A college of images featuring a nurse looking tired, a mother feeding her child, a produce stand, a wind turbine, a homeless encampment
Public Exchange’s new Health and Wellbeing Practice aims to create solutions to homelessness, mental health, food insecurity and other pressing social issues. (Composite: Kim Nguyen. Image source: iStock.)

USC Dornsife’s Public Exchange launches practice to tackle health and well-being challenges

Led by a former White House senior policy advisor, the new practice provides expert research and project management services to government, industry and nonprofit partners.
BySusan Bell

To meet urgent challenges related to health and amid growing demand for applied research, Public Exchange (PX) at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences recently launched its Health and Wellbeing Practice.

Sujeet Rao, a veteran business leader and former senior policy advisor to the White House, leads the new practice.

Why it matters: The nation faces a number of interrelated and compounding challenges related to health and well-being. Many of these challenges are growing in scope or becoming more acute as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The nation’s health care workforce is burned out at a time when our need for medical care is growing and the population is aging.
  • Major cities and states across the country struggle to address a growing homelessness and housing affordability crisis.
  • The United States faces “a public health crisis of loneliness, isolation and lack of connection,” that particularly affects young people, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.
  • This past summer, the hottest on record, portends myriad health-related challenges arising from extreme heat and other climate conditions.

A first-of-its-kind program, PX helps government, industry and nonprofit partners address some of the world’s most intractable issues by connecting them with the right researchers at USC and beyond and by managing research projects from start to finish.

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