Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport recently received the largest grant in its 86-year history, $450,000 from The Duke Endowment in Charlotte.
Hospital officials said the funds will be used to launch the Brunswick County Community Wellness Coalition to improve the health and wellness of area residents, according to a news release.
Morrisville-based Population Health Improvement Partners is helping Dosher implement the program at the direction of the endowment.
Officials of the organization said Dosher was the first critical-access hospital to receive such a grant. This is the second year of grant awards to health organizations in the Carolinas through the endowment.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for Dosher to partner with the community to promote health and wellness to a large segment of the population,” Dosher hospital board chairwoman Sherri Marshall said in the release.
At its monthly meeting earlier in January, the board elected trustee Scott Starks, a retired orthopedic surgeon, to chair the Community Wellness Coalition.
“Dr. Starks has three decades of experience working on community health programs. He was the obvious choice to represent our Board on this exciting new initiative,” Marshall said.
Starks said that during “20 years of evolution into full-time residency on Bald Head Island, I have continued to observe people and practices that warrant education and programs for various health conditions. This program will accomplish just that.”
The Brunswick County Health Department, New Hope Clinic and Wilmington Family YMCA were part of Dosher’s application for the grant from the endowment. Those three organizations will be represented on the coalition.
Dosher President and CEO Tom Siemers said the coalition would be adding other community, health and business leaders.
“The first charge will be to recruit a coordinator to develop, organize and administer the program. The singular goal of the coalition is to improve the health of our community,” he said.
Dosher will spend $150,000 of the grant funds per year for three years to implement the community health improvement program the release said.