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George Shultz on the Straight Talk Express….

by KDunn

I missed the early session with former Secretary of State George Shultz. Got an invite, and thought it would be boring. So I didn’t go.

Bad move on my part. I caught him at the Presidential Health Care Agenda and for a street level HR pro like me, he stole the show. Fewer words, lots of straight talk, not much spin. Among the nuggets from Shultz was his account of talking to a doctor he knew, who commented that he was in reactive health care mode, and a significant percentage of the patients he treated didn’t have to be there if they would be accountable and do a couple of things to help themselves.

Shultz went on to give the example of a patient with high blood pressure doing a very simple wellness exercise - getting their blood pressure measured, then getting some generic medications to keep it under control and reduce the chances of a stroke.

It was a quick moment in the panel discussion, but it left me with the impression that Shultz is an advocate for wellness programs. Who isn’t? More importantly, it also left me wondering if Shultz would be an advocate for penalizing employees with poor health screening scores if they hadn’t done the basic wellness activities to lower their individual risk profiles.

I guess I’ll have to read his book to find out…