Leading Health Care Partners Announce The Common Health Coalition: Together for Public Health

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2023) – Today, the American Hospital Association, AHIP, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, the American Medical Association, and Kaiser Permanente announced the Common Health Coalition: Together for Public Health. The Common Health Coalition is focused on translating the hard-won lessons and successes of the COVID-19 pandemic response into actionable strategies that will strengthen the partnership between our health care and public health systems. The Coalition is the product of a joint commitment to public health made in March 2023 by the five founding member organizations. 

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 health care systems; building shared, well-maintained emergency preparedness plans; establishing national standards for health care 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, MD, MSc, chairs the Common Health Coalition. Dr. Chokshi 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 (CUNY). Dr. Chokshi most recently served as the 43rd Health Commissioner of New York City. From 2020-2022, he led the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its historic campaign to vaccinate over 6 million New Yorkers. 

Chelsea Cipriano, MPH, serves as the Coalition’s Managing Director. Cipriano most recently held leadership roles at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the NYC Mayor’s Office, and she previously served within the federal government at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US 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, MD, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, and J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, 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 Dr. Chokshi. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our health care 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.”

“As the pandemic showed, far too often the hospital field has been forced to step in and plug gaps in our public health infrastructure. While hospitals are always there, ready to care, in good times and bad, we cannot shoulder this burden alone. This is why the AHA and our members have long been engaged in building collaborations, improving partnerships, and advocating for a stronger, more resilient, and responsive public health sector,” said Michelle Hood, steering committee member and AHA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “The AHA is proud to be a founding partner of the Common Health Coalition with these other national organizations to further improve partnerships and increase support for the critical components of our country’s health care system.”

“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, MD, Coalition steering committee member and senior vice president and chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente. “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.” 

“AHIP is honored to be part of this important coalition focused on learning from our collective experience responding to the COVID pandemic and bringing together public health and the health care system to strengthen the partnerships and advance health equity,” said Kate Berry, steering committee member and senior vice president, clinical innovation and strategic partnerships at AHIP. “We are committed to making health care accessible and affordable for everyone, and look forward to working with the Coalition to continue guiding greater health.”

“Partnership and collaboration are intrinsic parts of our DNA at the Alliance of Community Health Plans. From the way our teams work cross-functionally with each other, with our nonprofit payer-provider aligned health plan member companies and with our network of like-minded partner organizations here in D.C. and across the country, we understand we are all stronger when we collaborate and work together,” said Dan Jones, steering committee member and senior vice president of federal affairs at the Alliance of Community Health Plans. “We are proud to be part of the Common Health Coalition and to seek opportunities to build stronger partnerships between public health and health care systems, all with an eye to advancing health equity and proactive preparedness.”

“The AMA is excited to work with our coalition partners to support a shared vision of a stronger, more robust and better prepared health system,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “For far too long, our public health system has been woefully underfunded, understaffed, and lacking the necessary data infrastructure and interoperability necessary to respond quickly to public health emergencies. That’s why we are bringing together health care leaders and decisionmakers to connect around a common agenda of actionable interventions to strengthen the connectivity between public health and the health care sector. Through the coalition’s work, we believe we can create a stronger public health system and healthier future for all.” 

For more information, visit CommonHealthCoalition.org.