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企业是否有必要聘请首席公共卫生官?

企业是否有必要聘请首席公共卫生官?

方绘香(Frika Fry) 2020年07月13日
众多企业在出现重大公共卫生事件时不知所措,这与公司的高管团队中缺少公共卫生专家不无关系。

当新冠疫情刚出现的时候,作为全球最大连锁院线的老板,AMC影院的CEO兼总裁亚当•阿伦并未感到特别紧张。不过随着疫情蔓延到世界各地,阿伦和他的团队开始密集与各地的卫生官员会面,先是米兰,然后是西班牙,再然后是该公司几乎所有有运营业务的地方。要谈的重点,就是该公司的1000多家影院应该怎么办。

然而局面的变化速度简直可以用眼花缭乱来形容。光是3月中旬那几天,政策就几乎一日一变。首先是AMC宣布了限流政策,将每场的上座率减半。后来美国有一位官员接受了一档周日早间节目的采访,根据他的倡议,AMC开始将单场观影人数限制在50人以下。最后到了3月16日,AMC干脆将影院完全关闭。

阿伦坦承,对于企业如何开展疫情防控,他和AMC的其他高管都是外行。“我们内部没有这方面的专家。我们希望在目前的情况下,能做出最好、最明智的决策。”

当然,面对疫情,AMC并不是唯一一家束手无策、在重大公共卫生事件面前不知道何去何从的公司。这与公司的高管团队中缺少公共卫生专家不无关系。全球疫情已经爆发好几个月了,不论是肉类加工厂,还是邮轮公司或实体零售企业,大家都面临着相同的问题——如何在疫情时期安全地做生意?现在公司能不能重新开业?什么时候才可以重新开业?开业了以后,怎样才能确保员工和顾客的健康?

阿伦指出:“美国企业面临的最大的问题,就是如何撑到疫情结束。”他希望该公司在美国的影院能在本月底重新开放。(AMC此前曾经警告称,它有可能撑不到疫情结束。)“美国每家大公司的CEO都要把公共健康问题当成公司的头等要务。”

从目前看来,这场疫情短期内不会那容易结束(很多其他公共卫生问题也是一样)。很多商界和公共卫生界人士都表示,这两个井水不犯河水的领域是时候进行资源整合了。比如哈佛公共卫生学院的院长米歇尔•威廉姆斯表示,以后的世界,企业可能要定期将公共卫生问题纳入商业计划。企业界里甚至有可能出现一个全新的职务——首席公共卫生官,来专门负责企业与公共卫生有关的事务。

威廉姆斯说:“CEO们已经意识到了公共卫生的重要性。”他发现,近几个月来,商业界对公共卫生知识的渴求达到了前所未有的程度。“CEO们都急着了解如何开发可靠的模型,把金融以外的那些以前他们从未考虑过的参数纳入进去。“

上个月,威廉姆斯主持了一系列以“当公共卫生意味着商业”为主题的在线研讨会。她还计划今年秋天专门为企业高管推出一套课程,帮助他们了解公共卫生领域的基础知识,以及如何将它们应用在商业中。

咨询机构光辉国际(Korn Ferry)也注意到,一些公司有意在领导团队中引入懂公共卫生的高管。

拉迪卡•帕潘德里欧是该公司的一名高级客户合伙人,专注于旅游、酒店和休闲娱乐行业。她表示,她的客户企业在门店层面(比如各个酒店和赌场),一般都有专人负责健康和安全事务。不过在公司高层,却没有人会对此类问题进行通盘的战略思考。因此,很多大企业在面对新冠肺炎疫情时,都只能“疲于奔命”地被动应对。

“这样的流程是不存在的,也没有一个人在推动这样的过程。”帕潘德里欧指出。在疫情应对上,有的公司选择让人力资源部门负主责,有的则由各部门的领导组成工作组,还有一些企业则与约翰斯•霍普金斯大学等卫生机构建立了合作关系。

