Surgeon General’s Report on Community Health and Economic Prosperity

Image of older doctor speaking with patientThe health of Americans is not as good as it could be and is worse than the health of populations of other wealthy nations. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 exposed additional costs as the virus claimed more lives among those with certain underlying conditions—such as obesity and diabetes—and disrupted the economy to a grave extent.

AIR worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of the Surgeon General to produce Community Health and Economic Prosperity (CHEP): Engaging Businesses as Stewards and Stakeholders—A Report of the Surgeon General, which aims to demonstrate the link between healthier communities and economic prosperity, and make the case for the private sector to invest in improving community health.

Part of a larger priority area for the Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, the CHEP initiative provides new thinking, new ideas, and new resources committed to understanding the social determinants of health—how the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play affect a health risks and outcomes—ways to improve individual health at the community level, and the impact this has on economic prosperity. The report relies on examples of how businesses across the nation have worked to mitigate the root causes of poor health in their communities, to serve as models for business owners and executives to follow suit, leading to improved health for all Americans.

"By investing in healthier communities, businesses can bring greater health not only to citizens, but also their bottom line."
-Lindsey Willis

The CHEP report is the tenth Surgeon General's Report AIR has produced for CDC since 1986, all previously focused on tobacco-related issues. In prior reports, AIR’s involvement was limited to managing technical aspects of the document’s development, including editing, design, and production. CDC invited greater collaboration from AIR as a thought partner in developing the CHEP report, growing AIR’s role to include additional tasks to support the report’s development. Such activities included designing the report narrative with CDC; vetting and recruiting editors, authors, and reviewers for the report; providing feedback on report content; graphically designing the report; producing an abbreviated “business readers digest” of the report; developing infographics, fact sheets and summary documents to highlight report content; and creating animations and a video to support the report’s promotion.

The report’s contributors include a former assistant secretary of health and governor; a dean and professors from public health and business schools; a representative from the Federal Reserve; C-level executives from business of various sizes; and other prominent figures from the public health, community development, and financial institutions sectors.