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

Obesity reduction.

In McDowell County, local individuals and organizations work to increase healthy eating and active living in communities with low incomes by:

Building capacity to engage and empower the Latinx community of McDowell to create a healthier and more equitable community.

Furthering efforts to build local capacity in West Marion, Marion East, and Old Fort to advance evidence-based healthy eating and active living strategies with a focus on systems and environmental changes needed to address obesity.

Developing a community food and health hub in McDowell County 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 by increasing consumers’ knowledge and confidence to use more fresh, healthy foods in their daily meals.

Substance misuse.

McDowell County residents work to reduce rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths:

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 in the mapping of assets and design strategies to reduce rates of substance misuse and overdose deaths.

Expanding a peer support program serving individuals who struggle with a combination of barriers including substance misuse, homelessness, infectious disease, and families who are at-risk of having their children placed into foster care.

Our Team

Program Officer

Regional Support Organization

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