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.