The Brilliance and Beauty of Public-Private Partnerships

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Dr. John Agwunobi, Chief Health and Nutrition Officer, Herbalife Nutrition
June 26, 2017

Mayors are busy people who consistently must balance the needs of their community with available resources while they navigate ever-shifting support from their state, county and federal governments. Public health challenges are one of the most important issues faced by cities of all sizes, and that’s why I was honored recently to address the United States Conference of Mayors at their 2017 summer meeting. The conference is the annual, official, non-partisan gathering of mayors of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Of the 1,408 eligible U.S. cities, about 300 mayors attended the conference this year in Miami.

Because health and wellness is a critical issue not only for individuals, but also for the community as a whole, Herbalife Nutrition is a member of the Mayors Business Council. This exclusive group offers an in-depth forum for mayors to partner with representatives from the private sector to share research, policy analysis and marketplace trends. When we come together, we’re able to identify the challenges and opportunities cities face, and come up with innovative solutions to help create healthier places for people to live, work and play.

Dr. John Agwunobi addresses more than 300 U.S. mayors at the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami, Florida.
Dr. John Agwunobi addresses more than 300 U.S. mayors at the United States Conference of Mayors in Miami, Florida.

We know that we’re stronger when we’re united with other entities that share the same goals. Since 1980, our mission at Herbalife Nutrition has been to change people’s lives by providing the best nutrition and weight-management products in the world. Our purpose is to make the world healthier and happier. We believe that in order to do this efficiently and effectively, we must be operating on micro and macro levels that touch individual lives, as well as wholesale strategies to help communities around the globe.

Public-private partnerships are critical to creating change, especially when it comes to time-sensitive and life-saving public health issues. I know this firsthand—I’ve seen it work time and time again. Before I came to Herbalife Nutrition, I served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, as an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, as well as former Secretary of the Florida Department of Health. We take social responsibility seriously at Herbalife Nutrition, and try to find ways to help address the unique public health needs of each community in which we live and work. For example:

    • In Jalisco, Mexico, we completed a pilot project where that state’s Ministry of Health partnered with 300 Nutrition Clubs operated by our distributors to deliver health and wellness education to over 170,000 community residents.
    • In Indonesia, we entered into a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Health on a hypertension and diabetes prevention program, disseminating educational material in local communities.
    • In Mexico City, our independent distributors will leverage their networks in partnership with the federal health agency, COFEPRIS, to disseminate hygiene and health education materials to the community.

We’re looking for similar partnerships with U.S. mayors—with more than 295,000 Herbalife distributors and 8,000 Nutrition Clubs across the country, we’ve got the muscle and the know-how to share proven health, nutrition, and fitness information with those ready to take the next step toward their health goals. We’re ready to partner and ready to help.

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