Healthy Communities

Our goal within this priority area is that every community in North Carolina has the conditions for good health.

Health is much more than a product of the health care system. Health is driven by the environmental, social, economic, and other conditions that shape our lives – whether this relates to housing, workplace, neighborhood, or other settings – and the ways in which they support or create barriers to good health. Changing these conditions requires many things. It requires focusing in on the policies and practices that stand in the way of good health. And it requires a commitment to work with, and support, those who live in communities and have critical insight into what needs to change in order to achieve better health outcomes for everyone.

Our work is driven by the understanding that healthy communities are those where community members themselves have voice and vision to drive change; where a strong nonprofit sector and coalitions of multi-sector and diverse partners are working together to both deliver services and develop and achieve a shared vision for their future; and where community members have access to data to understand and describe the impact of community conditions on health and ultimately influence how resources are allocated.

We are focused on strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to identify and advance policies, practices, relationships, and resource flow at the local, regional, and state levels to improve health.  Specifically, this includes:

  • Investing in the capacity of community coalitions to identify and remove barriers to good health with a focus on the root causes of poor health.
  • Strengthening the capacity of individuals, institutions, and community-based organizations to engage diverse stakeholders to advance health equity.

Examples of our Work in this Area

  • The work of 10 healthy food prescription programs is being supported, and learned from, as part of a three-year, $4.5 million effort to strengthen and spread partnerships between health care and community-based organizations.
  • Building Integrated Communities (BIC), which is supported by Foundation funding, launched its inaugural class of the Language Access Collaborative. This brings together teams of North Carolina local governments and community-based organizations to build bridges of communication in order to create more inclusive practices for residents born in other countries.
  • In separate initiatives, Latino and American Indian-led and serving organizations from across the state are working individually and collectively to identify and act on opportunities to improve health in their respective communities by strengthening peer connections and identifying areas for shared advocacy.
  • Grantee, Hunger and Health Coalition, in Watauga County has leveraged its Community-Centered Health work to receive a national BUILD Health Challenge grant. They are the third Community-Centered Health grantee to receive this funding.

In More Detail


Centering Community in the Pursuit of Health

Community-Centered Health is our long-term approach to increasing the capacity of North Carolina communities to act on the root causes of health and health disparities by investing in diverse multi-sector partnerships that amplify community voice in setting local health priorities. Learn more.



Growing Healthy Food Prescriptions

North Carolina is fertile ground for an approach that bolsters health care’s role in addressing food security and opens doors to healthy food, all while leveraging the expertise and leadership of two of the state’s great resources - its people and the work of our community-based organizations. Learn more.