Introduction

While the United States is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, it is far from the healthiest. Our nation’s burden of disease affects businesses every day, from sick employees and families reducing productivity and increasing costs, to product recalls and failures, to environmental scandals such as toxic chemical emissions harming communities and reputations.

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This HarvardX course, presented by leading faculty from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Business School, will provide businesses with strategies, tactics, and tools to gain a competitive advantage by implementing a Culture of Health to address these issues and stay ahead. Embracing a Culture of Health can improve your employees’ well-being as well as the health of your consumers, your communities, and the environment. A Culture of Health can help you to reduce costs, increase revenues and profits, and enhance your company’s reputation. 

For example, employees who work in a healthy and safe environment spend less time away from work for health reasons, decreasing interruptions, while increasing output and employee retention. When employees and customers spend less on health care, they have more disposable income to spend on non–health care needs, boosting the economy, and benefiting your business.

Strengthening your business using the Culture of Health approach will enhance the greater good by promoting well-being—benefitting society, your business and employees, your customers and communities, and you.

What you'll learn:

  • The business case to adopt a Culture of Health
  • The ways you are already involved in health, whether you realize it or not
  • How to implement a Culture of Health in your business to gain a competitive advantage
  • How to reduce costs, increase revenues, and enhance your business’s reputation using a Culture of Health
  • Real-world examples of Culture of Health implementation that could apply to your business

Meet The Faculty

Howard Koh

Howard Koh

Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Member of Faculty, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University

Howard Koh is the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health and a Member of Faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has previously served as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2009-2014) after being nominated by President Barack Obama, and as Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003) after being appointed by Governor William Weld. A graduate of Yale College and the Yale University School of Medicine, he has trained at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, has earned board certifications in 4 medical fields, held major academic positions at Boston University and Harvard University, published more than 250 articles in the medical and public health literature and has received over 70 awards for accomplishments in public health, as well as five honorary doctorate degrees. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, The Network for Public Health Law and New England Donor Services.

Amy Edmondson

Amy Edmondson

Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School. She is an expert on leadership and management, and her work on psychological safety and teaming has been widely influential.

John McDonough

John McDonough

Professor of Public Health Practice and Director of the Center for Executive and Continuing Professional Education, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

John McDonough is a professor of public health practice and director of the Center for Executive and Continuing Professional Education at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

In 2010, he was the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College in New York City. Between 2008 and 2010, he served as a Senior Advisor on National Health Reform to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where he worked on the writing and passage of the Affordable Care Act. Between 2003 and 2008, he served as Executive Director of Health Care For All, Massachusetts; leading consumer health advocacy organization where he played a central role in the passage of the 2006 Massachusetts Health Reform Law. From 1998 through 2003, he was an Associate Professor at the Heller School at Brandeis University. From 1985 to 1997, he served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives where he co-chaired the Joint Committee on Health Care. His articles have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs and other journals. He has written three books: Experiencing Politics: A Legislator’s Stories of Government and Health Care by the University of California Press and the Milbank Fund in 2000, and Interests, Ideas, and Deregulation: The Fate of Hospital Rate Setting by the University of Michigan Press in 1998. His book, Inside National Health Reform, was published in 2011 by the University of California Press and the Milbank Fund. He received a doctorate in public health from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan and a master’s in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Jose Alvarez

Jose Alvarez

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Jose Alvarez was President and Chief Executive Officer of Stop & Shop/Giant-Landover from April 2006 through July 2008. Jose joined Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Royal Ahold NV, in 2001. Prior to his tenure as President and CEO, Jose was Executive Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics for the company. He also served as the Senior Vice President Logistics and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. He spent nearly 20 years in retail management before coming to Harvard Business School. Jose serves on the boards of the TJX Companies, United Rentals, Princeton University, the Joyce Foundation, Daily Table, Princeton in Latin America, and Empower Schools.

Glorian Sorensen

Glorian Sorensen

Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

Glorian Sorensen is Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and Director of the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The core of Dr. Sorensen’s research is randomized worksite- and community-based studies that test the effectiveness of theory-driven interventions targeting individual and organizational change. She is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, funded as a Center of Excellence by the National Institute for Safety and Health and its Total Worker Health Program. She is also the Director of the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Her research focuses particularly on designing and testing interventions to be effective for low-income, multi-ethnic working populations, and for use in low-resource settings. Her training in occupational sociology provides a platform for her research focus on the work organization and environment from a systems perspective. Her research has focused on a range of settings, particularly worksites and labor unions. She conducted the first randomized controlled worksite intervention trials to integrate occupational health and health behaviors, and has designed and tested worksite interventions across a range of industries (including manufacturing, construction, health care, social service, and transportation), and with small and large worksites. Her current research includes a study with low-income food service workers designed to assess and address organizational factors contributing to worker health and safety.

Robert Huckman

Robert Huckman

Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Robert Huckman is the Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, the Faculty Chair of the HBS Healthcare Initiative, and the Chair of the MBA Required Curriculum. He currently teaches the second-year MBA course entitled Transforming Health Care Delivery and has previously taught both required and elective courses in Technology and Operations Management. Professor Huckman is the Faculty Chair of HBS's executive education program entitled Managing Health Delivery. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Co-Chair of the management track of Harvard's doctoral program in health policy.

