Project Access® Receives Significant One Year Expansion Grant from WNC Bridge Foundation

October 30, 2019

October 22, 2019, Asheville, NC- The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) based in Asheville, NC recently was awarded a significant grant from the WNC Bridge Foundation (formerly CarePartners Foundation) based in Asheville. A one year funding grant in the amount of $477,891 was earmarked to the WCMSF’s ‘Wellness Emergency Connection Access Network’ (WE CAN) project, an expansion of Project Access®.

The grant will provide additional Health Access Counselors for Project Access® who will be co-located at community health centers throughout Buncombe and Madison Counties. Co-located staff means that more patients will be enrolled into Project Access®. Part of the funding will also directly support partner organizations of WCMSF- MANNA FoodBank, Bounty and Soul, Pisgah Legal Services, and the Council on Aging, all of whom will be assisting our patients with socio-economic needs, such as food insecurity and housing/utility insecurity.

Mariela Solano, Director of Health Access and Equity Programs at WCMS notes, “We are excited to have been awarded such a generous grant from the WNC Bridge Foundation. The WCMS Foundation is eager to address the many needs of our Project Access® patients, such as access to comprehensive health care services, access to food, and utility assistance. This investment in Project Access® will allow us to move health care upstream and address socio-economic issues that impact the health and well-being of people who are low-income and uninsured.  Together with our partners, we will target the disparities that impact so many members of our community and assist in closing the gap.”

The WNC Bridge Foundation (formerly CarePartners Foundation) has been serving the people of Western North Carolina for over 15 years. They are a community-based charitable organization that works to provide funds to support and assist in meeting the many health challenges that face the people of Western NC.  The WNC Bridge Foundation provides direct support and also empower carefully selected non-profits to impact individual and community wellness in our communities throughout the Western NC region. Its mission is to be a catalyst for change throughout the 18 counties of Western North Carolina in the areas of emergency wellness, elder care and youth development.

The Western Carolina Medical Society is the physicians’ voice, advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of the community. The WCMS Foundation is the physician and community-led charitable arm of the medical society improving access to quality healthcare, decreasing disparities in health, and promoting health & wellness.

For more information about the Western Carolina Medical Society contact Miriam Schwarz, CEO/Executive Director at 828-274.2267 or


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