帕潘德里欧和她的同事们早在疫情初期,就组织起了几个专门的工作组,研究开发企业首席卫生安全官的标准工作流程。光辉国际的另一名高级客户合伙人明迪•凯利指出,企业首席卫生安全官的职责,是要降低疫情蔓延的风险,提高企业整体的健康和安全水平。帕潘德里欧说:“就算企业复工复产,一切重新恢复正轨,这个角色也不会消失。”

马里兰大学巴尔的摩分校的历史学副教授克里斯蒂•福特•查宾指出,这样的角色在商业史上并非完全没有先例。在19世纪末20世纪初的时候,第二次工业革命开展得如火如荼,一些美国企业设立了“工业医疗”部门,负责预防生产事故和传染病的传播。这个时期也正是细菌理论刚刚深入人心的时候。企业之所以开始重视工人的健康,一方面自然是为了保障自身经营,另一方面也是为了对抗工会的力量,避免出现负面宣传,以及监管部门的要求。查宾表示,现在的企业也有同样的动机去采取更强有力的公共卫生措施,以避免负面公关和诉讼。

查宾指出,随着美国经济向白领化和服务型经济转型,加之全美公共卫生状况的改善,“工业医疗”这个名词也消失在了历史中。虽然一些企业仍然保留了健康和卫生部门,但它们在企业中显得无足轻重,而且往往只关注美国职业安全与健康管理局(OSHA)的规定。

当前,美国企业不仅面临着疫情的威胁,还要面对系统性的种族主义,以及由此带来的健康问题和社会失序问题。哈佛公共卫生学院的院长威廉姆斯认为,很多企业需要首席公共卫生官这样一个重要的角色。“公共卫生工作的重点,是维持、改善和保护人们的健康和福祉。但现在,我们的劳动者正处在困境之中。”

她表示:“我们开始把基本劳动者视为经济和社会引擎的真正推动力,这意味着我们要在人口健康层面上更加关注劳动者的健康和福祉。”她认为,企业有了这样的定位,就会更清楚地认识到,种族主义和结构性的不平等对企业来说是一种负担,会让企业付出代价。而首席公共卫生官则要以一种更严格、更科学,最终也更公正的方法来解决这些问题。

她说:“我认为,首席公共卫生官会带来一个以社会因素看公共卫生的视角。他们会对健康和社会公平等因素进行建模和分析,从而帮助企业在制定薪酬等方面进行决策。”

当然,在疫情期间,首席公共卫生官还会在复工复产上帮助企业做出更加科学的决策。这就是为什么AMC公司的CEO阿伦从疫情早期阶段就来找威廉姆斯寻求帮助。威廉姆斯将他介绍给了哈佛公共卫生学院的乔伊•艾伦。艾伦也是《健康建筑:室内空间如何促进绩效和生产力》(Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity)一书的作者之一。艾伦与哈佛公共卫生学院的部分教职工和毕业生已经开始为AMC公司提供空气净化、静电喷雾和加强清洁工作等方面的咨询了。

“要想让人们去电影院,唯一的方法是让他们相信影院的经营者能够确保影院的安全和卫生。早在4月时,我们就清楚地意识到,我们要找到全球最好的专家为我们提供建议。”阿伦说道。(财富中文网)

译者:Feb

当新冠疫情刚出现的时候,作为全球最大连锁院线的老板,AMC影院的CEO兼总裁亚当•阿伦并未感到特别紧张。不过随着疫情蔓延到世界各地,阿伦和他的团队开始密集与各地的卫生官员会面,先是米兰,然后是西班牙,再然后是该公司几乎所有有运营业务的地方。要谈的重点,就是该公司的1000多家影院应该怎么办。

然而局面的变化速度简直可以用眼花缭乱来形容。光是3月中旬那几天,政策就几乎一日一变。首先是AMC宣布了限流政策,将每场的上座率减半。后来美国有一位官员接受了一档周日早间节目的采访,根据他的倡议,AMC开始将单场观影人数限制在50人以下。最后到了3月16日,AMC干脆将影院完全关闭。