Kasisomayajula Viswanath

Kasisomayajula Viswanath

Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

K. “Vish” Viswanath is a Professor of Health Communication in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and in the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). He is also the Faculty Director of the Health Communication Core of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC). And he is the founding Director of DF/HCC’s Enhancing Communications for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Laboratory. He is the Director of Harvard Chan School's India Research Center and a Co-Director of Harvard Chan School's Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness.

Dr. Viswanath’s work, drawing from literatures in communication science, social epidemiology, and social and health behavior sciences, focuses on translational communication science to influence public health policy and practice. His primary research is in documenting the relationship between communication inequalities, poverty and health disparities, and knowledge translation through community-based research to address health disparities. His research is supported by funding from private and public agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Raffaella Sadun

Raffaella Sadun

Thomas S. Murphy Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Raffaella Sadun is the Thomas S. Murphy Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Sadun's research focuses on the economics of productivity, management and organizational change. Her research documents the economic and cultural determinants of managerial choices, as well as their implications for organizational performance in both the private and public sector (including health care and education). She is among the founders of the World Management Survey (www.worldmanagementsurvey.org) and the Executive Time Use Study (www.executivetimeuse.org). Professor Sadun's work has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics and the Economic Journal, and has been featured in the business press, including The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. She is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, Faculty Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, Research Affiliate at the Center for Economic Policy Research and Research Associate in the Ariadne Labs Program in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In 2012 Professor Sadun was nominated as a Junior Faculty Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation.

Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy

Professor of the Practice of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

McCarthy’s 35-year career in public service has been dedicated to environmental protection and public health. As Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, she was the nation’s leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment, including efforts to address the challenge of climate change and ensure the protection of the country’s water resources. Her leadership led to significant federal, state, and local actions on critical issues related to the environment, economic growth, energy, and transportation. Since leaving Washington, McCarthy has been a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics and the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. McCarthy now serves as Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of Harvard Chan School's Center for Health and the Global Environment, leading the development of the School’s strategy in climate science, health, and sustainability.

Cass Sunstein

Cass Sunstein

Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School, Harvard University

Cass Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School. He clerked for Justice Benjamin Kaplan of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. Sunstein received his bachelor of arts from Harvard College in 1975 and his doctorate in law from Harvard Law School in 1978. He worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice and was a faculty member at the University of Chicago Law School from 1981 to 2008. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. From 2013 to 2014, he served on the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies.

Sunstein is the author of hundreds of articles and dozens of books, including Republic.com (2001), Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), and Simpler (2013). His latest books are The World According to Star Wars (2016) and The Ethics of Influence (2016).

Elizabeth Frates

Elizabeth Frates

Assistant Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School

MD, Stanford University

Eileen McNeely

Eileen McNeely

Instructor of Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University

Eileen McNeely is Co-Director of the SHINE initiative within the Environmental Health department. As part of SHINE, Eileen and her team connect business leadership with pioneering research to advance corporate sustainability with a focus on worker well-being. Using applied academic research, SHINE guides corporate responsibility, sustainability and well-being practices across the globe.

Eileen has extensive experience in the areas of environmental epidemiology, occupational and community health, health promotion and wellness programs, health services policy and management. Her research is currently focused on work as a platform to improve well-being, putting people and health at the center of corporate sustainability and business culture. Using a rigorous and applied academic approach she aims to shine a light on worker health and well-being in the business context, and engages companies to understand the impact of workplace culture and practices on well-being. Her research is driven by combining mental, physical and psychosocial well-being metrics with business metrics such as retention, absenteeism, productivity, and performance to guide businesses to better understand the impact of the workplace culture on health. Eileen’s work with companies aims to redesign how business integrates well-being from an ever-changing programmatic style to an integrated systems approach.

George Serafeim

George Serafeim

Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

George Serafeim is the Jakurski Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He has taught courses in the MBA, executive education and doctoral programs, and is currently teaching the elective course, “Reimagining Capitalism: Business and Big Problems,” in the MBA curriculum. He has presented his research in over 60 countries around the world and is one of the most popular business authors, according to rankings of the Social Science Research Network. His major area of research focus is strategies for creating high performance organizations through positive social impact.

Sara Singer

Sara Singer

Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy), Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Sara Singer is a Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Professor by courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is affiliated faculty with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Center for Innovation in Global Health, and Clinical Excellent Research Center. Her research in the field of health care management and policy focuses on how organizational leadership and culture impact efforts to implement health delivery innovations, integrate patient care, and improve safety and reliability of health care organizations. A key feature of this research is the development of survey instruments that measure provider and patient perspectives on key interpersonal and organizational factors, enabling benchmarking, rapid and reliable feedback about the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of delivery system innovations, and broader dissemination of more successful interventions.

