We partner to prompt change.

Since 2012, McDowell County and Healthy Places NC have targeted key health issues including high rates of chronic disease, obesity, substance misuse, and lack of access to health care. These health concerns also impact McDowell County’s economic outlook as companies seek to attract a healthy, vibrant workforce. Through Healthy Places NC, McDowell County residents have identified substance misuse—referred to by the community as substance use disorder—and obesity reduction as two key issues to address.

Community Approaches

We support the community in their efforts to achieve the following goals:

Obesity reduction.

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.

Substance misuse.

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.

Our Team

Program Officer

Regional Support Organization

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