Health and Wellness

Why Is This Issue Important?

Public Health

  • In 2016, Center for Disease Control reported that 10% of North Carolina adults were diagnosed with diabetes(CDC).
  • In 2017, there were over 200 fatal car accidents in North Carolina involving a driver with a BAC over the legal limit (NC Department of Transportation).
  • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. (Red Cross).
  • On average, 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. This equates to 10 million people per year (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).
  • Worldwide, 35% of women have experienced domestic violence and 30% of women have experienced intimate partner violence (World Health Organization).


  • The three most important community issues identified by Alamance County residents are economic issues, education, and access to care (2015 Alamance Community Assessment).
  • In Burlington, N.C., the crime rate is 68% higher than the North Carolina average and 88% higher than the national average (2015 Alamance Community Assessment).
  • In 2018, North Carolina was ranked 19th out of the 50 states for overall Community Well-Being. (State of American Well-Being).
  • In the U.S. people’s overall satisfaction for life has gradually decreased over the past 10 years, falling from an average of 7.3 to 6.9 (on a scale of 0-10). This is twice as large as the OECD average decline (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
  • By 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015. Today, 125 million people are aged 80 years or older. By 2050, there will be almost this many (120 million) living in China alone, and 434 million people in this age group worldwide. (WHO)

Opportunities For Involvement

Animal Welfare

Volunteer at a local shelter and work with a wide variety of animals. Assist in improving the lives of local animals through partnership with the Burlington Pet Adoption Center. Email for more information.

Kopper Top Life Learning Center

Assist with animal care and outdoor projects in a therapeutic environment.

Blood Drives

Donate blood or volunteer with American Red Cross blood drives to assist in the registration of donors. Email for more information.

Sampling Of Elon Courses Related To The Issue

For more information on these courses listed, view the Elon Course Catalog.

  • Anthropology 325: Medical Anthropology
  • COR 455: Sustainable Development
  • Education 451: Teaching Diverse Learners
  • Human Service Studies 115: American Sign Language and Deaf Culture I
  • Human Service Studies 213: Working with Groups and Communities
  • Human Service Studies 311: Social Policy and Inequality
  • Human Service Studies 359: Criminal Justice
  • Human Service Studies 369: Juvenile Justice
  • Philosophy 112: How Should We Live?
  • Public Health Studies 201: Introduction to Public Health
  • Public Health Studies 202: Research Methods in Public Health
  • Public Health Studies 302: Global Health
  • Sociology 111: Introductory Sociology
  • Sociology 311: Sociology of Families

Questions for Reflection

  • What current systems maintain or diminish problems surrounding public health and how could they be addressed?
  • How do you think public health is related to equity in educational or professional environments?
  • What is the best type of support you can give or the best way you could support public health on local, state, national and global levels?
  • Whose voice is missing in the conversation around public health issues?
  • How can you use the knowledge and skills you are gaining in college to participate in discussions around public health issues?
  • What public health issues are you passionate about? How can you address these issues?
  • What issues are there on a societal level that make addressing public health difficult? How can we address these issues?
  • What does community mean in the term community resources?
  • Why is community well-being an important indicator to assess?
  • What are possible signs of low or high community well-being?
  • What communities might be lacking necessary community resources?
  • Who controls or creates community wellness?
  • How might politics play into community wellness?
  • Whose voices are missing in the conversation around community wellness?
  • Social issues are complex and multi-faceted. What other social issues are connected to community well-being?
  • What steps can you take to strengthen community wellness at Elon, in the broader Alamance County, and in your home community?
  • How can you use the knowledge and skills you are gaining in college to address community well-being?
  • What does it mean to belong to a community?  What makes it easier to belong?  What makes it challenging?