What They’re Watching: Marjorie Petty

Marjorie Petty, former director of the Department of Health and Human Services, joins us in this edition of What They’re Watching to discuss seizing local opportunity.

There’s been a lot of talk about work force challenges, not just in the rural area, but in underserved areas and in highly serviced areas that had high costs, so it’s an opportunity, I think, to look at how the work force can be transformed and I think a perfect example of that is the potential in Texas. We need to take the opportunity to redesign the system at a community level.

Now I’ve seen that being done and thought through with the collaboration of a lot of groups in one particular community, but there’s the opportunity to use that as an outline, then to tweak it, let each locale use it. They can claim it as their local control because it’s been refined with their own individual data, but at the same time can be sold, if you will, as a statewide blueprint and opportunity. So I just think there are endless opportunities and I guess my plea to a lot of the folks that have all this capacity and talent at a local or state level: Don’t sit by and wait. Begin to strategize and unify and deliver a product and say, “How about this for an idea? We think this would work for us to improve our economy, to improve our jobs, to improve our health outcomes and raise the level of the entire community.”