The report sheds light on the U.S. health disadvantage and the role business leaders can play in improving community health through engagement and investment.

The report, released today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG), aims to inform business leaders of the policies, practices, and decisions they can implement to strengthen community health while improving the business bottom line. The report also serves as a guide to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly challenged community and economic health.

“As a physician, I understand that health happens in communities. The fact is, our environment shapes the opportunities we have, and a lack of opportunity can mean poor health, education, family and career outcomes” said Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, surgeon general, in the announcement. “When Americans lack the opportunity to reach their full health and economic potential, we ALL pay a price.”

The report, which was issued the day before Adams departs his role as surgeon general under the Trump administration,  is an overview to the Surgeon General’s Community Health and Economic Prosperity (CHEP) initiative, which aims to engage businesses as community change-makers., implement solutions to community health, and strengthen communities as places of opportunity.

The report focuses on how businesses can engage with and invest in communities to address the U.S. health disadvantage, which in turn will create value, lower business costs, and improve the health of employees and stakeholders.

Key topics address:

  • The burden of the U.S. health disadvantage on businesses and the economy, as well as to people and families
  • How to improve communities so that they cultivate health, wealth, and well-being, and allow children and families opportunities to thrive
  • The meaning and role of business in the U.S. and how they can create value for themselves as well as their communities by addressing the conditions that drive poor health and by helping create the conditions that help people thrive

The full report also includes 14 recommendations within four actionable categories for business leaders to get involved:

  1. Learn more about your stakeholders
  2. Foster a culture of stewardship
  3. Develop strategic cross-sector partnerships
  4. Measure performance using meaningful indicators of community health and well-being