Duke Receives Grant Aimed at Improving Health of Durham Residents

Duke Health, in partnership with the Durham County Department of Public Health, has been awarded a grant totaling $750,000 from The Duke Endowment to support a coalition aimed at improving the health and well-being of Durham residents.  

The award supports Partnership for a Healthy Durham over five years. With this award, the Partnership has joined 24 other organizations and agencies across North Carolina and South Carolina making up the Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative to address chronic health issues. 

The Partnership for a Healthy Durham, housed at the Durham County Department of Public Health, is a coalition of local organizations and community members with the goal of collaboratively improving the physical, mental, and social health and well-being of Durham’s residents. The Duke Endowment grant funds will help support further community engagement, including community workshops to develop innovative health interventions and seminars to address food injustice and racial inequities. 

“The Partnership is excited to utilize these funds for impactful, innovative work in Durham,” said Bria Miller, Partnership for a Healthy Durham coordinator. “Funds will equip the Partnership with the knowledge and resources to compensate community members for their expertise and work while co-creating and implementing culturally relevant interventions. Joining Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas connects the coalition to a larger network and will strengthen the coalition’s focus on statewide and national policies.” 

As an initiative of The Duke Endowment, Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas supports a community-based approach to addressing health issues, including unhealthy weight, diabetes, and heart disease through the work of local coalitions initiating evidence-based interventions to improve health. Through the Endowment grant, the Partnership will work in conjunction with Duke Health to continue to meet these aims. 

Michelle Lyn
Michelle Lyn

Duke was a founding partner of the Partnership for a Healthy Durham along with the Durham County Department of Public Health nearly 20 years ago. Over the years, Duke and the Partnership have worked together on several initiatives, including the Durham County Community Health Assessment, and numerous Duke faculty and staff have served on Partnership committees and in Partnership leadership roles. 

“The Durham County Community Health Assessment shows that chronic illness has been an area of concern for Durham residents for well over a decade,” said Michelle Lyn, an assistant professor in family medicine and community health at Duke. “The Healthy People, Healthy Carolinas initiative supports coalitions across North and South Carolina to plan and implement evidence-based, community-centered interventions to address chronic illness. 

“The length of the support and the ongoing technical assistance over the grant period is significant,” Lyn added. “Combined with a collective impact approach, we expect the work to be nothing short of transformative.”  

About The Duke Endowment 

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.