By late March in McDowell County, the effects of COVID-19 were beginning to be felt, even if cases were not prevalent in Western North Carolina yet. As McDowell residents experienced the economic impact of the novel coronavirus in the form of layoffs and business closings, the need for food assistance became critical. Thanks to a partnership between McDowell Access to Care and Health (MATCH), Foothills Food Hub and McDowell Local Food Advisory Council (LFAC), families were able to access food, personal care items, and other essentials at distribution sites across the county.
August 2020 marks the fourth year that McDowell County has come together to observe Overdose Awareness Day. McDowell Impact, CareReach’s peer support program, is co-hosting the event along with the Community Engagement Project, Marion East Community Forum, EMS Community Care Paramedics, McDowell Access to Care and Health (MATCH), and the Foothills Food Hub. This year, due to COVID-19, they have moved the event online and have been promoting awareness of the event all month long.
World Hepatitis Day is observed annually on July 28th, the birthday of Dr. BaruchBlumberg (1925–2011) who discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967, and 2 years later, developed the first hepatitis B vaccine. Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide, causing more than one million deaths each year. Organizations across the globe, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize World Hepatitis Day as an opportunity to educate and raise awareness about viral hepatitis. This year’s theme of World Hepatitis Day is to Find the Missing Millions.
McDowell Impact, McDowell County's first-ever peer support program, is an innovative, multiagency collaboration utilizing peer support specialists to promote and support recovery. Funded by Kate B. Reynolds Charity Trust, the program is in its second year and comes to CareReach from its original home, McDowell Mission Ministries.
Across the state in 2019, networks like Community Care of Western North Carolina (CCWNC) consolidated with Community Care of North Carolina to prepare for Medicaid Transformation. Seeing an opportunity to continue as a home for community programs and leverage its culture of success and experience as a fiduciary agent, CCWNC has rebranded itself, and is now known as CareReach.