阿伦坦承,对于企业如何开展疫情防控,他和AMC的其他高管都是外行。“我们内部没有这方面的专家。我们希望在目前的情况下,能做出最好、最明智的决策。”

当然,面对疫情,AMC并不是唯一一家束手无策、在重大公共卫生事件面前不知道何去何从的公司。这与公司的高管团队中缺少公共卫生专家不无关系。全球疫情已经爆发好几个月了,不论是肉类加工厂,还是邮轮公司或实体零售企业,大家都面临着相同的问题——如何在疫情时期安全地做生意?现在公司能不能重新开业?什么时候才可以重新开业?开业了以后,怎样才能确保员工和顾客的健康?

阿伦指出:“美国企业面临的最大的问题,就是如何撑到疫情结束。”他希望该公司在美国的影院能在本月底重新开放。(AMC此前曾经警告称,它有可能撑不到疫情结束。)“美国每家大公司的CEO都要把公共健康问题当成公司的头等要务。”

从目前看来,这场疫情短期内不会那容易结束(很多其他公共卫生问题也是一样)。很多商界和公共卫生界人士都表示,这两个井水不犯河水的领域是时候进行资源整合了。比如哈佛公共卫生学院的院长米歇尔•威廉姆斯表示,以后的世界,企业可能要定期将公共卫生问题纳入商业计划。企业界里甚至有可能出现一个全新的职务——首席公共卫生官,来专门负责企业与公共卫生有关的事务。

威廉姆斯说:“CEO们已经意识到了公共卫生的重要性。”他发现,近几个月来,商业界对公共卫生知识的渴求达到了前所未有的程度。“CEO们都急着了解如何开发可靠的模型,把金融以外的那些以前他们从未考虑过的参数纳入进去。“

上个月,威廉姆斯主持了一系列以“当公共卫生意味着商业”为主题的在线研讨会。她还计划今年秋天专门为企业高管推出一套课程,帮助他们了解公共卫生领域的基础知识,以及如何将它们应用在商业中。

咨询机构光辉国际(Korn Ferry)也注意到,一些公司有意在领导团队中引入懂公共卫生的高管。

拉迪卡•帕潘德里欧是该公司的一名高级客户合伙人,专注于旅游、酒店和休闲娱乐行业。她表示,她的客户企业在门店层面(比如各个酒店和赌场),一般都有专人负责健康和安全事务。不过在公司高层,却没有人会对此类问题进行通盘的战略思考。因此,很多大企业在面对新冠肺炎疫情时,都只能“疲于奔命”地被动应对。

“这样的流程是不存在的,也没有一个人在推动这样的过程。”帕潘德里欧指出。在疫情应对上,有的公司选择让人力资源部门负主责,有的则由各部门的领导组成工作组,还有一些企业则与约翰斯•霍普金斯大学等卫生机构建立了合作关系。

帕潘德里欧和她的同事们早在疫情初期,就组织起了几个专门的工作组,研究开发企业首席卫生安全官的标准工作流程。光辉国际的另一名高级客户合伙人明迪•凯利指出,企业首席卫生安全官的职责,是要降低疫情蔓延的风险,提高企业整体的健康和安全水平。帕潘德里欧说:“就算企业复工复产,一切重新恢复正轨,这个角色也不会消失。”

马里兰大学巴尔的摩分校的历史学副教授克里斯蒂•福特•查宾指出,这样的角色在商业史上并非完全没有先例。在19世纪末20世纪初的时候,第二次工业革命开展得如火如荼,一些美国企业设立了“工业医疗”部门,负责预防生产事故和传染病的传播。这个时期也正是细菌理论刚刚深入人心的时候。企业之所以开始重视工人的健康,一方面自然是为了保障自身经营,另一方面也是为了对抗工会的力量,避免出现负面宣传,以及监管部门的要求。查宾表示,现在的企业也有同样的动机去采取更强有力的公共卫生措施,以避免负面公关和诉讼。

