Person-Centeredness Enhances Public Health Approaches to Combat COVID-19


The first fundamental canon of the Code of Ethics published by the National Society of Professional Engineers of the United States is, “Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public” (emphasis added) (NSPE 2019). In contrast, the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Ethics holds that the first principle of nursing practice is to “prioritise people” by putting their interests first, by making their care and safety the main concern of the nurse and by ensuring that the person’s dignity is preserved, they are treated with respect and their rights are upheld (NMC 2015). As the community of health-care professionals—including nurses and engineers—address the ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and prepares for the inevitability of future global pandemics and disasters, the purpose of this editorial is to propose that environmental engineers should “build back better” (BBB) (United Nations 2015) by enhancing public health research, education, practice, and policy by promoting the benefits of person-centered practice, which keeps the person in the center of decision-making.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0733-9372; 1943-7870

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2021 The Authors, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2021