Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare

The Center deploys McKinsey’s global capabilities and resources to historically under-resourced areas of healthcare that are critical to the benefit of society. We are committed to sharing resources, innovations, data, and findings in the public domain so others can replicate what proves effective.

The Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare was established to build on the long-standing mission of McKinsey’s Public & Social Sector and Healthcare Systems & Services Practices to improve healthcare. The Center's work is funded solely by McKinsey; it is not commissioned by any business, government, or other institution. The Center brings a range of capabilities and resources to bear, including McKinsey’s healthcare expertise, advanced analytics, functional knowledge, technology assets, network, and investment capacity.

The Center aspires to collaborate with other organizations to drive positive innovation to improve overall health and well-being and reduce healthcare disparities. We aim to accomplish this objective through four strategies: Conducting and sharing research; developing analytic tools for public use; partnering with organizations to develop novel solutions to long-standing problems; and convening and supporting multi-stakeholder collaborations.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center is also working with a range of stakeholders to address the near- and long-term effects of the disease on vulnerable populations, including, but not limited to, racial and ethnic minorities, essential service workers, children, and older adults.


Mental Health and Substance Use

Mental health encompasses a person’s emotional, psychological, and social state that ranges from wellness to illness. Substance use also falls along a continuum, with substance use disorders occurring when the habitual use of alcohol or drugs causes health problems and can also reduce an individual’s ability to live as they otherwise would. Before COVID-19, almost 1 billion people worldwide had a mental or substance use disorder (collectively referred to as behavioral health conditions), including one in four adults in the United States.

Social Determinants of Health

Health is affected by a range of circumstances—social, economic, environmental, and structural. Globally, it is estimated that approximately 40 percent of health outcomes can be attributed to underlying factors such as income, employment, education, food, housing, transportation, social support, and safety. Most commonly referred to as social determinants of health (SDoH)—also referenced as social needs, health-related basic needs, or drivers of health—these can have positive or negative effects on health and health equity.

Rural Health

One in six Americans—46 million people—live in rural areas. There is a significant gap in health between rural and urban Americans, with rural Americans more likely to die from conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. In addition, access to care has been worsening, as exemplified by the closure of over 100 rural hospitals across the country over the last decade. Urban areas also have nine times the amount of specialists per 100,000 people that rural areas have.

Maternal Health

The health of women in the time leading up to and following childbirth is referred to as maternal health. Over the past two decades, maternal mortality rates in the United States have increased by 50 to 70 percent, and rates of severe maternal morbidity have more than doubled. Despite spending more than any other country on hospital-based maternity care, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries.


Featured videos


Unlocking whole person care

Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare coleads Erica Hutchins Coe and Kana Enomoto discuss the systemic challenges facing behavioral healthcare, key actions to address these challenges, and the societal benefit that stakeholders can achieve by implementing these actions, including a reduction of $185 billion in annual US healthcare spending.

The future of behavioral health

Three vignettes illustrate how behavioral healthcare is experienced today, and what it may look like in the future when evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery supports are used to address whole person care.

Featured Podcasts


Rethinking health priorities: A conversation with Vivek Murthy

– The former US surgeon general discusses COVID-19 and a path forward for a healthier, stronger, and more resilient society.

Sustainably improving workplace mental health

Featured insights


COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning

– US states and districts have the opportunity to not only help students catch up on unfinished learning from the pandemic but also... tackle long-standing historical inequities in education.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Overcoming stigma: Three strategies toward better mental health in the workplace

– Employees are worried about their mental health as they return to the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic. Stigma can exacerbate... their concerns, but employers can thwart its impact.

Returning to work: Keys to a psychologically safer workplace

– Employers can potentially reduce stress and anxiety for their workers by considering mental health as part of a holistic on-site... return plan.

Using digital tech to support employees’ mental health and resilience

– Poor mental health takes a heavy toll on individuals and businesses. New digital solutions can help employers provide personalized... support and make well-being a strategic focus for their organization.


Public & Social Sector

We work with social sector and government organizations to improve the lives of citizens worldwide by... helping solve the most pressing economic and social challenges.

Healthcare Systems & Services

Discover how our team of consultants works with healthcare leaders to deliver better care, increase quality of life, and improve... global outcomes.

Social Responsibility

We make our people, expertise, and tools available and work with others to take significant and lasting action on social issues.

Connect with the Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare