How Businesses Can Support Public Health

COVID-19 has underscored just how critical businesses are in shaping public health outcomes. But the Integrated Benefits Institute estimates poor worker health cost U.S. employers $575 billion and 1.5 billion days of lost productivity in 2019— even before the pandemic began.

The de Beaumont Foundation and the Health Action Alliance have issued new guidelines for how businesses can contribute to healthier communities:

  • Determine what issues are causing employee absenteeism, retention failures, stress and anxiety. Work with public health leaders to map health solutions to these challenges.” Causes could include lack of childcare, distance to health care providers and mental health challenges.
  • “Build partnerships in your community and invest in solutions that meet both employee and community needs.” Work with local leaders to address housing, childcare, food security and emotional support gaps. Consider designating an official company liaison to the community who can also advocate for employee health concerns. 
  • “Tell your local and state governments that supporting public health is good for business and must be a priority.” Advocacy in nine areas identified by CityHealth can help move the needle on helping people live longer, healthier lives:
    • Affordable housing
    • Earned sick leave
    • Food safety and restaurant inspections
    • Complete streets policies
    • Safer alcohol sales policies
    • Healthy food procurement 
    • Smoke-free indoor air
    • High-quality and accessible universal pre-K
    • Tobacco 21

Read the full report here.