Impact Officer (DHT)

The Opportunity

Do you get big things done and create results? Do you relish new challenges when there’s no roadmap for where you’re going? Do you have a passion for making a difference in the lives of children and families? Do you want to look back five years from now and know you helped meaningfully reduce health inequalities? Dogwood Health Trust (DHT) seeks an entrepreneurial Impact Officer who loves start-ups and working with high performing teams, has a track record of moving the needle and getting results, and is passionate about health equity.  

Dogwood Health Trust is a $1.5 billion private, non-operating foundation, based in Asheville, North Carolina whose broad mandate is “to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina.” The Trust became operational upon the sale of the assets of Mission Health System to HCA Healthcare in 2018. Dogwood Health Trust seeks to fulfill its mission by addressing what the World Health Organization and other experts call the social determinants of health – factors such as individuals’ early childhood development, education, economic stability and physical surroundings.

Our work is grounded in ambitious impact and equity goals which frighten some and excite others. For example, instead of “we funded $5 million in addiction programs” we set out to reduce opioid deaths by 40% in one year, while reducing the disparity for post incarcerated populations; instead of “we funded $3 million in education” we set our sights on eliminating the disparity for minorities in educational attainment and graduation rates within 4 years.

A team is forming which is quickly establishing the Foundation as an impactful place and a philanthropic agent for change, and the Impact Officer will be in the middle of the action. You will work with a team of equally talented and motivated colleagues who each take responsibility for one to three strategic initiatives. Each team member will be accountable to specific impact and equity goals. 

We are in the process of defining our strategic initiatives, which could span the breadth of health care access, housing, education, substance use disorder, mental health, economic development, and so much more. Each initiative will require a multi-prong system change strategy that moves the needle on health equity. As initiatives mature, new opportunities invariably arise, leading to increased impact and personal growth.

Being successful in this environment requires a unique combination of skills and attributes: you need to keep the end goals firmly in mind, while adapting in realtime to changing conditions and new information; you need build strong partnerships with community stakeholders, but not be afraid to challenge orthodox thinking; you need to reach into the unknown, but understand and manage the risks. It’s less about Gantt Charts, and more like 3d chess.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in leading transformative projects; for example: launching a new company or nonprofit; creating a new product, platform or service; achieving breakthrough results for metrics such as growth, reach or impact. You should be comfortable setting and achieving ambitious, quantifiable goals, and be able to document your accomplishments in a clear and compelling fashion. 

You should have experience leading complex systems changes involving a diverse set of stakeholders. Several of the initiatives are anticipated to take the form of public-private partnerships (i.e. combination of Dogwood and public funding) and will be subsidiaries with their own senior staff and teams reporting to the executive team of DHT. You will be someone who thrives in uncertainty, and is comfortable operating as an issue champion one day and a startup nonprofit ED the next.

This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the biggest United States healthcare conversion foundation on a per capita basis. The Impact Officer will play an instrumental role in generating measurable, sustainable change in health equity and the well-being of Western North Carolina residents.

Organization Overview

Dogwood Health Trust is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities across Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust is the successor foundation of the nonprofit Mission Health System.

Dogwood Health Trust became operational upon Mission Health's recent acquisition by HCA Healthcare and is the recipient of the net proceeds of the sale. HCA paid approximately $1.5 billion for the assets of Mission Health, which previously operated as a private not-for-profit health system that was the sixth largest in Western North Carolina. Proceeds from the purchase will be combined with Mission Health's remaining cash and investments – after all debts and obligations are paid – and transferred to Dogwood Health Trust. The Trust will operate independently from HCA and will be a key source of support for the community. The Trust begins its operations at a time of great need and opportunity for the area's local communities, as is evident from the following statistics.

 Area Statistics

  • Population of all 18 counties - 901,715
  • Median household income - $42,670 (national median $55,322)
  • Persons below poverty level - 15.8% (national average 12.7%)
  • With disability (<65) - 11.8% (national average 8.6%)
  • Without health insurance (<65) - 13.5% (national average 10.1%)
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher - 26.5% (national average 30.3%)
  • Civilian labor force - 55.4% (national average 63.1%)
  • Persons age 65 and over - 22% (national average 15.2%)

Position Summary

Reporting Relationships

The Impact Officer initially reporting to the Vice President, Impact (or may report to another executive depending on which strategic initiative) will be responsible for managing new strategic initiative launches and be held accountable to measurable impact goals.


