The Pisgah Health Foundation (PHF) has announced that it will provide Blue Ridge Community College with $180,000 in grant money as part of its effort to deliver 46 grants totaling $2.5 million in support of the health and wellness of communities in Western North Carolina.
"We seek transformative improvements in the health and well-being of all people in Western North Carolina," PHF noted on its website. "With a focus on the social determinants of health, our programs and initiatives are driven by the needs of the communities we serve."
The grant funding earmarked for Blue Ridge Community College is slated to help the school improve opportunities for those in the field of mental health and substance abuse care in Henderson and Transylvania counties, according to college officials. They say the money will also create a degree program focusing on Human Services Technology, with extensive educational training programs in the areas of Psychiatric Technician and Substance Abuse Education.
The funding will allow the college to implement the programming this year. Blue Ridge Community College Vice President for Instruction Kathy Allen says the funding will help the university create an awareness of mental health stigmas and add more resources in the fight against them.
“Through the generous support of the Pisgah Health Foundation, Blue Ridge Community College will be able to come alongside local officials and lawmakers to help combat the crisis by providing high-quality training programs and courses and well-trained employees," Allen said.
The Pisgah Health Foundation said in a press release that the grants focus on health programs in Transylvania and Henderson counties, a geographic priority for the first grant cycle. Funding for this grant window was provided through proceeds from the sale of Mission Health System, the release said, to build vital health-related social-service capacity in Western North Carolina.
Pisgah Health Foundation is one of six legacy foundations working to honor the legacy of the formerly nonprofit health system, the release said.