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June 15, 2023 Feature

The Coalition For Trust In Health & Science

Dr. Reed Tuckson

Among the most frustrating consequences associated with the COVID pandemic, and among the most enduring priorities that will have significant long-term impact, are the increasingly concerning and related challenges of distrust and misinformation. The pandemic presented in stark detail the reality of the human health consequences of distrust and misinformation. Simply put, an unprecedented and unacceptable number of ourfellow countrymen and women diedas a result of these interrelated forces. Unfortunately, due to a variety of political, social, and communications technology trends, these forces will inevitably increase, with significant consequences for the health and vitality of our nation in the months and years to come.

Given the importance of these challenges, our nation’s collective health and science infrastructure has been compelled to launch a mission-based and ethically derived response. Sixty organizations representing the breadth of the entire health ecosystem, and related science-based stakeholders, have organized themselves under the Coalition for Trust in Health & Science for the purpose of actively and collaboratively addressing distrust and misinformation as they affect human health and survival. The Coalition engages and mobilizes the leading organizations from sectors that include basic, clinical, and health services research; bio-pharma; physicians, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and other health professionals; hospitals and other care institutions; home and hospice care; health insurers; ethicists; and patient and consumer health groups, among others.

As a condition for membership, each of these organizations signed a vision and pledge statement that obligates them to share our vision and our commitment to action with the public, our stakeholders, and each other; to support efforts to advance people’s scientific and health literacy; to earn public trust and improve health outcomes and health equity; and to work individually and collectively to correct misinformation and counter disinformation that threatens people’s health and well-being.

Our key areas of focus are:

  1. Compiling a searchable and dynamic online Compendium of Programs that will include all of the relevant initiatives being conducted or sponsored by the membership for the purpose of creating a learning laboratory that continually identifies best practices; facilitates collaboration, cost-effective coordination opportunities, and scaling of effective programs; and provides for regular online briefings for the membership on new and/or promising developments in the field.
  2. Identification, curation, dissemination, and amplification of new knowledge from disciplines outside of traditional science and medicine that show great promise in addressing the challenges of misinformation and distrust in other aspects of society and that have relevance to our work.
  3. Maximizing the communications asset represented by our large and diverse membership. We are focusing on enhancing the skill sets necessary to engage with the public, especially with those who see things differently than we might; developing the capacity to support the rapid response to egregious episodes of disinformation that threaten the health of the public; and providing a public-facing website that provides guidance to the public on how to evaluate and access trustworthy health guidance.

Our Coalition recognizes the magnitude of what is at stake for our work. We are eager to work with others outside of traditional health and related science disciplines to advance our efforts on behalf of the best interests of the American people. It matters to us whether the people who share our time and space shall live or prematurely die. We look forward to contributing to the realization of optimal health for all!

For more information, visit us at, or email [email protected].

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Dr. Reed Tuckson

Cofounder ofthe Coalition for Trust in Health & Science

Reed Tuckson, MD, a cofounder ofthe Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, is a physician trained in internal medicine who also served as the Commissioner of Public Health for Washington, D.C., and as the president of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. He is a former senior vice president for Professional Standards of the American Medical Association and served a long tenureas the executive vice presidentand chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group.