Improving Lives, Improving Communities

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services (IHHS) strives to make North Carolina a healthier place to live through our community outreach, research and clinical offerings.

Meeting the needs of students, faculty and the regional community, the Institute strives to create and disseminate knowledge through pragmatic research and complimentary experiential learning opportunities such as internships, practicums, clinical rotations, professional continuing education and community based leadership opportunities with the overarching goal of improving lives through transformative healthcare advances.

The BCBS of NC Institute for Health and Human Services is one of two institutes recognized at Appalachian State University and is housed within the College of Health Sciences at University Hall in Boone, North Carolina.

IHHS Taskforce

Charged with the task of realizing the true potential of a health institute, the IHHS Taskforce is examining important questions. How will we know when we’ve been successful and when we’ve made a regional and global impact? Do our improvements include both treatment and prevention? How do we energize our students to be committed to rural and regional health needs? How do we determine health needs and gaps in our region? As our research becomes funded at a greater level, how do we maintain community outreach?

The next Taskforce meeting will be held on TBA.

  • Taskforce members link
  • Taskforce minutes link

For more information about the IHHS Taskforce, please contact Gary McCullough at

Featured Research at IHHS

HIV Prevention Trials Network Research

“HIV is not an infection that has been eradicated, but one that has been somewhat forgotten,” researchers at the 19th Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections reported.

Dr. Tandrea Carter, director of the ASU Counseling for Faculty and Staff program at BCBS IHHS is currently conducting research that evaluates data from the ISIS Study (The Women's HIV Seroincidence Study).  ISIS data reflect an analysis of at-risk women in six urban areas of the United States that have some of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS: Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Washington, D.C., Newark and New York City.

"This disease is alive and well in this country," said Dr. Carlos Del Rio, principal investigator for the Atlanta area of the study and professor of medicine and infectious disease at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "But this epidemic is the face of the forgotten people."

Dr. Carter’s research aims to 1) Assess the proportion of sexual minority women (women who do not identify as exclusively heterosexual) among a sample of low income women at increased risk of HIV acquisition; 2) Assess whether women who report childhood abuse or current abuse, traumatic stress symptoms, depressive symptoms and substance use are more likely to be sexual minority women; 3) Assess whether women who identify as sexual minority are at increased risk for self-reported STIs, unprotected anal or vaginal sex and transactional sex; 4) Assess whether substance use and depression either moderate or mediate the relationship between sexual minority status and sexual risk behaviors; and 5) Create a path model with good fit that captures the inter-relationships among the variables associated with sexual risk behaviors in sexual minority women in this sample.

College of Health Sciences - Appalachian State University


ASU Box 32102
Boone, NC 28608
Phone: 828-262-7678
Fax: 828-262-7680

Charlene Austin
Executive Assistant
Phone: 828-262-7677

Gary McCullough
Phone: 828-262-7675

Mary Sheryl Horine
Associate Director
Phone: 828-262-7557

Upcoming events

June 20, 2015 The Cub
August 29, 2015 High Country Half Marathon
October 17, 2015 The Knob and The Bonk
QEP Global Learning