The University of Notre Dame is home to a strong and growing community of faculty, students, and staff who are advancing health-related research, scholarship, and policy. The Notre Dame Health and Well-being Initiative (HWI) was created to focus current efforts and to seek new opportunities to connect individual research programs to broad, significant, and emerging health-related challenges.
Through many conversations with faculty and external stakeholders, we heard a near universal calling for Notre Dame to commit to improving the health and well-being of the marginalized and underserved. Additionally, global technological advances, emerging national trends, and the University's unique strengths point toward a Notre Dame focus on home-based and holistic, personalized approaches to serve the marginalized. Consistent with the University's research mission, the HWI aims to fulfill this vision by:
- Discovering, collecting, and creating new understanding, information, insights, methods, and inventions that enable individualized well-being; and
- Working for the equitable use, distribution, and application of these data, tools, and approaches.
This vision requires integrative approaches that understand the full range of good health and well-being, including social, physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and environmental determinants and outcomes. Further, its achievement requires increased collaborations with a significant network of clinical, governmental, and industrial partners.
This vision encompasses a wide range of HWI activities in research, scholarship and education programs, such as:
- Successful aging-in-place
- Wearable and point-of-care technologies
- Healthy architectural design
- Secure and portable data platforms
- Biosensor networks
- Health-related behaviors
- Healthcare economics and policies
- Transportation and mobility issues
- Post-genomic testing
- Spiritual well-being
- New drug development
- Familial support systems
- Differing cultural and historical approaches to health
- Changing climate impacts
- Last-mile challenges in delivering innovations to those unable to afford them
By studying challenges like these, and developing solutions to them, Notre Dame can lead a future in which health and well-being are increasingly individualized and conducted outside of clinical settings, particularly for the benefit of the marginalized and underserved.