Project Access® Receives Grant from Dogwood Health Trust

December 4, 2020

December 2, 2020, Asheville, NC- The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) based in Asheville, NC is pleased to announced that it was awarded a grant from Dogwood Health Trust, also based in Asheville. The award is to support WCMSF’s effort to assist in enrolling eligible Project Access® patients into the ACA Marketplace.

This grant will support Health Access Coordinators (HACs), including bilingual HACs, as they contact Project Access® patients who live in Buncombe County and who are over 100% Federal Poverty Level, and therefore possibly eligible for subsidized health insurance through the Marketplace. The HACs will assist the patients with enrollment. To maximize the number of enrollments, the HACs will also make referrals to two of WCMSF’s partners, Pisgah Legal Services and Hummingbird Insurance, for enrollment assistance, if needed.

Project Access® connects low income, uninsured people with comprehensive low- or no-cost healthcare when they need it most through a volunteer network of over 700 physicians, providers, and community based organizations. Part of the strategic approach of Project Access® is to expand resources for patients in order to move healthcare upstream. Working with patients to assist them in enrolling in health insurance is part of that mission.

The grant is part of Dogwood Health Trust’s strategic priority of addressing health and wellness issues made greater by COVID-19.  

“Thank you to Dogwood Health Trust for their support!” says Mariela Solano, Director of Health Access and Equity Programs at WCMS. “This grant allows us to continue our mission of providing comprehensive support to our patients. By assisting them in enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace and educating them, as newly insured consumers, on how to understand and use health insurance, we are working to fulfill more aspects of that mission.”

The WCMS Foundation is thankful to have the backing of Dogwood Health Trust to continue working to address the many needs of WCMS’ Project Access® patients.

Project Access® is celebrating 25 years of service to the community in 2021. The program has served over 67,000 patients totaling over $178 million in charity care.

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 or visit






  • end     -