SOUTHPORT — Dosher Memorial Hospital is expanding efforts to improve the health of the residents in its area with the launching of the Brunswick County Community Wellness Coalition.
The coalition has been made possible thanks to a $450,000 grant from The Duke Endowment, of Charlotte.
More details about what the program will become are due in the next few months, according to a press release from the hospital. But its partner organizations are already known commodities.
The Brunswick County Health Department, the New Hope Clinic, and the YMCA of Wilmington were all part of Dosher’s application for the grant from the endowment and will be represented on the coalition, the release states.
“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.
Hospital President and CEO Tom Siemers said the coalition will be adding other community, health and business leaders as the coalition forms.
“The first charge will be to recruit a coordinator to develop, organize and administer the program,” Siemers said. “The singular goal of the coalition is to improve the health of our community.”
At its monthly meeting on Monday, the hospital’s board-elected trustee Dr. Scott Starks, a retired orthopedic surgeon, to chair the Community Wellness Coalition.
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.
The $450,000 grant marks the largest grant Dosher has ever received, the press release states. The Due Endowment was founded in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James Buchanan Duke. It promotes health care, child care, higher education and “rural church,” according to its website.
Dosher will spend $150,000 of the grant funds per year for three years to implement the community health improvement program.
“During my 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,” Starks said.