Free COVID Testing Now Available on the Plateau

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is pleased to announce COVID-19 testing sites now serving the Highlands-Cashiers plateau.

This is a NCDHHS initiative being coordinated on the plateau by a local consortium led by the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation, the Town of Highlands and The Village Green.

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PRE-REGISTER HERE

Macon and Jackson Counties, in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), are expanding no-cost COVID-19 virus testing capacity as part of a recently announced partnership between the state of North Carolina and OptumServe. These new community testing events build on North Carolina’s ongoing work to increase access to testing and slow viral spread.

“Testing is a core element of North Carolina’s response to this pandemic, and that means making sure cost and access challenges never act as a barrier to a needed test. As we continue expanding free community testing options, we’re helping North Carolinians to stay informed about their health and help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.

OptumServe has expertise in rapidly deploying and setting up health care services. Led by former Army Surgeon General and retired Lieutenant General Patty Horoho, RN, OptumServe has performed more than 1 million tests at community-based testing sites across the country.

If you do not have internet access you may register by calling (877) 562-4850. Anyone can be tested, including those who ar underinsured, uninsured, undocumented or homeless.

For more information, please check the NCDHHS public health website. Symptoms of COVID can also be found here.

As always, please remember to keep practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.

 

Healthy Homes Initiative Press Release

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation, Nantahala Health Foundation & Dogwood Health Trust Team Up for Healthy Homes Initiative

“Safe and affordable housing is essential to health and well-being.” – Robin Tindall, CEO & Executive Director – Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF), Nantahala Health Foundation (NHF) and Dogwood Health Trust are pleased to announce a new collaborative initiative to address the need for home repairs in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary.

“The leadership from all three of these foundations believe that health and wellness begin when people are safely and affordably housed,” said Dr. Susan Mims, interim CEO, Dogwood Health Trust. “Providing support for the Healthy Homes Initiative will allow Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation and Nantahala Health Foundation to address the most critical needs for home repairs among those who need it most.”

The initiative is targeted to owner-occupied homes of individuals at 60% of the area median income (AMI). Many of these homeowners are unable to afford the repairs needed to maintain the safety and health of their home’s occupants. Others require home modifications to ensure they can safely age in their homes or to address physical challenges or disabilities. Affordability of repairs and home modifications have been further compromised by supply chain and labor challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. Dogwood Health Trust is supporting the Healthy Homes Initiative and the work of HCHF and NHF with a $400,000 grant.

On September 15th HCHF & NHF will open a new grant cycle specifically requesting proposals from non-profit, governmental and faith-based organizations that have demonstrated success in the past identifying and implementing critical home repairs and rehabilitation projects.  Both Foundations’ leaders say they look forward to reviewing applications, awarding grants and working together to address safe, equitable and affordable housing for those in need throughout our service area.

Robin Tindall, CEO and Executive Director of HCHF, says, “We are grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for providing our Foundations this collaborative grant opportunity, which will undoubtedly increase our capacity to improve health and well-being for those who struggle to repair their homes. By partnering with NHF, we aim to correct housing conditions that threaten life and safety, such as failing septic systems, defective heating systems, or damaged flooring, etc.”

Nantahala Health Foundation Executive Director Lori Bailey concurred with Tindall’s assessment, adding, “We all know safe and secure housing is a fundamental building block for improved health and wellness for everyone. Yet for many in our community, their safety and wellbeing are compromised because the expense of housing maintenance or needed modifications is beyond their means. We greatly appreciate Dogwood’s faith in our organizations to ensure these funds will make an immediate impact for those who need it most.”

Grant applications will be accepted until the closing date of October 15th, 2021.  Information regarding the grant application process can be found at Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation or at Nantahala Health Foundation.

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019, as a 501(c)3 public charity to improve the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers and surrounding communities. Together with generous donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change by supporting projects and programs that improve health and well-being in the communities we serve. Visit HCHF’s website to join us in Lifting Health and Well-Being, Together.

About Nantahala Health Foundation

Working as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, Nantahala Health Foundation seeks to partner with nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary to achieve better health and wellness outcomes for all. By working to address the upstream, root causes of health inequities and by removing barriers to positive social determinants of health, NHF’s success is seen best in partnerships with regional change-makers. Since its establishment in 2019, NHF has awarded nearly $2.5 million in support to some 78 programs throughout the region. Visit NHF’s website to join our Healthy Future Movement.

About Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, North Carolina, with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust focuses on innovative and equitable ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellness. With a focus on housing, education, economic opportunity and access to care and health resources, Dogwood Health Trust works to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all, no exceptions. To learn more, please visit Dogwood Health Trust’s website.

 

HCHF and Dogwood Health Trust Team up to Support Increased Access to Healthcare for the Plateau and Surrounding Communities!

HCHF Sponsors Additional FREE COVID-19 Tests

FREE COVID-19 Testing Continues Sponsored by the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF) continues to sponsor local COVID-19 testing initiatives on the plateau.   On February 9th and 15th the format will be drive-through at the Village Green in Cashiers from 11:00am-1:00pm and the Highlands Recreation Center from 2:30pm-4:30pm. On February 22nd the drive through times will be 11am-1:00pm at the Highlands Recreation Center and 2:30-4:30 at the Village Green in Cashiers.

Please note there is an updated process for registration.  Pre-registration is required through the following link https://cov19.health/#/ by noon the day prior to testing.  You will choose “register as a new patient” and the office location code will be: MTNPKUCR. Negative results will be provided through this online link as well.  Saliva testing will be administered while monthly supplies lasts and then the nasal swab collection will be used. 

“We are pleased that saliva testing will now be administered as it can be an easier collection method for many people. There may be circumstances where the monthly allocation of saliva tests are depleted at which time the nasal swab will be used,” said Dr. Richard Ellin, Board member and leader of the HCHF testing project.  “COVID-19 testing continues to be a helpful method for keeping our community safe by isolating infected individuals to prevent spread.”

Participants will be asked to present a photo ID and insurance information on site. Uninsured participants are eligible to participate without cost, however a photo I.D. is required. 

The tests will be administered by Mountain Park Urgent Care (MPUC), Sylva, NC in full compliance with CDC, FDA, and NCDHHS guidelines. The County Health Departments are provided COVID-19 test reports as required by NCDHHS.   Anyone testing positive will be contacted directly by MPUC.

Please note a COVID-19 test is a one-time indicator. Frequent hand washing, covering your face, and social distancing at least six feet apart are also important to protect yourself and others and to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Please refer questions to info@mtnparkuc.com.

About Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019 as a 501 (c) 3 public charity with a purpose to improve the health and wellbeing of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities. As the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital successor foundation we are committed to continuing a several-decade legacy of generosity and vision to ensure vibrant and healthy living for our year-round, seasonal and visiting families and individuals. Through partnerships with organizations, key stakeholders and caring donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change through investing in projects and programs that advance innovative solutions and improvements in peoples’ health and wellbeing. The Foundation also includes collaborative partnerships that serve the health and wellbeing of all people in western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Macon, Jackson, Swain, Graham, Clay and Cherokee Counties.

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation Takes Leap of Faith to Fund a Solution to Expand Primary Care Access

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF) is excited to announce a formal agreement to expand access to primary care on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau by funding a new  practice that includes a rural teaching program in conjunction with UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. The partnership is with HCHF, Blue Ridge Health (BRH), and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC). This collaboration exemplifies the fulfillment of the HCHF’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities.

“We acknowledge from the outset this project’s scope is wide and our goal and related objectives are ambitious requiring significant contributions of time, talent and treasure from the partners and members of the community,” stated Dr. Walter Clark, Chair of the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation. “However, we know with the determination of these partners along with the philanthropic passion of this community, we are on the road to a true success.”

The partnership will work toward the goal of opening a primary care clinic in the Highlands-Cashiers area that will provide universal access to healthcare for the population of Highlands and Cashiers as well as the workforce that travels from other communities throughout Macon and Jackson Counties. The long-standing problem of access to primary care in the area was among the primary drivers in the formation of this partnership and its dual focus on immediately and directly expanding primary care access, while simultaneously increasing the long-term stability of the communities on the plateau. 

More details will be announced in the coming months surrounding the timeline and physician team that will serve the area. In the meantime, residents can be assured that we are working toward access to universal, integrated healthcare and an increased supply of healthcare providers for the area. If you would like to support this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact HCHF at 828-482-6510 or visit www.hchealthfnd.org.

About Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019 as an independent public charity with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities. As the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital successor foundation we are committed to continuing a several-decade legacy of generosity and vision to ensure vibrant and healthy living for our year-round, seasonal and visiting families and individuals. Through partnerships with organizations, key stakeholders and caring donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change through investing in projects and programs that advance innovative solutions and improvements in peoples’ health and well-being. For more information please visit the website: www.hchealthfnd.org or call 828-482-6510.

About Blue Ridge Health

Blue Ridge Health (BRH) is a nonprofit healthcare system that works closely with communities to meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of our region with high-quality, comprehensive, and accessible healthcare services. With 28 locations throughout western North Carolina, BRH offers primary care, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health and nutrition services that prioritize the patient care experience. For more than 55 years, BRH has served as the leader in community-focused healthcare, providing services to communities in Henderson, Buncombe, Transylvania, Rutherford, Polk, Jackson, Haywood and Swain Counties. If you would like more information about Blue Ridge Health, call 828.692.4289 or visit brchs.com.

About MAHEC

Mountain Area Health Education Center was established in 1974 and is a leader in healthcare, education, and innovation. Located in Asheville, MAHEC serves a 16-county region in Western North Carolina and is one of nine Area Health Education Centers in North Carolina. MAHEC’s mission is to recruit, train and retain the workforce needed to create a healthy North Carolina with a focus on primary care in rural communities and those with less access to resources. MAHEC’s Biltmore campus is also home to UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC, an academic health center in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill that includes programs from the UNC School of Medicine, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. 

HIGHLANDS CASHIERS HEALTH FOUNDATION 2020 FUNDING FOCUS

INCLUDES COVID-19 INITIATIVES

Prospective Grantees Must Submit Letter of Interest by June 10, 2020

 

HIGHLANDS, NC – In what has been described as “an exceptional year of need”, Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation has announced its funding focus for 2020 will include assistance for needs relating to the coronavirus pandemic as well as collaborative and transformative solutions that will improve the health and well-being of our Highlands Cashiers and neighboring communities. Letters of Interest are due before June 10, 2020 and the application can be downloaded from www.hchealthfnd.org.

 

The Foundation’s board has outlined the following funding focus areas:

  1. Covid-19 Initiatives
    Providing financial support to immediate relief needs, as well as emerging and long-term solutions for COVID-19 related issues.
  2. Health and Access to Healthcare Initiatives
    Connecting our communities to sustainable and affordable health care services.
  3. Education Initiatives
    Expanding and improving education.
  4. Transformative, Innovative and Collaborative Solutions
    Providing lasting improvement to our communities’ overall health and well-being.

 

“We know that unprecedented circumstances are affecting families, homes, businesses and every aspect of life in our mountains.  Acting on this, our Board has agreed to allocate significant funding to help our communities,” said Board Chair, Dr. Walter Clark.

Robin Tindall, the Foundation’s CEO and Executive Director adds, “Given the magnitude of the coronavirus’ impact,  the Foundation is committed to helping those most vulnerable in our area, and investing in emerging solutions designed to assist the transition to health and economic recovery of the plateau and our extended region.”

 

Interested applicants may submit Letters of Interest beginning May 11 at www.hchealthfnd.org/grants. Deadline for submission is June 10.

 

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation is an independent public charity dedicated to providing leadership and funding to lift the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers and neighboring communities. The foundation awarded more than $2.5 million in grants to non-profits in 2019, its inaugural year. For more information, visit www.hchealthfnd.org.

 

About Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019 as a 501 (c) 3 public charity with a purpose to improve the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities. As the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital conversion foundation we are committed to continuing a several-decade legacy of generosity and vision to ensure vibrant and healthy living for our year-round, seasonal and visiting families and individuals. Through partnerships with organizations, key stakeholders and caring donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change through investing in projects and programs that advance innovative solutions and improvements in peoples’ health and well-being. The Foundation also includes collaborative partnerships that serve the health and well-being of all people in western North Carolina, with particular emphasis on Macon, Jackson, Swain, Graham, Clay and Cherokee Counties. For more information please visit the website: www.hchealthfnd.org or call 828-482-6510.

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Contact:

Robin Tindall, CFRE
CEO and Executive Director
828-482-6513