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Now Hear This People, Trends and Ideas

Hospitals go green, Boomers offer financial therapy, and sends e-mail via postal service

Going for Green

Among hospitals winning kudos for being ecologically friendly is Austin’s Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, the first hospital to snag top grades from the U.S. Green Building Council, for a design that improves air quality, expands use of natural sunlight and reduces pollutants. “Hospitals have made great progress with energy conservation but can and will do more,” says Matt Fenwick of the American Hospital Association.

Financial Therapy

A financial services company faced with listening to older clients rant about lost savings came up with a unique solution—using boomer temps as telephone customer service reps. “With age comes more experience, better decision making and faster results,” says Stephanie Klein, president and founder of the Boomer Group, a Denver employment agency specializing in vetting boomers for jobs. Klein’s venture is getting results. The financial services firm is happy to pay a premium for boomers’ patience and work ethic.

Mail Twist is rewriting the hare and tortoise tale. It combines e-mail and snail mail to deliver correspondence and photos to people who shun computers. For $9.95 a month, the Glendale, Calif., company provides “computer-free” e-mail to technophobes, transforming digital messages and photos into a newsletter that is delivered to a mailbox. It works for Heather Bellanca, 56, of Salem, N.Y., whose 90-year-old father lives in Vermont and loves photos: “It fills the gap between phone calls and visits.”

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