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.”

Grant Announcement

The Trustees of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust have awarded the Whole Community Health Initiative, led by Dr. James Johnson and Jeanne Milliken Bonds, of UNC Public Policy and Kenan-Flagler Business School, a grant of $1 Million  to address the child care crisis.

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. Click here to read more about these headwinds on the horizon.

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.

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.

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

Building an Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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

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.

COVID-19 and North Carolina's Shifting Demography

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Whole Community Health Unites Students to Break Down Economic Barriers in Two NC Counties

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy joins other UNC Schools to break down economic barriers in North Carolina.

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.