Sen. Bill Frist launches initiative to boost health outcomes in Nashville

Leaders from Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, Bridgestone Americas and Bank of America, among other businesses and healthcare organizations, have banded together on the board of former Republican Sen. Bill Frist's, MD, wellness initiative, NashvilleHealth, according to The Tennessean.

Sen. Frist's one-year-old organization aims to minimize gaps in healthcare and improve the overall health of the city. The state of Tennessee has for years struggled to deal with poor health and chronic diseases among many of its residents, despite being home to many renowned healthcare organizations, according to the report.

"Nashville is a thriving, energetic city and we are in the midst of an economic boom — but the health of our own population is poor," said Sen. Frist in a statement. "Left unaddressed, our long-term economic and social vitality is in danger. In true Nashville fashion, we will pull together to solve the issue and create a sustaining culture of health, with an eye towards health equity and health disparities."

NashvilleHealth has primarily focused on hypertension, smoking cessation and child health because of the far-reaching effects improving these conditions can create.''

Sen. Frist, a heart and lung transplant surgeon, chairs the 17-person board, and Caroline Young, former president of the Nashville Health Care Council, serves as executive director, according to the report. The other board members include:

  • Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville)
  • Bill Carpenter, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health (Brentwood, Tenn.)
  • Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare (Nashville)
  • Gary Garfield, past chairman, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas (Nashville)
  • James Hildreth, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College (Nashville)
  • Milton Johnson, chairman and CEO of HCA (Nashville)
  • Rita Johnson-Mills, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (Nashville)
  • Ken Levitan, president and founder of Vector Management (Nashville)
  • Wanda Lyle, managing director, UBS Nashville Business Solutions Center
  • Bill Paul, MD, director, Metro Public Health Department
  • Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Karen Springer, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health, senior vice president of Ascension Health (Nashville)
  • John Stein, Tennessee president, Bank of America
  • Donato Tramuto, president and CEO, Healthways (Franklin, Tenn.)
  • Stephaine Hale Walker, MD, assistant professor of Neonatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Andrea Willis, MD, senior vice president and CMO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

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