“The collapse of social compacts and values has produced an equally radical awareness of mutual interconnectedness with environments, nature, and people. Care is the name for this exposure.”
— Michael Stone Richards, Philosopher, College of Creative Studies

The Health Ecologies Lab at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of a group of scholars united around research, projects, and curricula to focus on diverse social and environmental factors affecting health and well-being. We think critically about health as it is understood across disciplines, institutions, and social systems in order to envision a new ecology of health.

Traditional understandings of health and well-being often isolate individual histories from their social life, such as their relationship to families, communities, and geographies. Recent public health and environmental crises involving lack of access to healthy food, clean water, and economic and educational opportunity demonstrate how health is also impacted by disparities. The scale and complexity of health care in the 21st century further exacerbates these inequalities, motivating us to rethink health and well-being through acts of listening and care.

We are committed to learning from the knowledge embedded in the lived experiences of communities in Philadelphia and beyond. We also seek to bring scholars from various disciplines together and welcome multiple voices, from patients and caregivers, to providers and policymakers. Our collaborative projects aim to leverage this collective knowledge to empower individuals to live healthy lives, and to compel institutions and structures to respond and engage.