查宾指出,随着美国经济向白领化和服务型经济转型,加之全美公共卫生状况的改善,“工业医疗”这个名词也消失在了历史中。虽然一些企业仍然保留了健康和卫生部门,但它们在企业中显得无足轻重,而且往往只关注美国职业安全与健康管理局(OSHA)的规定。

当前,美国企业不仅面临着疫情的威胁,还要面对系统性的种族主义,以及由此带来的健康问题和社会失序问题。哈佛公共卫生学院的院长威廉姆斯认为,很多企业需要首席公共卫生官这样一个重要的角色。“公共卫生工作的重点,是维持、改善和保护人们的健康和福祉。但现在,我们的劳动者正处在困境之中。”

她表示:“我们开始把基本劳动者视为经济和社会引擎的真正推动力,这意味着我们要在人口健康层面上更加关注劳动者的健康和福祉。”她认为,企业有了这样的定位,就会更清楚地认识到,种族主义和结构性的不平等对企业来说是一种负担,会让企业付出代价。而首席公共卫生官则要以一种更严格、更科学,最终也更公正的方法来解决这些问题。

她说:“我认为,首席公共卫生官会带来一个以社会因素看公共卫生的视角。他们会对健康和社会公平等因素进行建模和分析,从而帮助企业在制定薪酬等方面进行决策。”

当然,在疫情期间,首席公共卫生官还会在复工复产上帮助企业做出更加科学的决策。这就是为什么AMC公司的CEO阿伦从疫情早期阶段就来找威廉姆斯寻求帮助。威廉姆斯将他介绍给了哈佛公共卫生学院的乔伊•艾伦。艾伦也是《健康建筑:室内空间如何促进绩效和生产力》(Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity)一书的作者之一。艾伦与哈佛公共卫生学院的部分教职工和毕业生已经开始为AMC公司提供空气净化、静电喷雾和加强清洁工作等方面的咨询了。

“要想让人们去电影院,唯一的方法是让他们相信影院的经营者能够确保影院的安全和卫生。早在4月时,我们就清楚地意识到,我们要找到全球最好的专家为我们提供建议。”阿伦说道。(财富中文网)

译者:Feb

Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Theatres, the world’s largest chain of movie cinemas, remembers the early days of the pandemic as a blur. As the novel coronavirus spread around the world, he and his team scrambled to talk with health officials—first in Milan, then in Spain, then pretty much everywhere else the company operated, trying to sort out what to do with its 1,000 or so theaters in the middle of a fast-unfolding global health crisis.

The picture and the pace at which it was changing were dizzying. Over the course of a few days in mid-March, AMC announced plans to fill its theaters to only half capacity; then—prompted by an official’s remark on a Sunday morning talk show—AMC limited screenings to groups of 50 or fewer; and finally, on March 16, it closed its cinemas altogether.

We had no experts on retainer internally,” says Aron, who admits when it came to understanding epidemiology and infection control and how to factor it into business, he and AMC’s senior execs were amateurs. “We were trying to make the best and smartest decisions we could under the circumstances.”

Of course, AMC was hardly the only company caught off guard and confronted with big business decisions—and little public health expertise in the C-suite to help make them—when the coronavirus hit. Even months into the global health crisis, companies, from meat processors to cruise lines to brick-and-mortar retail, continue to struggle with questions around doing business safely in a time of COVID-19—how and when to reopen, and, in the process, ensure their workforces and customers remain healthy.

“The single biggest issue facing businesses in the United States is how do we manage our way through the coronavirus crisis,” says Aron, who is hoping his company will begin reopening theaters in the U.S. later this month. (AMC has previously warned it may not survive the pandemic.) “The CEO of every major company in the country is going to have to make public health the single top vision of the company.”

With no quick or easy end to the pandemic (nor a host of other public health problems) in sight, figures from both the business and public health worlds say it’s time to bridge the gulf that has traditionally separated the two sectors. Some, including Michelle Williams, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, envision a world where public health considerations are regularly integrated into business plans and where maybe even a new brand of executive, a chief public health officer, has a seat at the table.

