Delta Air Lines has tapped a former Mayo Clinic executive to become the company’s first chief health officer.
Dr. Henry Ting will join the airline on Feb. 15 to aid in its efforts to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus and restore confidence about the safety of air travel, as the number of passengers currently flying is well below pre-pandemic numbers.
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Ting is known as a "medical leader with deep and broad experience" within patient care and medical research who has been serving as the enterprise chief value officer at the Mayo Clinic.
“In this new role, Henry will lead us in rethinking and reimagining our approach to health and well-being, utilizing new technologies, artificial intelligence, data strategies and innovative partnerships," Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees.
Delta said it has been prioritizing the health and safety of employees and customers since the start of the pandemic from mandatory masks and "rigorous" cleaning protocols. As part of Delta's efforts to mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus during travel, the airline partnered with Mayo Clinic in June.
Since then, the experts at the clinic have been advising the airline on employee testing as well as strategies for cleanliness and operational tactics to reduce transmission.
It's the airline's hope to be seen as a "model for how organizations promote physical and mental health,” Bastian said.