“We are living in grim times, there’s no getting around it.”

Neal Stephenson

That quote just jumped off the page and stung me. It’s from an interview that writer Neal Stephenson gave to the Wall Street Journal earlier this year where he discussed a wide range of topics, including his dystopian fiction that seems eerily reflected in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s a great interview, and his books have foreshadowed many of society’s recent developments, from e-books to digital currencies to the erosion of facts on social media. It’s nearly enough to make one look for a burrow in the ground to hide in for a while Ð kind of how a lot of people feel now as we head into the latter half of 2020 still fighting the headwinds of COVID-19.

It would be easy to let the grim overwhelm us. Challenges often bring out our best, and I can think of no better example than this month’s cover story featuring Walker Forge. Facing the grim reality of constantly escalating costs for employee health care, the team at Walker Forge decided to take on the status quo and disrupt the model.

As you will read in the story starting on page 12, employee health care is the fourth largest expense the company deals with and it needed to bring it under control to ensure the company’s future. Like many in the NOVO Health community, it began with a move to a self-funded insurance plan, then a pharmacy program, then the NOVO Health Bundled Payment Program for Health Care Services and, now, a plan to take on primary care by working with other employers to build their own near-site clinic.

Many in that group share the connection of being part of the NOVO Health Bundled Payment Program for Health Care Services. While not involved in the initial development, NOVO Health has since provided consulting and expertise in several key areas from clinic development to staffing to building design. That multi-disciplinary assistance reflects NOVO Health”s growth and the broader community we can bring to assist employers, providers and employees.

That broader scope was announced in 2019 and is showcased in two of the developments in this issue’s New @ NOVO Health announcements found on page 10 – 11: A partnership with Epic for electronic health records and the revamped NOVO Health website that began rolling out in July.

The times may be grim, but they are also fleeting. These bright spots are a better indicator of the times ahead. Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe!

Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson

Editor/Publisher NOVO Live, Public Relations Manager, NOVO Health, (920) 851-1170, sean.johnson@novohealth.com

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