The successful Impact Officer candidate will

  • Implement new initiatives and be held accountable for real time impact and systems change.
  • Partner with the area's key opinion leaders, community-based organizations and residents to identify and fund bold and innovative strategies that will move the needle on health disparities and equity in Western North Carolina, based on DHT's strategic priorities.
  • Lead implementation and monitoring of processes and solutions to ensure the integration of strategic direction and impact goals. Create an environment of transparency, collaboration and cultural integration across DHT initiatives that foster and enable integration of efforts between organizations.
  • In conjunction with key stakeholders, anticipate emerging equity needs and social determinant and disparity trends that inform the organization’s mission and work. Be fluent in the equity journey for stakeholders regardless of where they may be in that journey.
  • Leverage public and private funding streams to optimize investment and impact of initiatives that address health equity and the social determinants of health.
  • Work in a completely diverse and high-performance impact team. Support a high performing culture in alignment with DHT’s mission. Thrive in a team-based environment to motivate and inspire colleagues to work collaboratively.
  • Cultivate a strong working relationship with both the VP, Impact and the impact team to support a true triad leadership structure. Work with DHT’s Leadership Team to promote the understanding, communication and integration of the organization’s values, vision, strategies and mission.
  • Work closely with the finance department to ensure sound fiscal and system management, including managing P&L for potential program related investments.
  • Ensure the measurement and delivery of qualitative and quantitative goals as well as outcomes of initiatives, strategies and subsidiaries. Utilize data to inform impact decision-making; develop and implement structure and process to execute decisions; foster integration and achieve targeted solutions.
  • Provide strong leadership in the development of quality indicators and focus on meeting established outcome and service standards for initiatives within their scope of responsibility.
  • Work with the VP, Impact and impact team to ensure that all impact activities and operations are carried out in compliance with local, state and federal regulations and laws.

Goals and Objectives

The successful candidate will be an innovative and entrepreneurial leader with exceptional strategic and communications skills and a demonstrated track record of making transformational change in addressing the fundamental drivers that determine health and health equity. This person will be a servant leader who has fostered collaborative relationships and developed broad support among stakeholders in order to create systems change and deliver measurable impact. Within the first 12-18 months, Impact Officer will be expected to meet the following goals and objectives:


  • Integrate with DHT and its culture. Develop strong working relationships with the impact team and the community it serves. Be seen by all as a collaborative, trusted partner, visible and approachable both within DHT and the community at large.
  • Contribute as a high performing team member for each initiative under their scope, optimize performance in order to meet goals and objectives set forth by the Board/CEO.
  • Working with the impact team to implement measurable, quantitative objectives in several health equity areas and achieve those impact results within the agreed upon time frames.
  • Support an environment of transparency, accountability, collaboration and cultural integration across strategies funded by DHT that foster and enable integration of initiatives.
  • In collaboration with the impact team, conduct an analysis of most pressing issues and existing strategies and identify gaps and/or necessary changes. Anticipate emerging population needs and public health trends and align with the organization’s mission.
  • Identify and cultivate new federal, state and local funding sources to support DHT's areas of focus and begin to leverage those relationships to increase funding and impact.


Candidate Qualifications


  • Undergraduate degree required. Graduate degree in business administration, health care or nonprofit or public administration, management or related field preferred. Experience as an entrepreneur in lieu of education.

Knowledge and Work Experience

  • Extensive experience in a for-profit or non-profit organization or government agency. Preferred if in any one of the following areas: healthcare, public health, education, economic empowerment, workforce development, public safety, technology or business.
  • Demonstrated track record of exemplary measurable results, growth and sustained financial strength. Demonstrated track record of launching a new organization, new division, new product, new service, etc. and achieving significant measurable outcomes (not just process or output measures).
  • Minimum of five to seven years in a progressive impact/program role, preferably in a complex or multi-entity organization.
  • Significant experience in the not for profit sector, a for profit company or start up entrepreneurial company which can demonstrate a track record of meeting and exceeding social determinant targets or parallel results in a for-profit sector.
  • Visible passion for and demonstrated understanding of the mission of DHT, both internally and externally.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of strategic program planning and execution, organizational structure, budgeting, administrative operations and funding mechanisms.
  • Experience thinking strategically, anticipating future consequences and trends, and incorporating them into the organizational plan with minimal disruption.
  • Proven track record of developing and fostering excellent relationships with internal and external stakeholders, especially diverse and underserved communities.
  • Proven successes in planning, organizing, implementing, evaluating and modifying programs, systems and operations.
  • Experience and expertise in growing the business, organically and in-organically, and exceeding budget expectations.
  • Experience working with ethnically diverse communities, populations and staff.
  • Extensive budgeting and financial management knowledge.
  • Experience in advocating and negotiating strategically and effectively with a wide range of people in multiple settings.
  • Exceptional interpersonal, public relations, oratory, written and presentation skills, and the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide audience.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration.
  • Strong community awareness and astuteness.
  • Proven ability to successfully navigate in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven and entrepreneurial environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment.
  • Experience working with organizations serving low-income individuals and/or addressing social determinants of health.
  • Proven ability to work with government and agency partners.

