By Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS

MLK Washington March

Today our nation celebrates the birth and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Young and old will view, recount, and recite his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In this speech Dr. King shares his vision for our nation. He describes an optimally healthy nation in which every person has equal opportunity to be and do all they desire.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about the “health status” of your community. If not, the concept of community wellness might be new to you. Since “healthy” means functioning at your best in all areas, communities can be healthy or unhealthy, just like people. The same physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual factors that impact personal wellness also impact community wellness.

For example, litter or air pollution can negatively impact the physical wellness of a community. Community activities that promote unity or fun can positively impact its mental, emotional, or social wellness. Events, such as those commemorating Dr. King and his vision, can promote spiritual wellness for communities if participants use them as an opportunity to embrace common uplifting beliefs.

In January many people focus on goals, dreams, and resolutions to improve personal well being for the New Year. It’s also a good time to reflect on community well being. Doing so not only can positively impact community well being but also can directly benefit personal wellness.

Community wellness can enhance personal well being in a number of ways. For example, the sense of comfort and security that comes from living in a safe, healthy community can enhance personal health and wellness. It can help reduce stress as well as boost mental and emotional wellness.

Actively working to increase community wellness also has health benefits. Research shows several health benefits correlated with volunteering and other acts of kindness. Benefits include living longer, feeling happier, reduced stress, and increased self-esteem.

As you develop your personal wellness plan consider this: What’s your dream for community wellness? How do your personal wellness goals relate to these goals?

Be well!

Article © 2011 Donna L. Hamilton, MD

About the Author:

Holistic Wellness Speaker Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP is a former board-certified pediatrician residing in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She is Chief Wellness Officer and co-owner of Manifest Excellence, LLC. Dr. Hamilton specializes in holistic wellness promotion and speaks nationally on this topic. Her company Manifest Excellence teaches a comprehensive approach to health and wellness by addressing mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical well being. For more information visit

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Donna Hamilton, MD, MS, FAAP

Chief Wellness Officer at Manifest Excellence
Bestselling author, dynamic holistic wellness speaker and wellness luminary Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD, has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives we’re all meant to lead. Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey.

A wellness thought leader, she champions a comprehensive approach to health by addressing mental, emotional, social, spiritual & physical well-being with a simple and potent message. Her book Wellness Your Way offers a practical strategy to assist readers in creating a happier, healthier life. For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements visit or
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