How to Prepare for Workforce Continuity and Business Operations in the Upcoming Flu Season: It’s Nothing to Sneeze At!


Richard C. Larson, PhD

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Richard C. Larson, PhD, Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems, MIT; Founding Director, MIT Center for Engineering System Fundamentals

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2015

Download the presentation slides

A Home Tookit for Primary Prevention of Influenza by Individuals and Families (pdf)
Engineering Effective Responses to Influenza Outbreaks (pdf)

About the Presentation

It’s not too early to plan now for the next flu season: Research shows that your organization’s workforce could suffer a decrease of 20 percent to 30 percent. If you run a lean shop, that’s a lot of lost capacity!

In this webinar, MIT Professor Richard C. Larson will highlight results of a six-year research project he codirected in collaboration with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He will discuss:

  • how to educate your staff on behavioral changes that they and their family members can make to reduce the chances of getting sick;
  • ways to alter business processes to reduce infection pathways; and
  • why it is imperative to start planning now.

A Q&A will follow the presentation.

Be proactive! Join us­­ and learn how to keep your employees and your business healthy.

About the Speaker

Richard C. Larson, PhD, is the Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems and founding director of the Center for Engineering System Fundamentals at MIT. He focuses his research and practice on operations in the services industries, primarily technology-enabled education, health, disaster preparedness, urban service systems, queuing, logistics, and workforce planning. He is past president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and an INFORMS Founding Fellow, as well as a recipient of INFORMS’ President’s Award, Lanchester Prize, and Kimball Medal. He has served and continues to serve on a variety of panels and committees of the NAE and Institute of Medicine.

Larson’s current MIT research includes modeling and broader analysis of infectious diseases, especially pandemic influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and Ebola. The CDC, IBM, and the Sloan Foundation have supported this work. The published research results include a Best-Paper-of-the-Year award (Value in Health) and AMA recognition as content valuable for physicians who received professional PRA Category 1 Credits for taking and passing an online quiz relating to one of our papers (“Home Flu Kit”).

About the Series

The MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series, sponsored by the System Design & Management (SDM) program, features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges.