top of page

Dr. Alex Howard joins Dogwood Health Trust as VP of Impact - Health and Wellness

Dogwood Health Trust has announced that Dr. Alex F. Howard, a seasoned public health and higher education administrator, will join the organization as Vice President of Impact – Health & Wellness. In this role, Howard will be responsible for the visioning, development and implementation of ambitious impact strategies that aim to support access to care, improve the social conditions that contribute to health, and support upstream interventions that contribute to overall wellbeing. Additionally, Howard will oversee Dogwood’s bold goals to address substance use disorder as part of its commitment to support programs and networks that reduce deaths, treat addiction and prevent first use.

“We are thrilled to have Alex join Dogwood as a member of our leadership team,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO of Dogwood Health Trust. “Our strategic priority areas of housing, education, economic opportunity, and health and wellness are deeply intertwined and require a comprehensive understanding of how they all work together to support a healthy life. Alex has a proven track record of addressing these social drivers of health for university student populations, and has shown significant leadership in the field of public health. His experience will be a tremendous asset as we pursue our goals.”

Howard most recently served as the assistant vice chancellor of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University where he provided leadership for the departments of Counseling and Psychological Services, the M. S. Shook Student Health Services, University Recreation, and Wellness & Prevention Services. In his efforts to enhance the holistic functioning of all students, Howard was deeply involved in the process of educating and engaging a variety of stakeholders, including the University’s Board of Trustees, members of the broader Watauga County community, as well as students and their families, faculty and staff of the University. Prior to his work at Appalachian State University, Howard served as faculty and the undergraduate program director within the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky.

Howard received both his doctorate and masters of public health from the University of Kentucky, during which time he was immersed in rural public health field work in several Appalachian communities A native of Sampson County, NC, he earned a bachelor’s of science in athletic training from High Point University. Throughout his career, Howard has consistently sought opportunities to serve others and his communities. He has been an advisor to multiple student organizations at Appalachian State University, a volunteer youth baseball coach, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter of the American Red Cross and ATLAS (Achievement Through Liberal Arts and Sciences), a non-profit dedicated to improving access to higher education for high school students in the High Country that qualify as first-generation college attendees.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be joining Dogwood’s leadership team,” Howard said. “I look forward to leveraging the great work that is already in progress, and I’m eager to learn from Dogwood’s staff and partners as we work together to build healthier communities for all of Western North Carolina.”

About Dogwood Health Trust

Dogwood Health Trust is a private foundation based in Asheville, North Carolina with the sole purpose of dramatically improving the health and wellbeing of all people and communities of 18 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust focuses on innovative and equitable ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellbeing, with a focus on housing, education, economic opportunity, and health and wellness. Dogwood Health Trust works to create a Western North Carolina where every generation can live, learn, earn and thrive, with dignity and opportunity for all, no exceptions. To learn more, please visit

bottom of page