October 14, 2008

Senator Bill Frist to teach MBA & medical students at Vanderbilt

Former United States Senate Majority Leader and transplant surgeon Bill Frist, M.D., is returning to Vanderbilt to lead a first-of-its-kind academic experience at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management.

Former United States Senate Majority Leader and transplant surgeon Bill Frist, M.D., is returning to Vanderbilt to lead a first-of-its-kind academic experience at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. Frist has created a unique class which will combine business students with fourth year medical students to examine the financing, delivery and quality of health care. Frist said connecting students from these two disciplines will help them get a stronger understanding of the complexity of all aspects of health care reform.

“Current and future challenges in cost, access and quality of health care demand a synergy between the business and medical sides of the industry,” said Frist. “I am excited to use my medical, business and policy expertise to ignite and challenge this unique group of future health care leaders.”

Frist said a goal of the class is to inspire the students to work with each other to create innovative ways to improve the public and private sectors of the health care system.

“By sharing the knowledge and expertise Senator Frist has gathered through 20 years as a practicing physician coupled with 12 years of public policy experience at the highest legislative levels, he will be able to challenge these young people to think beyond their comfort zones and hopefully make a real difference in the quality and delivery of health care,” said Owen dean Jim Bradford.

Before being elected to the United States Senate in 1994, Frist spent almost a decade as a transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also founded and directed the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. He performed more than 150 heart and lung transplant procedures during that time, including the first lung transplant and first pediatric heart transplant in Tennessee and the first successful combined heart-lung transplant in the South.

Frist, one of only two physicians elected to the U.S. Senate since 1928, retired from the Senate in 2007. He is currently is a partner and chairman of the executive board of Cressey & Company LP, the largest middle-market private equity firm in Tennessee uniquely focused on health care services. He also leads yearly medical mission trips to Africa.

Frist said this class will launch a multi-year commitment to teaching health care policy and reform to Vanderbilt students on both the university and medical side. His class is set to begin next semester.

Another business leader returning to Owen is David Owens. Owens returns to Vanderbilt as a clinical professor of management, teaching leadership and innovation. Most recently Owens was Chief Executive Officer of Nashville-based Griffin Technology, the largest developer of accessories for iPods, iPhones and portable MP3 players. Before working at Griffin, he taught for more than a decade at Owen. Along with teaching in the MBA program and serving as a faculty director for the Executive Development Institute at Vanderbilt, Owens will serve as assistant to the Provost for Strategy and Innovation at Vanderbilt University, where he works to develop a holistic and innovative approach to the University’s strategic planning.

Clinical professor of management Jim Schorr comes to Owen as one of the nation’s leading experts on social enterprise and entrepreneurship and will teach classes on ethics, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. In 1993, he co-founded Net Impact, an international non-profit dedicated to creating a network of MBAs and professionals committed to using the power of business to make a positive social, environmental and economic impact. The organization now has more than 25,000 alumni and members, with chapters at every major business school in the United States, including Vanderbilt, and on five continents. Along with teaching at Owen, Schorr is planning to develop a new academic center at Vanderbilt focused on the role of business in society.

Associate professor of management, Rangaraj “Ranga” Ramanujam is a leading researcher and consultant on the organizational causes and consequences of errors in high-risk work settings. Prior to joining Owen, Ramanujam served as assistant professor of management at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management.

The Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes.

For more news about Owen, visit www.owen.vanderbilt.edu

Media Contact: Amy Wolf, (615) 322-NEWS