2014 Annual Campaign Launches

April 7, 2014

Join the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) Foundation in helping residents in our region who are uninsured. They are friends and neighbors who are vulnerable to health crises from chronic conditions or illness.  The 2014 WCMS Annual Campaign launches with a $50,000 campaign goal with the theme “Expanding Access to Health Care in Western North Carolina.” With your help, WCMS provides access to health care for uninsured people in need. 

In 2013, more than 3,000 low-income, uninsured patients were given access to health care they couldn’t otherwise afford through Project Access®.  WCMS connects volunteer physicians who want to serve people in need in the community.  Through this partnership with over 500 area physicians, free medical services valued at more than $8 million were provided to these patients.  And with these patients receiving proper care and follow up, they are healthier and our community is stronger.

JoAnne* was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she did not have any insurance because the non-profit organization she worked for did not provide employee insurance. She thought she had been handed a death sentence. Thanks to Project Access, JoAnne’s tumor was surgically removed and she received treatment that has put her in remission. JoAnne told us, “Project Access saved my life.” But JoAnne is scared.  She was surprised to learn that the Affordable Care Act does NOT help her.  The ACA provides federal subsidies for people between 100-400% of the Federal Poverty Level.  It was written with the assumption that States would expand Medicaid for people under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, which is the situation for JoAnne, but North Carolina did not provide this expansion.  Like many of our poorest friends, neighbors and co-workers, JoAnne will continue to rely on Project Access to keep her alive.

*Name changed for confidentiality.

WCMS now has Certified Application Counselors (CACs) to help uninsured people whose income is between 100 - 400% of the Federal Poverty Level assess their eligibility for the Health Insurance Marketplace.  WCMS works to educate them about options, including Medicaid and Medicare, and helps them secure appropriate coverage. WCMS is assisting WNC physicians to get their patients enrolled in the Health Insurance Marketplace. 

Suzanne* is a widow who is self-employed and has been uninsured for over 8 years, as she only makes 118% of the Federal Poverty Level ($13,000). WCMS first met Suzanne through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program. Then, Suzanne’s knee went out and she desperately needed a knee replacement. She obtained her surgery and can walk again. When her Project Access enrollment expired, WCMS helped her enroll in the ACA’s insurance marketplace. Suzanne DOES qualify because she makes enough income to qualify for the federal subsidies. With the help of our staff, Suzanne purchased a Silver Select Plan with a premium of just $20.02 after tax credits. She told us, “Thank you for helping me get insurance so I don’t have to depend on charity care in the future!”

*Name changed for confidentiality.


The WCMS Foundation and Executive Director Miriam Schwarz are pleased to announce the following individuals as our 2014 Campaign Leadership:



Corporate Campaign Co-Chair - Carolyn Coward, The Van Winkle Law Firm



Corporate Campaign Co-Chair - Mary Williams Matthews,

Johnson Price Sprinkle


Physicians in Philanthropy (PIP) Chair – Win Word-Sims, MD, Mountain Kidney & Hypertension Associates, PA



Emeritus Chapter Member Chair – Denny Crews, MD, Retired



  Community Campaign Chair - David Hart, Paragon Financial 



















The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation needs your help now to support access to care during this time of unprecedented change in the healthcare environment. The Foundation is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization located at 304 Summit Street, Asheville, NC.  For further information call 828 274-2267 or go to http://mywcms.org


“Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Section at (919) 807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.”

To donate log on www.mywcms.org/Campaign2014

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