Mission responds to WCMS' Question about Dogwood Health Fund Board Composition

August 28, 2018

WCMS’ mission is to be the physicians’ voice advocating for the health of the physician, the patient, and the community. We aim to be a dynamic community of physicians and providers dedicated to a healthy vibrant Western North Carolina. Based on this premise, the changes coming to healthcare in the region with the proposed sale of Mission Health to the HCA is a call to engagement for our membership and the entire community. On behalf of our membership, WCMS will be submitting questions to Mission Health. Mission Health has responded to the question we submitted about the board composition . Here is Mission’s response to the question:

Question: “Will there be community members on the board of the Foundation including people/advocates that can represent the true interest of the indigent people? Who will ensure good stewardship of the foundation? Who will be in charge of forming the board of directors for the Foundation?”

Mission’s Response:

Dogwood Health Trust Board members will bring qualifications, characteristics and life experiences that are complementary to one another and collectively reflect western North Carolina. Board members must have a firm commitment to Dogwood’s bold mission to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of all people and communities in Western North Carolina and understand they serve as a fiduciary steward to ensure Dogwood’s mission is achieved for everyone in every community across this region.  

Among the criteria for board members are the following:

  • Commitment to the public interest and the role of the nonprofit sector;
  • Ability to think and act beyond one’s personal perspective and experience (e.g., gender, place of residence, race/ethnicity, etc.); and
  • Commitment to the public interest and the role of the nonprofit sector.

The specific structure and leadership of Dogwood Health Trust was the responsibility of the Mission Health Board.  Only the Mission Health Board has the legal authority and fiduciary responsibility to make those decisions on behalf of the community.  The original six Dogwood Health Trust Board members were selected by an ad hoc subcommittee and approved by the Mission Health Board based on their awareness of the needs of the region, their strong history of prior service to the community, their deep local roots, their knowledge of health and wellbeing, and their skills to build and operate a large private foundation.  The three new Board members were chosen by the initial six Dogwood Board members based on their diverse life experiences, individual qualifications, commitment to the purpose of Dogwood Health Trust, willingness to devote the significant time and energy required, ability, and willingness to represent the entire western North Carolina region and regional diversity.

As announced last week, Janice Brumit is Dogwood’s Inaugural Chair, and Jack Cecil, President of Biltmore Farms, will serve as Vice Chair.  Currently, the other selected Board members are:


  • John R. Ball, MD, JD (Buncombe County)
  • Michell Hicks, CPA (Qualla Boundary)
  • Sam Lupas (Jackson County)
  • George Renfro (Buncombe County)
  • Robert C. Roberts (Buncombe County)
  • Wyatt S. Stevens, JD (Buncombe County)
  • Martha Tyner (Yancey County)

Ms. Brumit, Mr. Cecil and the seven other initial Board members will select additional directors as the Dogwood Health Trust develops its vision and strategic plan and is expected to grow an initial board of 12 to 15 members comprised of members residing throughout the region.  An on-line process has been established to receive nominations, and Board members’ terms will be staggered to allow for ongoing change over time.  We encourage you to review the bylaws of the Dogwood HealthTrust on the Dogwood Health Trust website as it does the best job of laying out the expectations of the Board.