Healthy Community Art
The Center for Healthy Communities seeks to improve health and well-being by addressing community identified needs through collaborations between campus resources and community agencies.

How You Can Help

We value interprofessional collaboration, and we need your knowledge and skills to help create healthier communities. Reach out to us if you have an area of community interest. We desire the help of faculty members to sit on community boards and share their expertise with local organizations. We need students to reach beyond UNCW to make a difference in the lives of those around them.

Get Connected

Food for Thought

Food for Thought is inspired by Oxfam's Hunger Banquet with the premise to provide an opportunity for education and conversation about food insecurity within the Wilmington community. Not every person in our community has the same access to healthy and nutritious food on a consistent basis. So it is up to us to explore why this is a reality. Explore more...

Health Equity Fellowship

The Health Equity Fellowship is a four-year, scaffolded leadership development program in which a cohort of historically marginalized and first-generation college students take part in intentional mentorship, weekly educational programming, and community-engaged, high impact, applied learning activities. Explore more...

Healthy North Carolina 2030

The Healthy North Carolina 2030 project brings together experts and leaders from multiple fields to inform the development of a common set of public health indicators and targets for the state over the next decade. These indicators will serve as the population health improvement plan for the North Carolina Division of Public Health. With a focus on health equity and the overall drivers of health outcomes (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment), these indicators and targets will help drive state and local-level activities, provide a springboard for collaboration and innovation, and develop a new vision for public health in our state to improve the health and well-being of all people of North Carolina.

Medicaid and Housing Partnerships:
A Resource for Local Health Departments

Local health departments (LHDs) in rural communities are often the crossroads for key services in resource-deprived settings. They are frequently the first or only providers to offer physical or behavioral health services, resources to expecting or new parents, and health education and outreach programs. This makes LHDs ideal partners to work with stakeholders, including state and local housing authorities, Medicaid managed care plans, and public and private housing developers, in addressing housing needs in rural communities. LHDs can use their experience with Medicaid, as well as their deep ties to the community, to position themselves as key facilitators in identifying and connecting individuals with housing instability to the appropriate services.

This brief is designed to guide LHDs in using Medicaid managed care levers to address homelessness and housing insecurity in rural communities, which can in turn help states improve health outcomes for Medicaid enrollees. While lessons in this resource are informed by the experiences of LHDs in rural North Carolina counties, they can support other states seeking to reduce homelessness among Medicaid populations. The brief was produced by the Center for Health Care Strategies and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Center for Healthy Communities, with support from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Read more »

Medicaid Update

In the summer of 2019, the Center for Healthy Communities began working in partnership with the Robeson, Bladen, and Columbus County health departments on a Value-Based Care project supporting the tri-county health departments through Medicaid Managed Care and Medicaid Transformation. The new value-based-care model was designed to incentivize the quality of care that providers administered; to reduce hospital readmissions, to use certified health IT, and to improve preventative care. Under value-based care, providers utilize the social determinants of health to identify holistic plans of health for each patient. Managed Care now has a start date of July 1, 2021 after being suspended in the fall of 2020. 

As part of the Value-Based Care Project, the Center for Healthy Communities developed this website to house information and resources about public health and Medicaid Transformation.

An additional aspect of this project has recently included gaining a deeper understanding of what barriers communities are facing during the Covid-19 crisis. Focus groups, interviews, and a community needs assessment responses will be utilized to create consistent messaging to help mitigate the Covid-19 spread.  CHC and the health departments are working with the NewmanCarpenter marketing team to create this campaign which will be released through the tri-county health departments. The goal is to provide marketing tools that represent the communities that live in these counties and provide relatable and clear messaging at a local level. This project is funded through the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.