Who We Are…

MountainWise is all of the Western North Carolina region. The people that make up the heritage and rich cultural fabric of our communities are who MountainWise is and what it represents. Facilitated by Macon County Public Health, MountainWise is supported by each of the Health Departments in our region:

The MountainWise team consists of four program-specific Regional Coordinators, a Communications and Development Coordinator, Bilingual Lifestyle Coach for Diabetes Prevention Program, a fiscal lead and one Project Director. These folks are based in Health Departments throughout the region, but are usually out and about doing great work in their communities.

Nicole Hinebaugh

MountainWise Partnership for Health Program Director


(Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas)
For 20 years Nicole has been managing nonprofit programs related to affordable housing, community organizing, food security and policy, and education/resources for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Currently, Nicole directs the Healthy People Healthy Carolinas project for MountainWise. Nicole specializes in collaborative initiative development and currently serves in leadership roles with the WNC Food Justice Planning Initiative and on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Buncombe Community Land Trust. Nicole lives in Waynesville, located in Haywood County, is a mother to two sons, and is an avid backyard gardener and raiser of chickens when she’s not hiking the beautiful mountain trails of WNC.


Judy Bell

Finance Officer – Region 1 

There may be no job more important than that of the finance officer. Judy has supported MountainWise staff with ensuring invoices are paid, preparing and submitting expenditure reports and keeping track of grant balances – oh, and lest we forget, she’s also responsible for making sure that our “wonderful” staff get paid! Keeping more than just balances in check – Judy joined the MountainWise team back in 2012 as part of the original grant (CTG), “The grants have changed over the years – sooo I am still here!”

Playing a vital role in managing our grant funds, Judy’s extensive knowledge in finance stems from her Accounting Degree from Southwestern Community College and her 30 years service with the Macon County Health Department, from which she retired back in 2009. With roots planted in Franklin since the age of 3, Judy is considered a “native” of WNC – “I was not responsible for my parents moving away from WNC for work, but they regained their senses and moved back!” One of her favorite things about WNC are the beautiful mountains, the changing seasons and the southern hospitality of some of the most friendliest people around.


Tobin Lee

Regional Tobacco Prevention Manager

After growing up in Ocala, FL, Tobin’s favorite thing about living in western North Carolina is the mountain seasons. He received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Science Education with a specialization in Community Health Education from the University of Florida. Tobin was happy to leave the heat of Florida behind and now enjoys working at MountainWise and making new friends in the mountains.

Paige Robinson

Minority Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator (NCMDPP)


Paige Louise Robinson, a 5th generation native of Western North Carolina, is the Regional Coordinator of the Minority Diabetes Prevention Program. As MDPP coordinator, Paige stays busy focusing on budgeting, scheduling, screening and providing materials for MDPP staff. She hires and supervises each Lifestyle Coach and periodically evaluates and reports on their progress. Paige is a graduate of Franklin High School, Southwestern Community College and Western Carolina University. She earned her BS degree in Health and Physical Education. She enjoys many fitness activities. Paige is a weight lifter and has placed in (and earned her pro card) at two bodybuilding competitions. She also enjoys hiking mountain trails, swimming near waterfalls, preparing healthy food, trail running and thrifting. Paige spends time with her family as well. In addition to her Mom, Dad, Brother, and Gramma, she has a lively Boxador named Duke.


Dakotah Fozzard

Swain-Macon ProduceRx Coordinator



Dakotah moved to WNC in the summer of 2023 from Newfoundland, Canada. She used to visit her grandparents’ Flat Rock family farm every summer as a child. Now, the move here has felt like finally coming home. A decade ago, she discovered her own love of farming and she has worked as a farm labourer or farm manager nearly every season since. Dakotah earned a BS in Food, Nutrition, and Health at the University of British Columbia in 2019. She is currently back in school, studying for a Masters of Public Health from UNC. Dakotah is interested in the myriad ways human health and agriculture are connected. Someday, she hopes to have her own farm business that aims to improve food sovereignty and health equity in WNC. 
Dakotah helps facilitate MountainWise’s Produce Rx Program which provides free weekly boxes of healthy, local food to folks’ doorsteps in Macon and Swain as well as monthly gatherings with cooking demonstrations, family activities, and other resources. She loves working for MountainWise because it places her in the vast web that is the WNC food system and connects her to many of the awesome people working (and eating) within it!

Maggie Francisco, MPH

Communications Specialist, WNC Double SNAP Network Coordinator


Maggie is a native of rural Southwest Virginia. She headed to central Virginia to get her undergraduate degree and Master of Public Health from the University of Virginia. She is currently a public health doctoral candidate at East Tennessee State University. Her main research interests in public health include rural health equity, tobacco prevention and cessation, and substance use disorder.

Maggie is MountainWise’s communications specialist. She maintains the MountainWise social media and works with all of MountainWise’s programs to create and disseminate public health communications and messaging.

In her free time, Maggie loves spending time with her husband Andrew and dog Raggy.