Healthy Places McDowell County
Working in McDowell County
McDowell County is positioned in the Appalachian Mountain region of western North Carolina. This scenic location provides abundant natural assets such as Pisgah National Forest, Linville Caverns, the Catawba River, Lake James, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. These attractions draw tourists, retirees, and sightseers. Like many rural areas, McDowell County has felt the effects of lost manufacturing but has been able to maintain and attract key employers.
We support the community in their efforts to achieve the following goals:
Local partners are working to increase healthy eating and active living by:
- Building capacity to engage and empower the Latinx community to create a healthier and more equitable place to live.
- Building local capacity in West Marion, Marion East, and Old Fort to advance evidence-based healthy eating and active living strategies.
- Developing a community food and health hub that seeks to address food insecurity issues for residents with low incomes, foster economic development in the local farming community, and improve health outcomes for individuals.
Local partners are working to reduce rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths by:
- Supporting systems change approaches from the community planning process, which may include addressing organizational capacity within health systems, coordination within and across systems, community education and engagement, and advocacy.
- Assisting community coalitions to map assets and design strategies to address substance misuse.
- Expanding a peer support program to serve individuals facing a combination of barriers including substance misuse, homelessness, infectious disease, and foster care.