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Royal Caribbean creates new medical officer role to keep cruise ships safe from COVID-19

In:
28Jul2020
By: 
Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean Group has hired someone to oversee all health concerns and initiatives on its cruise ships, including keeping crew and guests safe from COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the parent company of Royal Caribbean International announced it has hired Dr. Calvin Johnson as the Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer.

This new role will tackle the needs of the global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice, and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organization.

In addition, Dr. Johnson will  collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel to ensure the company establishes and implements its protocols and recommendations. 

Dr. Johnson, most recently Principal at Altre Strategic Solutions Group, is the former Chief Medical Officer for Corizon Health, then the largest provider of correctional health care in the United States, and for Temple University Health System. He served as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003-2008 and was Medical Director for the New York City Department of Health from 1998-1999. He earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain commented in a statement on the hiring of Dr. Johnson, "Calvin's extensive experience in public health and clinical care will help us raise the bar on protecting the health of our guests, crew and the communities we serve. Calvin will also work closely with the newly announced Healthy Sail Panel to ensure we establish and implement leading health protocols and procedures."

Dr. Johnson has a strong background in protecting public health through service delivery innovation, policy development and analysis, and leadership training and development. He has successfully led significant response efforts during active infectious disease outbreaks and was responsible for ensuring all aspects of patient care while overseeing a clinical operation with 1,300 caregivers and more than 300,000 individuals.  

This is not the first time Royal Caribbean created a corporate role to address a sudden need to protect guests and crew.

Royal Caribbean created the role of Chief Meteorologist and hired James Van Fleet, following a high profile weather incident involving Anthem of the Seas.