(12:42 p.m. EDT) -- In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Caribbean Group has named its first global public health officer to oversee and carry out new policies and recommendations.
Calvin Johnson, whose official title will be Global Head, Public Health and Chief Medical Officer, will lead the cruise company's global health and wellness policy, manage its public health and clinical practice, and determine the strategic plans and operations of its global healthcare organization.
Johnson will also work with the Healthy Sail Panel that the Royal Caribbean Group has put together with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to ensure the company establishes and implements its protocols and recommendations.
"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," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group.
The cruise company notes that Johnson has a strong background in public health as well as policy development and analysis. The former state secretary of health for the state of Pennsylvania, as well as medical director for the New York City Department of Health, Johnson 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.
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"Royal Caribbean Group is committed to going beyond requirements to truly innovative solutions," Johnson said. "I am excited to join the industry leader, who is clearly establishing the way forward in managing public health initiatives and protecting health and safety. The Healthy Sail Panel is doing critical work to help us develop enhanced standards, and achieve readiness for the return to service, and I am looking forward to being involved in that work."
Johnson was most recently Principal at Altre Strategic Solutions Group, and 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 earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Morehouse College.
Royal Caribbean's move echoes what the company did in 2017, when the corporation hired a chief meterologist to be the Hurricane Season face and overall weather coordinator for the company's brands. James Van Fleet was brought onboard after hurricane-force winds caused unexpected issues on Anthem of the Seas in 2016.