“CEOs are now recognizing the primacy of public health,” says Williams, who has noticed an unprecedented thirst for knowledge from the business community in recent months. “CEOs are clamoring. They’re clamoring for an understanding of how do you develop reliable models that include inputs that they’ve not thought about beyond financial parameters?”

As a jumping-off point, she hosted a series of online symposiums called “When Public Health Means Business” last month and plans to launch curriculum this fall for business executives to help them understand the foundations of public health and how to apply them in business.

Korn Ferry, the global organizational consulting firm, has also noticed interest from companies in adding health expertise to their leadership teams.

“Health concerns are top of mind for the executives I work with,” says Radhika Papandreou, a senior client partner who specializes in the travel, hospitality, and leisure sectors. She notes that the companies she works with have typically had health and safety officers at the property level—say, at an individual hotel or a casino—rather than a high-level executive thinking strategically about such issues across the company. As a result, large companies tended to have “a very patchwork” response to the threat of COVID-19.

“There wasn’t a process,” says Papandreou, who notes some businesses leaned upon HR officers or formed working groups of leaders across the company to respond to the pandemic; others tried to form partnerships with health institutions like Johns Hopkins. “There hasn’t been one person driving the process.”

She and her colleagues, early into the pandemic, began holding focus groups to develop a prototype for a corporate chief health and safety officer, a role that would involve mitigating risk of disease spread and promoting health and safety more generally across the organization, says Mindy Kairey, a senior client partner at the firm. “It’s not a role that is going away as we go back to work and things become more normal,” says Papandreou.

Such a role would not be totally unprecedented in corporate history, says Christy Ford Chapin, an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Around the turn of the 20th century, as the second Industrial Revolution ramped up and the progressive era began, American corporations developed “industrial medicine” departments aimed at preventing accidents and stopping the spread of infectious disease. This period coincided with spreading awareness of germ theory, Chapin explains. While business wanted to keep employees healthy for the sake of their operations, they also were looking to counter union power, negative publicity, and calls for regulation, says Chapin, who suspects today’s corporations will be similarly motivated to develop more robust public health efforts to avoid bad PR and lawsuits.

Industrial medicine went away with the transition to a more white-collar, service-oriented economy as well as improving public health conditions nationwide. While occupational health and safety departments still exist, they’re “just not as big a deal” and often focused on compliance with OSHA regulations, Chapin says.

At a moment when companies are grappling with a pandemic, as well as systemic racism and resulting health and social disparities, Harvard’s Williams imagines a broad and important role like chief public health officer: “Public health is about preserving, promoting, and protecting health and wellness of a population. And the workforce right now is under siege.

“We start to think about essential workers as really primary drivers for our economic and societal engines, and this is going to mean I think a sharper focus on health and wellness of workers at a level of population health,” she says. With such an orientation, she expects businesses will more clearly understand racism and structural inequality as burdensome and costly to business, and that a chief public health officer would bring a more rigorous, scientific, and ultimately just approach to addressing those issues.

“I think the chief public health officer brings a lens of assessing the social determinants of health," she says. "They bring modeling and appreciation and understanding of health and social justice to the table where these can inform practices like wage determination.”

They would also, of course, help companies make more science-based decisions about reopening in the midst of uncertainty around the ongoing global pandemic. That’s why Aron, the CEO of AMC, sought out Williams’s counsel in the early stages of the pandemic. She referred him to Joe Allen, a Harvard School of Public Health faculty member and the coauthor of Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, who with current and former faculty and graduates, has been advising AMC on issues like air filtration, electrostatic sprayers and intensified cleaning protocols.

“The only way people are going to go to movie theaters is if people trust theater operators to run their theaters safely and cleanly. It became quite obvious to us in April that we were going to have to seek out the best experts on the planet to advise us what to do,” says Aron.

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