Senator Bill Frist
Doctor and Senator Bill Frist is both a nationally recognized heart and lung transplant surgeon and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Currently Professor of Business and Medicine at Vanderbilt University, he is uniquely qualified to discuss the challenges and solutions in health care policy. Senator Frist is consistently recognized among the most influential leaders in American healthcare and is one of only two individuals to rank in the top ten of each of the five inaugural Modern Healthcare Magazine annual surveys of the most powerful people in healthcare in the United States.
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 and completing surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford. As the founder and Director of the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center, he has performed over 150 heart and lung
transplants and authored over 100 peer-reviewed medical articles, over 400 newspaper articles and seven books on topics such as bioterrorism and transplantation. 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 committees responsible for writing health legislation (Health and Finance) and was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. Senator Frist’s latest book A Heart to Serve: The Passion to Bring Health, Home, and Healing will be published on October 5. In it he discusses his life-saving emergency surgery on General David Petraeus as well as his unique health care experiences, including working almost a year for the socialized British National Health Service.
Today he is focused on domestic health reform, the basic science of heart transplantation, global health policy, economic development in low-income countries, health care disparities, medical mission work in Sudan, genocide in Darfur, the health of the mountain gorilla, and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Frist annually leads medical mission trips to Africa. Frist is chair of Save the Children’s “Survive to Five Campaign.” His current board service includes the Kaiser Family Foundation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Africare, the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Committee on Conscience, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows, the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and Hope Through Healing Hands.
Frist was the 2007-2008 Frederick H. Schultz Professor of International Economic Policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is married and has three sons.