October 31, 2008

Frist to lead Owen School course on business aspects of health care

Frist to lead Owen School course on business aspects of health care

Former U.S. 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 class that 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.

Before being elected to the United States Senate in 1994, Frist spent almost a decade as a transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt Medical Center, where he founded and directed the Vanderbilt Transplant Center.

He performed more than 150 heart and lung transplant procedures during that time, including the first lung and pediatric heart transplants in Tennessee and the first successful combined heart-lung transplant in the South.

Frist 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 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.