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Philadelphia Tourism launches new PHL Health Pledge initiative

Philadelphia Tourism launches new PHL Health Pledge initiative
Philadelphia Tourism launches new PHL Health Pledge initiative
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched the ‘PHL Health Pledge’, a new initiative to increase awareness of the destination’s efforts to safely welcome back visitors as Philadelphia gradually reopens for business. To support this effort, the PHLCVB has partnered with Dr. David Nash, Dean Emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health, to serve as the PHLCVB’s Chief Health Advisor by providing direct advice and guidance to meeting and event planners.

Dr. Nash will also serve as a PHLCVB-designated spokesperson on panels, and review current public health guidelines, reports, and protocols in order to make recommendations to meeting planner customers.

Dr. Nash is an acclaimed national leader in population health who holds both an MD and MBA. He is currently an endowed chair professor of Health Policy at the Jefferson College of Population Health (JCPH), the first of its kind in the USA, where he served for more than a decade as the founding Dean, culminating a 30-year tenure. A board-certified internist, Dr. Nash is internationally recognised for his work in public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development, and quality-of-care improvement. More recently, he has been lauded for his thought leadership surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I look forward to supporting Philadelphia’s tourism leaders in reviving this critical element to our city’s economy and livelihood,” said Dr. David Nash. “By instituting the proper public health protocols, our hospitality industry should be able to safely and effectively support and protect travellers when the time comes. I’m excited to work in partnership with the PHLCVB and their meeting planner customers as they re-envision the convention and visitor experience. By incorporating the already sound and thoughtful guidelines presented by the CDC, as well as state and local public health officials, I’m confident we can develop a safe and healthy plan for all visitors.”

Dr. Nash will also work closely with the 18-member PHL Health Advisors, a subcommittee of the PHLCVB’s Life Sciences division and its Nursing Leadership Committee – both comprised of experts from the world-renowned Philadelphia medical community. The PHL Health Advisors represent a wide range of expertise in fields like public health, infectious disease, medical research, and mental health. The subcommittee will serve as a trusted resource and will relay updates to the PHLCVB regarding medical information and local medical advancements in the fight against COVID-19. The team will also act as an internal review board for the PHLCVB on public health and safety best practices.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia’s tourism and hospitality industry was one of the largest and fastest growing employment sectors with over 76,000 hospitality-related jobs in the city,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the PHLCVB. “These family-sustaining jobs are vital to Philadelphia’s economy. Ensuring the health and safety of our visitors is paramount to our industry’s, and our city’s recovery. This initiative will showcase our destination’s unstoppable ingenuity, leveraging our robust life sciences industry by drawing upon their expertise to safely welcome visitors when the time is right. Our goal is to put Philadelphians back to work safely.”

The PHLCVB’s Chief Health Advisor and the PHL Health Advisors subcommittee are both important components of the PHL Health Pledge initiative, which will serve as the framework for the future travel experience, and includes guidance for vigilant sanitation, cleanliness, and increased public health awareness.

The PHL Health Pledge initiative is comprised of three key components:

  1. PHL Health Advisors, including:
  • Dr. Nash serving as Chief Health Advisor who will provide guidance directly to meeting planner customers and serve as a public spokesperson on behalf of the PHLCVB with regards to matters of public health and tourism
  • The 18-member PHL Health Advisors sub-committee of PHL Life Sciences, which will be an internal support team, providing guidance to the PHLCVB on health and safety standards as well as information on local medical advancements in the fight against COVID-19
  1. Resources for Safely Reopening:
  • Aggregated list of plans from national partners like U.S. Travel Association as well as local tourism partners, for review by potential visitors
  • PHL Hospitality Health Pledge which can be signed by PHLCVB members and other local tourism-related businesses to show their commitment to new health and safety standards as they reopen
  1. Continuing Education and Innovation:
  • On-going training and support for PHLCVB members to keep abreast of public health best practices to keep their hotels, attractions, and venues safe for visitors

“The PHL Health Pledge and our partnership with Dr. Nash serves as a strong foundation for Philadelphia’s tourism future,” said Kavin Schieferdecker, senior vice president, convention division for the PHLCVB. “When meetings, conventions and events can return, the PHLCVB and our partners stand ready to support our customers by providing health and safety resources that make Philadelphia, and our organisation, distinct in our offerings to meeting planners.”