Population Health

Strengthening community resilience and capacity

Image of a seaside slumStrengthening the interdependent institutions and systems of local, national, and international communities in the context of the natural and built environment in which they exist, thereby increasing their capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptions to the systems that support thriving human populations.

Progress towards addressing this challenge will require cooperation at the intersection of the three pillars of population health (i.e., human health, environmental resilience, and social and economic equity) to develop inclusive, innovative, sustainable and ethical solutions. Despite progress made in many indicators in recent decades, challenges remain to maintaining and improving health in the rapidly changing world in which we live.

A few examples of challenges that must be addressed to continue and improve on the progress that has been made to strengthen community resilience and capacity are:

  • Strengthening civic engagement and governance through local political systems and government agencies
  • Supporting creative expressions that foster human culture
  • Creating well-designed policy and responsive legal frameworks
  • Promoting and demonstrating equitable and stable economic practices that support living wage work and health care coverage
  • Addressing systemic challenges to food and water insecurities
  • Planning for and adapting to challenges to community resilience, including extreme events from climate change (e.g., floods, drought), economic shocks, government failures or war
  • Preventing, detecting and responding to infectious diseases, and preparation for future disease threats arising from disruptions to ecological and social systems
  • Responding to and recovering from natural and human-made hazards
  • Fostering sustainable natural resources that support healthy communities and healthy ecosystems
  • Reducing rate, burden and race issues, including impact on equity
  • Supporting infrastructure development (e.g., water, sanitation, urbanization)

Please visit our resource directory to explore additional areas of population health expertise at the UW, or contact us with questions or potential ideas.