robin Tindall, CFRE, at Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation, Mr. Lex Green, CPA, at Pisgah Health Foundation, Mr. Luke Howe at both AMY Wellness Foundation and at Gateway Wellness Foundation, and Mr. Scott Buchanan at WNC Bridge Foundation. Nantahala Health Foundation is conducting a national search for their leader as of this writing and is being managed by the Board of Directors Executive Committee.  The Mission Health Partners leadership team is Amanda Gerlach, JD, Executive Director, Dr. Amy Russell, Chief Medical Officer, and Katie Bartholomew, MSN, Clinical Operations Manager. Here is the link of the many MHP participants in their network: The Dogwood Health Trust team providing background support to the legacy foundations is Neil Gurney, CFRE, Angela Anderson, CFRE, Sharon Steele, CPA, Sara Coplai, MBA, and Leah Jones-Marcus, CFRE.


The map below details the MHP practices with the size of the orange dots corresponding to the patient volume of the practice, every one a Tier 3 AMH, where the enrolled patients will access care. The red direction point indicators show where each foundation is located for their rural, place-based philanthropic investments:

WHEN: The Healthy Opportunities advisory panel to NC DHHS will convene in the spring and summer of 2019 with application procedures beginning in August 2019.

For more information about the Healthy Opportunities Pilots, please reference the following materials:


February 2019:

Formation of WNC Health Consortium with Legacy Foundations agreeing to join forces as Lead Pilot Entity in partnership with medical and Care Management provider/Accountable Care Organization Mission Health Partners.

March 2019:

Consortium completes Request for Information to NC DHHS, detailing more than 20 fees schedules and numerous Human Service Organization provider service templates throughout the proposed Region 1 service area.

The remaining 5 of 6 Legacy Foundations develop grants portals for future applicants and begin synthesizing regional research reports and analyses about the social determinants of health.

April 2019:

Legacy Foundations conduct Director’s roundtable as Lead Pilot Entity and review pilot service definitions.
Mission Health Partners continues work with Prepaid Health Plan agencies on refining care management outcomes.

Legacy Foundations complete initial demographic analysis and organize local listening sessions throughout the region with nonprofits providing services to improve social determinants.

May 2019:

Mission Health Partners is selected by new health system owner, HCA Healthcare, Legacy Foundations continue to develop funding strategies with Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation opening the first open competitive cycle May 15th. Their focus areas are HEALTH: ACCESS TO CARE including behavioral health, EDUCATION including efforts to increase high school graduation rates and access to early childhood education; COMMUNITY WELLBEING for programs that promote healthy lifestyles, wellness, community connection and civic participation activities; and POVERTY: HUMAN SERVICES for programs addressing needs in hunger, food insecurity and affordable housing initiatives.

Consortium representative attends the Healthy Opportunities Advisory Panel meeting Raleigh to observe the service definitions pricing and panel discussion.

June 2019:

First grant cycle closes with more than 46 organizations in Macon, Jackson, Cherokee, Clay, Swain and Graham counties requesting more than $6 million for projects.

Legacy Foundations convene regional Access to Care visioning meeting with MAHEC CEO, Community Health Center Presidents and Executive Directors, Hospitals liaison Executive Director, Medical Society CEO and President, and Mission Health Partners Chief and Assistant Medical officers for initial introductions and strategy context for regional Healthy Opportunities pilot application.

July 2019:           

Three additional Legacy Foundations, Pisgah Health Foundation, Gateway Wellness Foundation, and Nantahala Health Foundation will finalize their initial funding strategies and prepare to open their first grant cycles.

Second Regional Access to Care visioning scheduled to discuss the care management network and infrastructure needs.