Public/Private Partnerships

When former First Lady Michelle Obama announced her intention to focus on reducing childhood obesity, a group of national foundations came together to create a new nonprofit, Partnership for a Healthier America to help Mrs. Obama.  PHA’s mission was to work with the private sector to improve products and services to make the healthier choice, the easier choice. They recruited Larry Soler, Chief Operating Officer at JDRF, to lead the fledgling organization.

While at JDRF, Soler had developed complex private sector partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson, BD, and Amylin. With PHA, he set out to use those bridge-building skills to engage companies to partner with PHA to demonstrate what’s healthy for consumers is also healthy for the bottom line.  Soler understood that the partnerships had to be more than window dressing or nice sounding words in press releases.  Accordingly, he developed a model where every agreement had to have real, concrete, and measurable metrics, and a genuine impact on health outcomes.

The effort has been an enormous success. During nearly seven years as PHA’s CEO, Soler negotiated or oversaw the development of over 250 partnership agreements with brands including Walmart, Nike, Mercedes, US Olympic Committee, Hyatt Hotels and many more.  These partnerships have led to the reduction of trillions of calories in consumer diets, catalyzed the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into physical activity opportunities, and set a new standard for health and wellness policies among sectors from early childhood education providers to college campuses.  Today, PHA is widely seen in the business community as a model for non-adversarial, public-private partnerships to create a healthier America.


Contact Us to Learn More About Turning Your Passion Into Impact