Whole Community
Health Initiative

What is Whole Community Health?

Whole Community Health reflects a growing global awareness that the health of an individual or a community is inextricably linked to longstanding policies and practices that shape everything from access to nutritious food and safe affordable housing to rates of chronic illness and incarceration.

Consequentially, some historical policies and practices have produced and perpetuated socioeconomic inequities within certain communities. Entrenched disparities do not exist in isolation, and cannot be solved piecemeal. Communities know best. Whole Community Health fosters connections to partner institutions and neighbors to build collective and sustainable solutions for long-term vitality.

“… the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.”

Upcoming Events

Carolina Seminar on Innovation for the Public Good

Featuring Jeanne Bonds, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Impact Investment, and Sustainable Finance, UNC Kenan Flagler Business School
April 11, 2024 3-5 pm. RSVP

In the News

Eastern Native CDFI to Aid Underserved Communities in North Carolina

Eastern Native CDFI is being created to help specific underserved communities overcome systemic barriers to entrepreneurial success, such as a lack of physical, legal, and telecommunications infrastructure, access to affordable financial products and services, and limited workforce development strategies.

Dr. Jim Johnson Keynote Speaker at NC Housing Conference

Dr. Jim Johnson was the keynote speaker for NC Housing Works’ 2022 NC Affordable Housing Conference this September. North Carolina is facing a series of demographic headwinds that can potentially quell future growth and demand for real estate, as well as our ability to create and sustain more inclusive and equitable communities…

Wake County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee

Jeanne Milliken Bonds has been appointed and is searving as Chair. The Committee was created to provide guidance on issues of affordable and workforce housing, homelessness, and related services.

Community Capital Conference Opening Session: The Strategic Vision of Rock Hill

True community development is fostered by community leaders who have a clear vision for a greater community. Learn from the current mayor, John Gettys on how he helped establish a strategic that is leading Rock Hill into the future.

Community Capital Conference - Panel Discussion: Innovative Food Financing

Even after the hard work required growing and harvesting quality fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood, farmers face a host of challenges financing the processing and packaging and accessing the supply chains for distribution. Join panelists for presentations and discussions about financing and fostering regional food economy collaborations.

Community Land Trust

Dr. Jim Johnson and Jeanne Bonds give a presentation on the vitality of community land trusts

Dr. Jim Johnson named to Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force

The Task Force, established by the Governor’s Executive Order 143, will address the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The painful pandemic lessons Mandy Cohen carries to the CDC

“North Carolina initially failed to prioritize testing for people who were exposed to #COVID19 because of where they live or work.” – Jeanne Milliken Bonds, Professor of Social Impact Investing at the University of North Carolina.

NC must leverage American Rescue Plan funds to boost minority-owned, veteran businesses

This recent opinion editorial in the Fayetteville Observer encourages the governor to use American Rescue Plan funding to build equity by boosting minority owned businesses.

Addressing Our Rural Childcare Crisis

The pandemic has underscored the relationship between our childcare systems and our nation’s economic and social health. A North Carolina project looks at how we need to improve.

For more updates and insights, connect with Whole Community Health on social media. You can find us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter through these icons.

Our Approach

The whole community health model focuses on six interconnected pillars of opportunity:

Economic Stability 


The availability of healthy food and the absence of hunger among at-risk vulnerable populations.

Access to high-quality health care and well-trained providers suited to the needs of the community.

Social integration and community engagement.

The physical environment.

White Papers

Virginia's Shifting Demographics and the Future Competitiveness of the Commonwealth

A Whole Community Health approach to Virginia’s rapid population growth over the past three decades.

The painful pandemic lessons Mandy Cohen carries to the CDC

“North Carolina initially failed to prioritize testing for people who were exposed to #COVID19 because of where they live or work.” – Jeanne Milliken Bonds, Professor of Social Impact Investing at the University of North Carolina.

Demographically Targeted Approaches to Community Economic Development in North Carolina

This September 2022 insight explores two major challenges in North Carolina’s recent rapid growth.

Building an Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Hear from community members and explore our recommendations for building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.

COVID-19 and North Carolina's Shifting Demography

This 2022 study reveals COVID-19’s impact on the geo-demography of North Carolina.

Urgently Needed: Equity Tools to Navigate Demographic Gale-Force Wind Gusts

Demographic disruptors could prevent North Carolina from reaching public health goals. Outlined here are policy prescriptions and strategic investments to turn these disruptors into opportunities.

Assessing the Impact of Covid-19 on Low Income Households and Communities in North Carolina

This study assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its efforts to combat poverty and facilitate self-sufficiency in low-income communities throughout North Carolina.

Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution: A Race Blind Approach to a Racially Disparate Problem?

Considerable scholarly analysis and media attention has documented the racially disparate impact of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Will Hurricane Ian Trigger Climate Refuge Migration from Florida?

Thirteen of Florida’s counties were declared eligible for federal disaster relief following Hurricane Ian’s disastrous trek through the state (The White House, 2022). The human toll and economic impact are still unfolding.

North Carolina at a Demographic Crossroad: Loss of Lives and the Impact

North Carolina’s phenomenal migration-driven population growth masks a troubling trend: high rates of death and dying prematurely which, left unchecked, can potentially derail the state’s economic growth and prosperity in the years ahead.

Is North Carolina’s Attractiveness as a Migration Destination Waning?

we are witnessing a re-balancing after the COVID migration surge or a fundamental shift in North Carolina’s attractiveness as a domestic and international migration magnet