Bringing a public health focus to the business world

As companies struggle with questions around how to conduct business safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts from the worlds of both business and public health are discussing ways to bridge the gap between the two sectors.

In a July 8, 2020 Fortune article, Michelle Williams, dean of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said she envisions public health considerations becoming a regular part of business plans, and hopes to see companies create a new position of chief public health officer.

“CEOs are now recognizing the primacy of public health,” she said. Noting that the workforce is currently “under siege,” she said that a chief public health officer could help a company sharpen its focus on worker health as well as on racism and structural inequalities that impact workers.

Harvard Chan School has been hosting an online series called “When Public Health Means Business” to jump-start the conversation between business and public health experts. In addition, Williams said Harvard Chan School plans to launch a curriculum in the fall to help business leaders understand the foundations of public health and how to apply them in their companies.

Read the Fortune article: Is it time for your business to hire a chief public health officer?