Previously, Dr. Singer was Professor of Health Care Management and Policy at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Massachusetts General Hospital. She acted as Director of Graduate Studies of the Harvard PhD in Health Policy Program (2016-2017) and Co-Chair of the Health Policy PhD Program’s Management Track (2013-2017), Director of the Healthcare Management Field of Study for the Masters in Public Health Program at the Harvard Chan School (2015-2017), Implementation Research Director for the Safe Surgery 2015 initiative (2010-2017), and Member of the University Benefits Committee (2012-2017). She was also Evaluation Co-Chair for Massachusetts’ Proactive Reduction in Outpatient Malpractice: Improving Safety Efficiency and Satisfaction (PROMISES) program (2010-2014) and Evaluation Team Member for the Academic Innovations Collaborative / Comprehensive, Accessible, Reliable, Exceptional and Safe (AIC / CARES) Collaborative (2012-2106). She also co-founded and served as Executive Director for the Center for Health Policy at Stanford, where she was a Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer (1993-2003). Dr. Singer served as Staff Director for the California Managed Care Improvement Task Force (1997-98), a Senior Legislative Assistant for Health Policy in the US House of Representative (1994), and Health Policy Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget (1992).

Dr. Singer directs the AHRQ-funded Engineering High Reliability Learning Lab (2015-present). She has published more than 100 articles in academic journals and books on health care management, health policy, and health system reform. Her publications have won numerous awards, including best paper awards from the Academy of Management’s Health Care Division in three consecutive years 2009, 2010, and 2011. She is the recipient of the 2013 Avedis Donabedian Healthcare Quality Award from the American Public Health Association and the 2014 Teaching Citation Award from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Singer has conducted numerous studies for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Veterans Administration Health Services Research & Development, and private foundations related to measuring and improving organizational culture, learning, teamwork, patient safety, integrated patient care, and the financing and delivery of health care.

She holds an AB degree in English from Princeton University, a MBA degree with a Certificate in Public Management from Stanford University, and a PhD from Harvard University in Health Policy/Management with a concentration in organizational behavior. Her husband, Gordon Bloom, is founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (SE Lab) at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford Universities. They live with their children, Audrey (18) and Jason (15) in Portola Valley, CA.

Rakesh Khurana

Rakesh Khurana

Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Harvard Business School; Professor of Sociology, Harvard University; Danoff Dean, Harvard College, Harvard University

Rakesh Khurana, Professor of Sociology and Organizational Behavior at Harvard University, and Faculty Dean of Cabot House, became dean of Harvard College on July 1, 2014.

A distinguished scholar of organizational behavior and leadership, an award-winning teacher, and a Faculty Dean, Khurana has been deeply involved in undergraduate issues throughout his time at Harvard, having served on a number of important policy committees.

Khurana’s research uses a sociological perspective to focus on the processes by which elites and leaders are selected and developed. He has written extensively about the CEO labor market and business education. In 2000, Khurana was appointed to the HBS faculty, and was named the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership and Development in 2008. He has co-edited “The Handbook for Leadership Theory and Practice” (2010) and “The Handbook for Teaching Leadership” (2012), seminal texts on leadership theory and pedagogical practice. “From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession” (2007) received the American Sociological Association’s Max Weber Book Award.

He is currently working on the role of globalization and its impact on American business culture. Khurana received his BS from Cornell University, and began graduate studies at Harvard in 1993, earning his PhD in 1998 through a joint program between Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). He taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1998 and 2000. Prior to graduate school, he worked as a founding team member of Cambridge Technology Partners.

John Quelch

John Quelch

Dean of the School of Business Administration and Vice Provost for Executive Education, University of Miami

John Quelch became dean of the University of Miami Business School on July 1, 2017. He also serves as the University’s vice provost for executive education. Quelch has a wealth of senior leadership experience, having previously served as the dean and senior associate dean at three internationally-recognized business schools. Prior to joining the UM Business School, Quelch was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He also held a joint appointment as professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health – the first to hold dual primary appointments in those two schools, and one of only a few faculty members across Harvard University with this distinction.

Rosabeth Moss  Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, specializing in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. She is also Chair and Director of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative, a Harvard-wide innovation she co-founded in 2008, a growing international model that helps successful leaders at the top of their fields apply their skills to national and global challenges in their next life stage, to build a new leadership force for the world. She is currently working on a book about digital disruption, organizational transformation, and the do-it-yourself entrepreneurial revolution, as well as scaling the idea of advanced leadership.

Her strategic and practical insights guide leaders of large and small organizations worldwide, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments. The former chief Editor of Harvard Business Review, Professor Kanter has been repeatedly named to lists of the “50 most powerful women in the world” (Times of London), and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” (Thinkers 50, and is now in their Hall of Fame). She has received 24 honorary doctoral degrees, as well as numerous leadership awards, lifetime achievement awards, and prizes, which include Distinguished Career Awards from the Academy of Management and the American Sociological Association (Organizations, Occupations and Work Section); the World Teleport Association's “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” award; the Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce; the International Leadership Award from the Association of Leadership Professionals; the Warren Bennis Award for Leadership Excellence; the Everett Rogers Innovation Award from the Norman Lear Center for media and society; and several Harvard Business Review McKinsey Awards for the years’ best articles.

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