Personal Attributes

  • Commitment to taking personal responsibility for impact success, no matter the ecosystem challenges, the partner challenges, or team issues. Highly adaptive when inevitable barriers arise to moving the needle on our toughest social issues.
  • Strong culture and values fit. A person of unquestioned integrity and moral character; an individual that the organization and the community can trust without reservation.
  • A personal style that builds relationships based on team play, trust, honesty, humility, reliability, openness and confidence.
  • A self-motivated, highly intelligent, secure individual who is team-oriented and has a passion for service excellence.
  • A consummate team player who takes pride in team accomplishments and not their own accomplishments.
  • Capable of seeing the value of new ideas and willing to try new approaches to care delivery and leadership. A person with the courage to stand by his/her convictions yet who is self-confident enough to take feedback from all levels of the organization.
  • Maturity and presence; candidates must have an authentic presence that is confident yet vulnerable.
  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively to large groups, small gatherings and individuals is an absolute requirement. He/she must be as adept talking with front line staff in the community as he/she would be addressing a large gathering of managing directors and other team members.
  • Be a thought leader and advocate for policy change.

The Community

Asheville/Western North Carolina


Asheville is the county seat of Buncombe County, North Carolina. It is the largest city in Western North Carolina, and the 12th most populous city in the state. The city's population was 89,121 according to 2016 estimates. Asheville is located within North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for a vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the dome-topped Basilica of Saint Lawrence. The vast 19th-century Biltmore estate displays artwork by masters like Renoir. The Downtown Art District is filled with galleries and museums, and in the nearby River Arts District, former factory buildings house artists' studios.

Healthcare is the largest industry in the area, responsible for 20 percent of the area’s employment.  With a host of world-class providers, research institutions and community organizations, companies that operate in the commercial healthcare, medical technology and pharmaceutical fields have significant support on which they can rely. The depth and diversity of North Carolina's healthcare network allows companies to do advanced work more compassionately, all while maintaining low business costs. Healthcare operations play a crucial role in both drawing talent and providing employment, income and benefits to thousands of residents.

The Asheville area is a destination for both relocation and travel, boasting an airport rated as one of the best connected regional airports in the country. The Asheville region has a diverse $17.3 billion economy and key drivers include steady population growth, manufacturing, tourism and healthcare. With a metro workforce of over 207,000 employees fueled by a number of colleges and universities, Asheville is an attractive location for many companies looking to expand. The community attracts qualified talent from across the country and remains an easy hometown choice for long-term residents and students. In collaboration with top-notch educational partners, and local and state-wide workforce initiatives, Asheville is able to train, support and retain the individuals who make up their most valuable economic resource.

One of the main draws for travelers and residents alike is downtown Asheville – vibrant and friendly, the area has critically acclaimed restaurants, galleries and great boutique shopping. Stepping out of the downtown core, each smaller enclave around Asheville has a unique feel – West Asheville, North Asheville and Biltmore Village, among others, are areas that keep the local Asheville area busy. The Asheville area has more than 50 craft brewers and is the East Coast headquarters for three large national craft brewers.

The Asheville metro area, covering four Western North Carolina counties, has a population of approximately 450,000 residents. In 2016, Buncombe County attracted 10.9 million visitors, generating $2.9 billion in economic impact. Despite this growth, the cost of living is less than the national average and has retained a small-city charm. Small businesses have a strong presence in Asheville, adding to the great “community feel” of Asheville.

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Western North Carolina

Western North Carolina consists of 18 counties and a 2017 estimated population of 901,715. This region of North Carolina includes the Appalachian Mountains; thus it is often known as the state's Mountain Region. Located east of the Tennessee state line and west of the Piedmont, Western North Carolina contains a few major urban centers. Asheville is the area's largest city and most prominent commercial hub. Boone and Blowing Rock are well-known areas within the region.

The Foothills region of the state is loosely defined as the area along Western North Carolina's eastern boundary; this region consists of a transitional terrain of hills between the Appalachians and the Piedmont Plateau of central North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have a reservation situated in the Western North Carolina region, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Tourism is the region's largest contributor to the economy, with over $3B spent yearly. Officials and economic developers are partnering new industries with the region’s longtime economic players such as agriculture, tourism and higher education. Together they strengthen the economy and elevate an already high quality of life. Diversification is a goal of local economic development and manufacturers, such as Evendale, Ohio-based GE Aviation, craft brewers and others have provided Asheville with $5 billion in economic development over the last five years. In Polk County, Tryon International Equestrian Center opened in 2014 with 10 riding arenas and 850 permanent stalls, while featuring 30 weeks of shows each year. Caldwell is home to strong plastics and packaging industries, with growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors as well. Technology will be a key part of North Carolina’s future economy.

Agriculture always has been strong in western North Carolina, where apples and Christmas trees are the top crops. Farming has been a large contributor to North Carolina's economy, but a recent study anticipates that agribusiness in the state could increase some 80 percent, becoming a $150 billion annual industry by 2050.


To Apply 

In order to be considered for this role, qualified candidates should forward a current resume and cover letter to Human Resources at Dogwood Health Trust via e-mail, [email protected]



Dogwood Health Trust values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.

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