Surgeon General Priority: Community Health and Economic Prosperity

The health of Americans is not as good as it could be, despite large expenditures on healthcare. Our poorer health status creates costs and challenges for individuals, families, communities, and businesses, and can be a drag on the economy, as too many jobs remain unfilled and productivity is adversely affected. Many of our poor health problems are rooted in inadequate investments in prevention and unequal economic opportunities in our communities.

In order to improve the health of Americans and help foster a more sustainable and equitable prosperity, the Office of the Surgeon General is implementing an initiative called “Community Health and Economic Prosperity” or “CHEP” for short. The CHEP initiative will use a multipronged approach* focused on:

  • Engaging businesses to be community change-makers and forces for health in their communities
  • Implementing solutions to help improve and sustain the health of communities, such as comprehensive smoke-free policies and affordable housing
  • Strengthening communities to be places of opportunity for health and prosperity for all

CHEP joins other efforts in communities and across the nation, all striving to improve health and increase opportunity for all. What ties these together, in addition to a focus on health and economic opportunity, is a recognition that health happens in communities and is tied to conditions in communities, such as the quality and availability of housing, education, and jobs. What sets CHEP apart is the focus on businesses and the private sector as critical agents of change to improve the conditions in communities and improve their own bottom lines.


*People using assistive technology may not be able to fully access information in this file. For assistance, please contact

Content created by Office of the Surgeon General
Content last reviewed