Free online course helps businesses improve public health

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3 min read

HarvardX is offering a free online course focusing on the role businesses play in improving public health. Taught by Harvard faculty and leaders in industry and public health, “Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health,” demonstrates how promoting the health and well-being of consumers, employees, communities, and the environment improves the bottom line.

From reduced productivity caused by illness to pollution’s effect on surrounding communities, businesses are profoundly connected to the nation’s standing in health and well-being. To reach the goal of a healthier society, these organizations must address public health issues.

[gz_pull_quote attribution=”—The Harvard Culture of Health team”]“Every organization  —  whether in the health sector or not  —  impacts the public’s health. The Harvard Culture of Health team believes health is good for business and should be a pervasive part of a company’s culture, not differentiated from the credo and everyday practices that serve as the foundation for business.”[/gz_pull_quote]

The course explores how businesses can maximize the health and well-being of employees, consumers, the community, and the environment. By improving wellness across these “Four Pillars,” businesses benefit themselves and the greater good by contributing to a healthier population and economy.

The nine-week course builds the business case for considering health as an integral part of business practices and offers practical strategies and tools organizations can use to deploy Culture of Health approaches and measure a return on their investment.

The list of guest faculty members includes Harvard President Drew Faust; Troyen Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health; and David Barash, the chief medical officer of the GE Foundation.

[gz_pull_quote attribution=”— Howard Koh, Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Principal Investigator for the Harvard Culture of Health program”]“American society suffers some major challenges concerning health and health care. We need to revitalize our health system and the health and well-being of Americans overall. It’s time to embrace new approaches.” [/gz_pull_quote]

“Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health” unites leading faculty from schools across Harvard — including Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Medical School — to teach how business can thrive as change agents for a healthier America.

The course launches on May 29. Students can enroll for free at any time on edX.

Support for this program was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.