Innovative Ways to Save Money in Government.

I’m a big fan of using technology to reduce the cost of government while improving the services provided. A recent article by Tami Luhby about the town of Maywood in California outsourcing all of their services to contract workers reminded me of this topic. It seems, in my humble opinion, that there are thousands of townships, etc. which began in farming communities – but since have become suburban areas – and yet maintain their independent governance. This results in a significant redundancy of administrative manpower. I’ll suggest the controversial idea that we should work on merging some of these townships and streamlining administration to save on costs.

Wellness Coaches.

Dana Blankenhorn writes a great column for ZDNet covering Healthcare – especially its relationship to technology. He recently made a great post about the opportunity for jobs to be created by the position of wellness coaches. I like the idea of wellness coaches and would like to highlight just a few select quotes from Blankenhorn’s article that explain some of the benefits of wellness coaches – while also encouraging you to read the article in its entirety (and add Blankenhorn’s feed to your RSS reader).

  • It can take a decade to become a doctor. It can take a half-decade to learn nursing. But wellness coaches can be trained quickly, and provide value.”
  • Wellness coaching is also the key to closing the primary care gap that health reform is about to unleash. There just aren’t enough doctors out there for all of us to have a personal relationship with one. But coaches, working for doctors, whether under the aegis of a hospital, a clinic, or an insurance plan, that’s another story.”
  • What we have lacked in America’s health system is lifelong communication.”

From these quotes you can see that (a) competent wellness coaches can be made in a relatively short period of time, (b) wellness coaches should be paired with *real* doctors but can help reduce the burden on primary care physicians, and (c) they provide for the lifelong and real communication that is missing from current healthcare.

Interesting Contemporaries.

Paul Volcker, former head of the Federal Reserve
Image via Wikipedia

The Huffington Post has an article with brief snippets on ten people who have been voted by its membership the game changers for 2010. This comes from an original pool of one hundred individuals. I found the following particularly interesting: Paul Volcker, Geoffrey Canada, Elizabeth Warren, Barbara Kowalcyk, Matt Taibbi, Jeff Skoll, and Joe Bozich, of course Steve Jobs is on the list and would have made mine except everyone knows about Jobs.

Among those who were in the original hundred but didn’t make it to the top ten that I find particularly interesting are Cory Booker, Maria Cantwell, Jared Cohen and Alec Ross, Tyler Perry, Ory Okolloh, Vivek Kundra, Daphne Koller, Ben Berkowitz, Mo Ibrahim, Matt Fellowes, Michael Nischan, Myron Rolle, Michelle Rhee, Anya Kamenetz, Edward BurgerBeverly Daniel Tatum, David Cho, Christiane Amanpour, Paul Steiger, Sean Penn, Jorge Munoz, Charles Adler, Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, Seth Reams and Michelle King.