The Honorable William H. Frist, M.D.
Senator William Frist, M.D. is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and chairman of the Executive Board of the health service private equity firm Cressey & Company. He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities.
Senator Frist majored in health policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before graduating with honors from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Frist completed surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford. As the founder and director of the first of its kind Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center, he performed over 150 heart and lung transplants and authored over 100 peer-reviewed medical articles and seven books on topics such as bioterrorism, transplantation, and leadership. He is board certified in both general and heart surgery.
As a U.S. Senator from 1994 -2006, Dr. Frist served on both the Health (HELP) and the Finance Committees responsible for writing all health legislation. He was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. His leadership was instrumental in passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act to provide prescription drugs at lower costs and the historic legislation (PEPFAR) that has provided life-saving treatment to over 12 million people and reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide. He served six years with President Clinton and six years with President Bush. He also held seats on the Foreign Relations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Africa, the Commerce Committee, and the Banking Committee.
Dr. Frist leads annual medical mission trips to Africa and Haiti, and emergency response teams to disasters around the globe, including Sri Lanka after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Bangladesh, Sudan, New Orleans after Katrina, Haiti after the earthquake, and the horn of Africa. He is chairman of both the Hope Through Healing Hands foundation, which focuses on maternal and child health globally, and SCORE, a statewide collaborative education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a K12 education reform state.
His current board service includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Partnership for a Healthier America” campaign to fight childhood obesity, and the Nashville Health Care Council. He is a member of the advisory committees for global health at Duke, Harvard (with Dr. Paul Farmer), and the Massachusetts General Hospital. His previous board service includes Princeton University and the Smithsonian Institution.
In the private sector, he serves on two public NYSE company boards, Select Medical and AECOM, a global engineering and energy company. In addition he is a board member of Unitek (nursing and information technology), Aegis (lab), Aspire (palliative care), MDSave (health consumerism), Teladoc (telemedicine), Cognosante (information technology in health) and Accolade (patient navigation). Past board service includes Third National SunTrust Bank in Tennessee.
Currently Dr. Frist serves as an adjunct professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University and clinical professor of Surgery at Meharry Medical College. As a leading authority on healthcare, Senator Frist speaks nationally on health reform, government policy, global health, and volunteerism. Dr. Frist has three sons and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.