Introducing the New Corporations and Health Watch

As Corporations and Health Watch enters its fifth year, we introduce a new format and design. CHW was founded in 2007 to provide a meeting place for researchers, health professionals and activists concerned about the health impact of corporate practices. By offering a virtual space to exchange information and analyze developments in the alcohol, automobile, firearms, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries, CHW hopes to advance our understanding of corporate policies and practices as social determinants of health. It also seeks to encourage those working to change harmful corporate practices across industries, countries and strategies to learn from each other, develop common goals and support each others’ campaigns. So what’s new about the redesigned CHW?

First we now have six contributing writers who will regularly write for CHW:

  • Jessie Daniels, at the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, who writes about new media, corporations and the intersections of class, race and gender.
  • Nicholas Freudenberg, also at the CUNY School of Public Health, who writes about the economic and political influences on corporate practices and advocacy campaigns to change them and works with local, national and global advocacy organizations.
  • David Jernigan, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who writes about the alcohol industry and alcohol marketing to youth.
  • Lainie Rutkow, also at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who writes about the use of law to protect the public’s health and the regulation of corporations in the context of specific industries, including tobacco, food, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Michele Simon, at the Marin Institute, who writes about alcohol and food industry practices, and
  • William Wiist, at the College of Health and Human Services at Northern Arizona University, who writes about the impact of corporations on health and democracy, and corporate globalization and health governance.

More contributing writers will be added in the coming months. On CHW, we write in our individual capacity, not as representatives of institutions.

Second, we invite readers’ contributions of short essays, news stories or links to new publications on CHW topics. Our guidelines for contributors are available here.

Third, we will now post new stories every week, add an RSS feed and encourage readers to contact writers to explore common interests. We’ll continue to email you our monthly newsletter that gives highlights of our stories of the last month.

Fourth, we have reorganized our archives, making them easier to search and adding key words. We’re especially interested in making our archives accessible and useful to public health and other students to serve as a resource for their research and activism. We encourage readers to send students to the site and also to the forward the link to CHW to interested colleagues and lists.

As we move into the second decade of the 21st century, the role of corporations in creating the global health challenges of rising rates of chronic diseases and injuries and persistent inequities seems stronger than ever. The 2008 economic crisis demonstrated the risks of unfettered markets and the glimmers of alternatives. As political and economic power becomes increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few global corporations, public health researchers, practitioners, activists and students need to ask how we can apply the lessons of public health reform from the 19th and 20th centuries to this one. We hope you’ll help the redesigned Corporations and Health Watch become a growing voice in this effort.

Photo credits: