U.S. Surgeon General’s Community Health and Economic Prosperity Report

On Tuesday, January 19, the U.S. Surgeon General released Community Health and Economic Prosperity (CHEP): Engaging Businesses as Stewards and Stakeholders – A Report of the Surgeon General. The first of its kind, the comprehensive report calls out the important link between health and community success. 

“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” stated Vice Adm. Jerome M. Adams, Surgeon General. “When Americans lack the opportunity to reach their full health and economic potential, we ALL pay a price.” 

The report explores:

  • The U.S. health disadvantage and the burden it places on businesses, the economy, people and families;
  • How communities can become (or improve as) places that nurture health, wealth and well-being, offering all people opportunities to thrive;
  • The meaning and role of businesses in the U.S. and how they can create value for themselves and the communities in which they operate by helping to address the conditions that drive poor health and creating conditions that help people thrive. 

The report provides the public with robust examples of how businesses, community members, financial institutions, social enterprises, public health agencies, philanthropies, and so many others can strengthen community health, economic prosperity and opportunity for all. 

The full report and to access the consumer materials can be found here

This report and its companion Business Digest, underscore the importance and the merits of community collaboration across stakeholders to advance health and the economy through efforts like THRIVE. Last year, VADM (Vice Admiral) Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., U.S. Surgeon General spoke to a large group of more than 650 people at an event sponsored by THRIVE about the importance of uniting efforts to advance population health and efforts designed to drive economic success.  He emphasized the large and pivotal role of the business community in particular.  Titled “All of Us – Together Driving Health and Economic Success,” the event featured Dr. Adam’s keynote and a multi-sector regional panel discussing his national platform, Community Health and Economic Prosperity and the community-wide THRIVE effort in the Great Lakes Bay Region. View that presentation and video materials here. More information on the THRIVE portfolio can be found here. 

Alignment with THRIVE

The CHEP report is of the utmost importance to driving national progress on community health and prosperity, and reinforces the merits of efforts such as THRIVE in advancing the broader Great Lakes Bay Region. The approach proposed and examples outlined in the report are very similar to the THRIVE Portfolio, reinforcing the importance of a continued focus on these individual priorities of the portfolio and the collective impact they will have on our community for years to come.

“The recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report reinforces the important work of MiHIA, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and our THRIVE Portfolio, as we work to connect health outcomes to prosperity through structural change in the broader Great Lakes Bay Region. We are inspired to see these components championed and supported at a national level,” said Beth Sorenson Prince, CEO of MiHIA. 

The CHEP report, a groundbreaking report in its technical emphasis and aspirational nature, is significant and will advance connected health and economic priorities for generations to come.

“The comprehensive nature of this report succinctly summarizes the path forward for our nation in terms of health, wellness and community advancement. It is encouraging to see the Surgeon General’s leadership in calling out the need for systems change. The reports will be very informative and influential in the ongoing work with the THRIVE Portfolio,” said Dr. Catherine Baase, MiHIA Board Chairperson and THRIVE senior fellow. 

Dr. Baase is listed in the report as an official reviewer, a testament to the leadership and vision she provides MiHIA and guidance of the important strides being made through the THRIVE Portfolio.

“It is an encouraging testament to true leadership to see the Surgeon General take such a powerful stance on this effort as a way to strengthen communities across the nation. The emphasis on the role that the business community plays in population health and prosperity is an important recognition,” said Matt Felan, president and CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. “We are committed to moving the Great Lakes Bay Region forward through the targeted, ambitious interventions established in the THRIVE Portfolio.”

What is CHEP?

The U.S. Surgeon General’s Community Health and Economic Prosperity Report (or CHEP) was established in order to link the importance of health to other measures of success, like productivity, community success and equity.

CHEP joins other efforts in communities and across the nation, all striving to improve health and increase opportunity for all people. In addition to a focus on health and economic opportunity, CHEP makes the important distinction that health happens within communities and is tied to factors of community condition, such as the quality and availability of housing, education and available employment. Thus, what sets CHEP apart is the focus on businesses and the private sector as critical agents of long-term structural change to both improve the conditions in communities and designing for factors that lead to economic success for all.