Partnering for Public Health

Nearly a year ago, businesses tested by unprecedented challenges became unlikely public health partners as they implemented new policies and practices to protect employees, consumers and the community at large from COVID-19.

A new report by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (IHPS) shows how important public-private partnerships will be in protecting public health moving forward. 

Funded by the de Beaumont Foundation, the report outlines how businesses can help promote public health in the wake of the pandemic based on interviews with forty public health leaders and corporate executives.

The seven short- and long-term recommendations include:

  1. “Put out the fire” of COVID-19. Use your channels to amplify recommendations from credible sources. Identify a single spokesperson for addressing COVID-related issues.
  1. Improve employees’ health and wellbeing. Take advantage of existing health tools and resources— such as the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard and the CDC Workplace Health Resource Center— to create effective workplace health programming. Appoint a C-Suite level executive to coordinate the company’s COVID-19 response and future health challenges.  
  1. Promote healthy communities. Rebuild trust in public health institutions and promote their value beyond COVID-19. Consider advocating for evidence-based public health policies that make communities healthier.
  1. Become a force multiplier. Support lagging public health infrastructure through employee volunteerism. Partner with public health institutions to create consortia to address public health threats. 
  1. Actively facilitate public-private partnerships. Support the appointment of a local Chief Health Strategist to convene business and public health leaders around health issues of local concern. Create space for public health voices within the business community and vice versa.
  1. Track and monitor progress toward key outcomes. Advocate for dashboards that hold public and private partners accountable for improving health and economic outcomes, such as the National Health Security Preparedness Index.

  2. Advocate for a revitalized public health establishment.