Gillings School Strategic Themes

At Gillings, we are practical problem solvers. We aim to achieve significant public health impact from the Well to the World™. Below, we discuss our current strategic themes, broad areas of focus that encompass much of the research and practice at Gillings and interwoven into much of our teaching. Across all themes are two foundations: a focus on eliminating health inequities and a commitment to improving health locally and globally.

Deliver Proven Solutions Faster – Implementation Science

Far too often, there is a gap between public health discoveries and delivery of these discoveries into practice. This has been referred to as the gap between knowing and doing. Even when something works to prevent or treat disease, usually, it’s not adopted quickly. In fact, research shows that it takes 17 years or more for a proven practice, program or policy to get into wide practice. Innovations that are easy to adopt tend to get used faster, but even there, that is no guarantee. At Gillings, we’re impatient for change that improves public health. That’s why more than 100 people across Gillings conduct research on implementation. Read more about implementation science efforts at Gillings.

Getting proven solutions for some of the world’s greatest public health threats into practice can save lives. Getting these solutions to the people who need them most, faster and more efficiently, saves even more lives. We’re committed to doing that!


Healthy People, Healthy Planet

The health of people is connected to the health of animals, crops and the environment. Some know this as the “One Health” concept. It is behind a significant part what we do here at the Gillings School. We work to improve access to clean water and sanitation, prepare for natural and man-made disasters, and protect air and water resources. Our work goes from laboratories to communities, cities and countries and on a scale that can change health around the world. We share an MPH with the North Carolina School of Veterinary Medicine, because we are committed to understanding the relationships between human and animal health. Read more.


Promote Health, Prevent Disease and Improve Care for All

As leaders in population health, we’re working to prevent the spread of emerging infectious diseases, such as the Zika virus, MERS and other potential pandemics We discover and promote healthy behaviors, develop more effective treatments and improve survivorship for non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Focusing on staying healthy throughout a lifetime, we aim to create a culture of health in North Carolina, the United States and around the world. Our efforts also reduce maternal and infant deaths, promote healthy aging, prevent violence against women, lessen health inequities among boys and men of color, prevent injuries, and improve access to quality health care and engagement of patients in their own care.  Read more.


Harness Big Data for Health and Well-being

Using big data and teaching data literacy help us to uncover the causes and consequences of disease.  We combine data from multiple sources to produce clearer pictures of disease impact and potential for prevention. We create innovations in methodologies, data visualization and analytics for health. Our research helps to speed the process by which medications are tested and can begin to benefit people. Read more.