Community Health

A healthy life for all

Building healthy communities is an important part of advancing racial, social, and health equity. Together, we can improve the socioeconomic determinants of health, advance health equity, racial equity, and social justice through community engagement, and enhance behavioral health and well-being for all in the communities we serve. Health doesn’t begin in the physician’s office or the hospital. It starts in our communities, in our homes, our schools, our places of worship, and our workplaces.

As a healthcare provider, historically, Duke has invested in community health initiatives. Early collaborations to open community health clinics in Durham and coordinate access to healthcare are foundational to Duke’s community health infrastructure. The establishment of the Duke Health Office of Community Relations (now Community Health) helped solidify support for a healthy Durham by improving the well-being of people and neighborhoods. Today the office maintains partnerships with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and other health partners to improve community health.

Throughout this work, community listening sessions have helped Duke Health collect, analyze, and distribute information relevant to the health needs and assets of Durham. Through these discussions, food security and nutrition have been identified as persistent needs. These are known social drivers of health, which are inextricably linked to other areas of focus, such as education, poverty, and affordable housing.

Community Engagement

Together, we will address the socioeconomic determinants of health, such as poverty, food insecurity, adverse childhood experiences,  and racial equity. Through collaborative partnerships in the communities we serve, we aim to improve housing affordability and infrastructure; food security and nutrition; college and career readiness; early childhood and school readiness; and non-profit capacity.