Senator William H. Frist, MD

William H. 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.

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 under transplant pioneer Dr. Norm Shumway. 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, service and leadership. He is board certified in both general and heart surgery.

Dr. Frist represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years where he served on both the Health and Finance committees responsible for writing 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 to seniors and the historic legislation (PEPFAR) that reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Dr. Frist leads annual medical mission trips to Africa and Haiti, and emergency response teams to disasters around the globe, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sudan, New Orleans, Haiti, and the horn of Africa. Frist is chairman of both the Hope Through Healing Hands foundation which focuses on maternal and child health and SCORE, a collaborative K12 education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a 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 the boards of Theranos (lab), Unitek (nursing and information technology), Aegis (lab), Aspire (palliative care), MDSave (consumerism), URS (engineering), Select Medical (hospitals), and Accolade (patient navigation).

Currently 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.

Authorship and News Mentions

Go to top