Broker Check

How Business and Public Health Can Address Crises

March 09, 2021

To meet the problems in our health system, the Johns Hopkins Institute for  Health and Productivity Studies asked 40 business and public health leaders in 2020 how to address the pandemic and prepare for future crises. Their report, funded by the de Beaumont Foundation, lists seven ways businesses can align with public health, and specific actions for each.

  1. "Put out the fire" of COVID-19 by following credible experts. A. Amplify, support and implement scientific recommendations. B. Have a "go-to" spokesperson for credible information.
  2. Improve the health and well-being of employees. A. Use publicly available tools and resources to design a workplace program. Include long term strategies. B. Make a company-wide program (including remote workers). C. Empower a chief medical or health officer.
  3. Promote healthy communities. A. Support efforts to extend public health programs. B. Expand messaging beyond COVID-19. C. Advocate for evidence-based public health policies. An example is CityHealth's nine policy initiatives.
  4. Become a "force multiplier' to collaborate with state and local public health departments. A. Expand volunteer and pro bono activities. B. Inaugurate community specific public health consortia. C. Recognize and reward early adopters.
  5. Facilitate public-private community partnerships. A. Support a Chief Health Strategist position. B. Business and public health leaders should attend each  other's meetings. C. Take advantage of anchor institutions in the community.
  6. Advocate for accountability dashboards. A. Develop a prototype.
  7. Advocate rebuilding and expanding a national public health workforce. A. Expand and modernize the U. S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. B. Establish a  U. S. Public Service Reserve Corps. C. Advocate for a Public Health Jobs Corps.

The full report is at Businesses-Can-Align-with-Public-Health.pdf.