The havoc wrought by the coronavirus pandemic has convinced Delta Air Lines that it needs a new, fulltime position to oversee the medical aspect of flight.

To that end, the Atlanta-based carrier has named Dr. Henry Ting as its first hire to the newly created position of Chief Health Officer .

Ting joins Delta from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex medical care, where he currently serves as the enterprise Chief Value Officer. Delta has already partnered with the Mayo Clinic regarding health and safety measures surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, with the clinic’s experts advising the airline on employee testing, strategies for cleanliness and operational tactics to reduce the transmission of the virus.

“Caring for our people is a core responsibility that flows from our values,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees Monday. “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.”

The Mayo Clinic is located in Rochester, Minn., less than 90 minutes from Delta’s hub in Minneapolis. It is not known if Ting, who begins his new duties on Feb. 15, will remain in Minnesota or relocate to Delta’s headquarters in Atlanta.

Delta has been proactive in its health and safety measures for employees and customers. The airline has been among the earliest to adopt industry policies that include mask requirements for all passengers, blocking of middle seats through March and rigorous cleaning and safety protocols on the ground and in the air.

“We know we can continue to improve and establish Delta as a model for how organizations promote physical and mental health,” Bastian said.

Ting received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell University, Doctorate of Medicine from Harvard Medical School and master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas.

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