A former State Health Director remains in the healthcare industry, heading up a private effort to change the way in which healthcare is delivered. Julie Eckstein now leads an initiative known as the Missouri Project. It’s part of the Center for Health Transformation , an organization founded by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

This is a private sector effort to bring about change. Eckstein says national and international manufacturers have learned how to improve quality while keeping costs down, and she’d like to see the healthcare industry do likewise. Eckstein says it’s important for hospitals, healthcare professionals, insurers, and others in the healthcare industry to come together to identify the gaps that exist in our current delivery systems. Eckstein says her goal is to convene the coalition to address the issues, to come up with innovative solutions, and to implement the solutions that will save lives and dollars.

A key part of the process involves prevention, which includes behavioral change. Eckstein says without changing individuals’ poor health habits the delivery system will continue to be strained as it reacts to health needs with very costly care.

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