Five healthcare organizations have formed the Common Health Coalition: Together for Public Health. The coalition is focused on translating the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic response into actionable strategies that will strengthen the partnership between healthcare and public health systems.
The coalition is the product of a joint commitment to public health made in March 2023 by founding members AHIP, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and Kaiser Permanente.
In early 2024, the coalition will publish recommendations informed by technical advisory groups of subject matter experts and an advisory council of public health leaders. The recommendations will focus on four initial priority areas: spearheading greater coordination between the public health and healthcare systems; building shared, well-maintained emergency preparedness plans; establishing national standards for healthcare data that help identify health disparities; and modernizing infectious disease detection.
The development of these recommendations is being facilitated by ChangeLab Solutions, a national nonprofit that uses the tools of law and policy to advance health equity.
Former New York City Commissioner of Health Dave A. Chokshi, M.D., MSc, chairs the Common Health Coalition. He is a practicing physician at Bellevue Hospital and a public health leader who is the inaugural Sternberg Family Professor of Leadership at the City University of New York. Chokshi most recently served as the 43rd health commissioner of New York City. From 2020 to 2022, he led the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its historic campaign to vaccinate over 6 million New Yorkers.
Chelsea Cipriano, M.P.H., serves as the coalition’s managing director. Cipriano most recently held leadership roles at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York mayor’s office, and she previously served within the federal government at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The coalition’s work is informed by an advisory council of public health leaders chaired by Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association, and J. Nadine Gracia, M.D., president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health.
“Now is the time to reimagine a health system in which health care and public health no longer work in parallel, but hand in hand — with health as the common goal and health equity as a common good,” said Chokshi, in a statement. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare and public health institutions collaborated in ways we’d never seen before. We must cement the best of their approaches — and other innovations — into our nation’s core infrastructure. Leaders at Kaiser Permanente, AMA, AHA, ACHP, and AHIP are stepping up to make this vision a reality, and I’m honored to serve with them as chair of the Common Health Coalition.”
“The lessons we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic remain as urgent as ever and health care and public health institutions are ready to act on them,” said Bechara Choucair, M.D., coalition steering committee member and senior vice president and chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente, in a statement. “Supporting a strong public health system is a foundational part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to promoting health equity and improving the health of our members, and the Common Health Coalition is a powerful vehicle for advancing that mission.”