Our Work

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster healthier NC communities by leading innovation and developing equitable opportunities with partners statewide.

Who We Are

The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) was launched at the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) in 2007 to support the health of people across the state by serving as a catalyst for primary prevention and health promotion. 

Health equity provides an anchor for all of the NC Center for Health and Wellness work. Everyone deserves a level playing field, no matter what their station in life, to pursue optimal health without undue burdens beyond their control. In keeping with our commitment to equity and health promotion, we focus on addressing health disparities in the prevention and treatment of chronic health conditions.

NCCHW champions and spearheads promising and evidence-based initiatives and practical evaluation methods to improve communities where people live, learn, work, pray, and play.

NCCHW contributes to health and wellbeing for the state’s population via a web of relationships that lead to better practices, enhanced capacity, and community innovations at strategic points across the lifespan.

NCCHW staff work with university, community, governmental, health care, social service and policy partners across the UNC Asheville campus, the region, and the state to help support health service systems and providers, impact critical policies, and ignite community initiatives.

What We Do

NCCHW works to impact policy, build capacity, and ignite community initiatives by working through a web of cross-sector relationships organized around building healthier places throughout the state. Our work collectively improves health outcomes for historically marginalized populations statewide and builds systems to support the inclusivity and decision-making abilities of these underserved populations long term.

One of our core initiatives is NCCHW’s Culture of Results (COR) empowerment evaluation training and technical assistance program and Healthy Aging NC (HANC), which provides statewide training, data reporting and management, and technical assistance for evidence-based health programs.

The Culture of Results (COR) initiative provides training and support to assess opportunities and impact, strengthen coordination, and improve and sustain programs and systems statewide. We conduct rigorous research and provide capacity, coordination, communication, and accountability support to our partners. Culture of Results team members engage partner organizations in learning and using Results-based Accountability (RBA) and its evidence-based, equity-focused tools to identify community results, prioritize and collect data, and plan, evaluate and improve their strategies. We strive to build trust, collaboration, and lift the voices of those with diverse expertise and lived experiences in our planning processes.

NCCHW’s Healthy Aging NC initiative (HANC) supports multi-sector agencies statewide to offer evidence-based health programs, increase access to health promotion and disease management resources, and build sustainability of these services. Our HANC website (www.healthyagingnc.com) is a statewide hub for information, referrals, and program registration. Programs offered through this hub address: chronic disease self-management, falls prevention, physical activity and balance, arthritis and pain management, social isolation and loneliness among others. 

The Social Bridging Project and the Social Bridging NC partnership with Division of Aging and Adult Service address social isolation and loneliness and work to improve social connectedness among older adults. A sister website Standing Strong NC for community members highlights how to prevent falls and save lives. 

Two collaboration and networking projects round out the Healthy Aging NC initiative: one to develop a community care hub for NC to increase the dissemination of evidence-based programs and other services for older adults through engaging health payor support. The second is to create a plan for NC to improve the “No Wrong Door” system by which caregivers access long term services and support for their families.

The Western NC Health Policy Initiative (www.wnchealthpolicy.org), is convened weekly to engage partners in discussion to propose policy solutions to challenging health issues facing our region. 

Finally, the NCCHW collaborates with UNC Asheville faculty and students regionally to support training in health workforce opportunities, to engage students in promoting a culture of health on their college campuses and communities, and to deepen the practice of health promotion and public health among learners, alumni, and the communities they serve. For example, The Student Health Ambassador Program collaboratively engages college students in peer education and support on 6 regional campuses. And the WELL trains students to do cardiovascular health and fitness testing for community members health, performance testing for athletic performance, and to engage in coaching and health promotion for WELL participants.

NCCHW is fully funded by grants and contracts. Currently, federal funding sources include the US Department of Human Services, Administration of Community Living to support many of our healthy aging initiatives and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which supports our arthritis prevention and management work. State funding comes from the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services as well as the NC Department of Health and Human Services Injury and Violence Prevention Branch. The Dogwood Health Trust, Kate B Reynolds Charitable Trust, and NC Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation are current and former foundation funding partners. NCCHW has contractual relationships with a wide range of partners including Mountain Area Health Education Center, City of Asheville, and community organizations.