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The Western North Carolina AIDS Project, also known as WNCAP, is a prominent healthcare organization with offices in Asheville and Franklin, North Carolina. The organization provides care and education regarding HIV, Hepatitis C, and drug use. Founded at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, WNCAP has been serving North Carolina residents for nearly 40 years, providing care for those with AIDS-related illnesses, preventative education, harm reduction programming, and pharmacy services.

WNCAP offers free and confidential services to thousands of people. WNCAP needed a security system that cares just as much about protecting patient data as they do. That's where Paubox comes in. 

We sat down with Amanda Wood, Director of Human Resources, to learn how WNCAP uses the Paubox Email Suite to communicate with patients reliably and securely. 



Healthcare and educational services

Use case

Send HIPAA compliant, encrypted email by default

Used solution


  • Find a cost-effective solution
  • Reduce human error with an easy, intuitive solution
  • Easy switch from previous provider

Company Snapshot

  • Founded in 1986
  • Hybrid-remote operations
  • Serves thousands  across 18 counties

Favorite Features


  • Automatic encryption for all emails
  • Cost-effective and secure



Wood describes WNCAP as a small nonprofit organization that has flourished over the years. When she first joined, she wore many hats–from helping clients to running IT. 

Wood's biggest priority? Protecting patient privacy. "Client confidentiality is really important in the work we do; the population of people that we serve can be highly stigmatized, people living with HIV specifically. It's not generally very well understood and there's a lot of misinformation around it," she says. 

Outside of preventing stigmatization, Wood explains that WNCAP is "a covered entity under HIPAA, so we are bound to HIPAA for that reason. But we also feel that it's an ethical imperative at WNCAP for the clients that we serve to keep their information confidential." 

Wood has worked at WNCAP for around seven years, and Paubox wasn't the first solution they tried. The organization worked with Virtru, another email encryption service provider, before making the switch. 

Unfortunately, WNCAP struggled with the sudden price increase Virtru recently enacted. With little notice regarding the change, WNCAP felt like their hands were tied. 
Wood explains, "We are a very small nonprofit; we have less than 50 employees. We have very limited and very restrictive funding, so we have to be careful with where we spend our money and things have to go through a certain chain of approval before we pay."

Wood didn't have a phone number for Virtru, but they did negotiate over email before WNCAP ultimately decided it was time to make a switch. 

"It's a bit of a clunky platform," Wood says. "Virtru has to be installed on each user's individual email account and sometimes it will get randomly uninstalled. Additionally, they have to toggle it on and off to send emails…if they have it toggled on and send an email inside of WNCAP that did not need to be encrypted, it is difficult for the person who receives it to access it…but if they have it toggled off, they could accidentally send it to someone outside of the organization." At times, clients would also need assistance opening emails. 

Lastly, Wood later learned that Virtru emails can be difficult to back up and search. Now, looking for past employee communications with clients can be difficult.      
With a lot on Wood's plate and many clients to serve, she knew WNCAP needed a more intuitive solution. 



Wood says she discovered Paubox through another healthcare organization. "We didn't know there was another option like Paubox until I randomly came across you…I saw how easy it was to access from the user end and thought, 'This is amazing!'"

From there, Wood conducted her own research, meeting with a Paubox representative and scouring online reviews. She was impressed that most only had good things to say. 

Soon after, Wood cleared the decision with the executive leadership team at WNCAP. Everyone on the team was impressed, and even a bit surprised, at how easy it was to send and receive emails using Paubox. 

Still, she was hesitant about the implementation process–she didn't want any hiccups that could interfere with client communications. Thankfully, the process was incredibly smooth. Once they were ready to onboard, Wood had a live support representative to start the process and it was completed within an hour. 

Wood says, "If I had known how fast and simple it would be [to switch], I would have done it sooner."

Wood was happy that all emails are encrypted by default and nothing has to be installed. The fact that Paubox works with Google Workspace, WNCAP's email client, made it "significantly easier on the administrative side." 

Read more: Switching from Virtru to Paubox Email Suite


The result

WNCAP's team now uses Paubox. When the organization made the switch, everyone quickly got on board. "It's working for everybody. No issues whatsoever. No complaints," Wood says.

Wood explains that many clients work with case managers at WNCAP, including medical, housing, and community navigators and they often "... prefer to communicate through email." WNCAP also uses Paubox for business-to-business communications, like helping clients receive other services or internal needs like handling employee data.

All of their varied communication is now made simpler while maintaining the safety and integrity of all data.

Wood is happy that encryption is always on and that the service doesn't require installation. She says the software is intuitive and easy to set up, which can be particularly helpful in a remote working environment or with employees who aren't used to encrypting emails.

A system like Paubox can be helpful for many nonprofit organizations, especially those dealing with sensitive information. For nonprofits especially, Wood explains that cost is always an important issue. WNCAP had to find a solution that worked for their budget while maintaining compliance.

Now, Wood gets to spend less time worrying about data security and more time helping clients.

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