Leading Business and Nonprofit Organizations Launch Health Action Alliance to Strengthen and Accelerate COVID-19 Response

The Ad Council, Business Roundtable, the CDC Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today announced the launch of the Health Action Alliance (HAA), a new partnership between leading business, communications and public health organizations to strengthen and accelerate the business community’s response to COVID-19. The Alliance is powered by Meteorite, an impact firm that builds coalitions to improve lives and strengthen communities.

Fortune 500 companies employ more than 28 million people, and small businesses employ nearly 60 million people in the United States. Recent research from Morning Consult shows that 71% of Americans trust their employer to make the right decision about when it’s safe to return to the office. HAA will empower a network of businesses of all shapes and sizes to improve the health of employees and communities by promoting COVID-19 prevention and vaccine education and strengthen public health infrastructure to be better prepared in the future. The Alliance will also work to advance health equity by addressing the needs of disproportionately affected communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, but as the historic vaccine rollout gets underway, there is increased reason for optimism,” said Joshua Bolten, president & CEO of Business Roundtable. “And the business community has an important role to play in sharing with employees and the broader communities where they operate the importance of vaccination to help defeat the pandemic and lead our country toward a robust economic recovery.”

On its website, healthaction.org, HAA provides free best-in-class tools, resources, training and events for the business community to help companies deliver trusted, fact-based health communications to employees and encourage consumers to make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccines.

“COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is the largest and most critical communications issue in our nation’s history, and it’s one that can’t be solved without public health and business working together,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We know that Americans are turning to their employers as one of the most trusted sources of information and action around the COVID crisis—and that the corporate community has a significant role to play in helping us shift from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence.”

Judy Monroe, MD, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, said, “The Alliance was created on the belief that health is everybody’s business. In order for us to move forward, it is imperative that businesses—large, small and mid-sized—all have access to the tools and resources needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 and return to work safely.”

Brian C. Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, said, “The economic losses experienced by so many during COVID-19 underscore the indelible link between business and public health. The business community’s leadership is critical not only to ending the pandemic, but also to bolstering the U.S. public health system. With a strong public health infrastructure, we can better identify and prevent future threats to our health and maintain our nation’s safety, security and economic prosperity.”

Dr. Richard Besser, CEO and president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, added, “The success of our country’s vaccination program will take all of us, including the leadership of the business community. Through partnerships with public health, consistent communication from trusted sources, and keeping equity front and center, business can help put an end to this crisis. The tools and resources that have been developed by the Health Action Alliance provide the necessary guidance for business leaders to navigate the months ahead and, ultimately, help build a healthier America.”

Specific resources available to the network will include:

  • Tools to guide the development of COVID-19 vaccination policies and programs to educate workers about vaccines, encourage vaccine acceptance and reduce barriers to vaccination.
  • Research-backed messaging, briefing materials and communications tools to strengthen employee and consumer outreach.
  • Virtual events and training opportunities with health experts, scientists and communication professionals.
  • Best practice public service campaigns and tested messages for key audiences.
  • Dedicated tools and guidance for engaging and supporting communities of color and other groups that may have unique concerns or questions about vaccines.
  • Resources and training opportunities for employee resource groups, communications teams, content creators and human resource professionals.
  • Networking opportunities to share best business practices and lessons learned across the network.

Companies participating in the Health Action Alliance network include the Ad Council’s newest COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative funders—Amazon, Apple, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Citi, CVS Health, Unilever, ViacomCBS and Wells Fargo—as well as initial contributors Bank of America, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, the Humana Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, NBCUniversal/Comcast, the New York Life Foundation, Salesforce, Stanley Black & Decker, Synchrony, Target, Verizon, Walgreens and Walmart.

In order to support the broadest range of businesses with the most trusted expertise available, the Health Action Alliance is proud to partner with leading business associations and public health organizations including America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, American Public Health Association (APHA), Business Partners to CONVINCE, COVID Collaborative, GBCHealth, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the National Safety Council, PTTOW, Reimagine Mainstreet, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

To access these resources and learn more about how businesses can participate, visit healthaction.org.

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