Vecinos Inc. has received a $50,000 investment grant from Nantahala Health Foundation to support the construction of its Community Health Hub in Franklin, which will provide health care and social services to low-income residents of western North Carolina.
The grant will support planning and renovations needed to convert an existing 15,000-square-foot facility into the Hub, which will house medical, dental, and behavioral health care, domestic violence counseling, legal services, and community advocacy – all offered on a bilingual basis.
“The uninsured and low-income population in western North Carolina, in particular the Spanish-speaking population, faces significant barriers to accessing health care,” said Marianne Martinez, Vecinos’ executive director. “Nantahala Health Foundation’s support is critical to our efforts to make high-quality services available for free and in their language in a convenient, coordinated and streamlined manner.”
The Community Health Hub is expected to open in early 2024.
Medical and dental care at the Community Health Hub will be provided by Vecinos, which currently operates a free and charitable clinic in Cullowhee, and Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic, which operates a dental clinic in Cashiers. Both are members of the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC), a network of 71 clinics across North Carolina that offer high-quality primary, dental, specialty and behavioral health care, pharmacy and other services to uninsured and underserved residents at little or no cost to patients.
About Vecinos Inc.
Vecinos is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit health care organization dedicated to serving uninsured, low-income adults in western North Carolina with a specific focus on those in need of Spanish-language services. Founded in 2004 with the mission of serving and advocating for the Latinx and farmworker community, Vecinos expanded its service model in 2021 to better meet the needs of the community. With one clinic location on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, Vecinos is spearheading the development of a Community Health Hub in Franklin to expand access and streamline delivery of medical, dental and social services to the community it serves. Learn more at www.vecinos.org or call 828.293.2274.
About Nantahala Health Foundation
Nantahala Health Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary to improve health and wellness outcomes for all. By addressing the root causes of health inequities and by removing barriers to quality healthcare, education and economic opportunities, NHF’s impact is broadly felt in its partnerships with regional change-makers.
Since its establishment in 2019, Nantahala Health Foundation has utilized its grants programs to award more than $3.46 million in support to some 175 programs, all of which have contributed a total regional investment of more than $11.4 million and the improvement of thousands of lives. NHF’s operations, which were launched with a modest $15 million investment under the direction of a volunteer board of directors, require public support if they are to continue to serve as one of Western North Carolina’s most influential health-related philanthropic entities. Those who wish to learn more about their work within the region and how best to support it are invited to visit their website at NantahalaHealthFoundation.org or call 828.634.1527.
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