From the Editor September

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 :: Editor
Margaret LeBrun
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Margaret LeBrun

I met this month’s cover subject, subject, Dr. John toussaint, for the first time when he cooked Chicken Kabuli for me.  It’s an Indian curry dish with garlic, ginger, tomatoes, yogurt and 10 different spices and it was delicious. he impressed me with his tray containing seven stainless steel cups filled with his favorite spices.

“It takes a little bit of work to get the curry right,” I quoted him in a feature article. “It’s going through the multiple recipes until you get the one you like.”

You might say the American health care system has been going through similar trials, but will continue to simmer until we refine our recipe for affordable, quality care, one that is palatable to most people and businesses.

As chief executive officer of the ThedaCare Center for healthcare Value and CEO emeritus of ThedaCare, Toussaint has spent the last several years studying what it will take to improve the way we serve and consume health care. What he found as he began delving into the issue was outrageous, nonsensical, humbling. After several years of research, he published his“prescription” in a book he co-authored: On the Mend – Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry.

So in demand are Toussaint’s ideas that he has been on the lecture circuit lately, and entertaining visitors from around the world who travel here to hear him’s what he says we need to do to improve our health care system: Focus on patients and design care around them. Identify value for the patient and get rid of everything else. Minimize time to treatment and through its course.

In short, it’s all about employing Toyota lean principles – manufacturing ideas that reduce waste and lead to efficiencies – in health care. Insight news Editor MaryBeth Matzek points out in our cover article that many of the good ideas coming out of ThedaCare, Affinity, Bellin health and other health systems in the new north are being replicated nationwide. her story includes a sidebar on what to expect from the Affordable Care Act and the health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which kick in gradually between now and 2018.

Toussaint is pretty passionate about his findings, almost as passionate as he is playing the jazz trumpet. If you’ve ever seen him play with the geriatric Jazz Band, you know what I mean.

If you find the word “geriatric” pathetically goofy for the name of a band that includes a spry guy like the doctor, you’ll find the sport of another bunch of 50-somethings in this month’s Downtime feature positively outlandish.

Barefoot skiing is their game, and these guys are absolutely crazy about what they do (crazy for doing it, too!). I best not steal the thunder from Associate Editor Rick Berg’s story on page 60. Check out his video in the digital version of Insight if you really want a good laugh.

If what you’re looking for is a bit of serious insight on one of the more pressing issues facing business today, you’ll want to read “Uneasy money” by sean Johnson on page 41. northeast Wisconsin businesspeople and bankers share their views into the chicken-egg question of why the credit market is still tight. And while credit may be hard to come by, “Uncovering the cash,” on page 44, describes how redevelopment grants are helping to spur some of the area’s most promising economic development projects.

Development is something we at Insight know many of our business readers care quite a lot about. I encourage you to learn more about the commercial real estate informational and networking events we’re involved in coordinating, called   InDevelopment. The next event will be in October in neenah.
Check it out on the LinkedIn groups page and watch for
more information at

Margaret LeBrun

About Margaret LeBrun

Co-Publisher, Executive Editor View all posts by Margaret LeBrun →