Articles

  • Cutting Sugar for Better Health

    by Bill Frist

    On a trip this month to the U.K., I noticed many of their food and beverage products labeled “No Added Sugar,” and the message floods the airwaves. Britain has already caught on to the evils of hidden sugars, and has been loudly making it known to consumers. America should follow suit. Reducing sugar intake isn’t…

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  • Tennessee Quit Week a first step to healthier Nashville (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Of the thousands of heart and lung operations I have performed, the most common cause of the underlying disease in these patients was a single voluntary behavior: smoking. That tragedy is what Tennessee Quit Week (Feb. 22-28) is all about. Smoking absolutely leads to a shorter, poorer-quality life. It more than doubles a person’s…

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  • Flint’s Water Crisis and Public Health 3.0

    by Bill Frist

    When looking at the ongoing crisis over safe drinking water in Flint one thing is abundantly clear, the decisions made–at multiple levels–were made without a comprehensive evaluation of the impact on public health. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and I take a look at the public health approaches…

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  • Health Diplomacy in Latin America

    by Bill Frist

    Strategic Health Diplomacy (SHD) recognizes that targeted global health initiatives can be an important foreign policy tool for the United States.  Healthier populations are productive, safe, and less vulnerable to instability. By addressing global health in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the United States can save lives and improve its national strategic interests. Read…

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  • A Cancer Moonshot With A Clear Plan

    by Bill Frist

    The Obama administration announced on Monday that it hopes to spend a total of a $1 billion to fund a cancer “moonshot” in search of cures. That amount is likely not sufficient, but it can establish the framework by which the goal can eventually be met.  It is critical that under this rallying cry we…

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  • Congressional Challenges for 2016

    by Bill Frist

    2015 was Congress’s year. For the first time since 2011, both chambers of Congress were led by the same party. Leaders of both the House and Senate worked together on legislation instead of against each other. It was an about face. Unfortunately, election years are notoriously less-productive. But with bipartisan commitment, we can continue to reap the benefits of…

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  • What’s Needed to Remain Competitive in Medical Innovation

    by Bill Frist

    Less than a week ago, Congress voted to increase the NIH budget by $2 billion. That’s a lot of money, but it only just reverses the erosion of federal funding for critical biomedical research. This funding increase is much-needed. But there’s more than can be done on Capitol Hill to re-prioritize lifesaving biomedical research. Read more at…

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  • Season’s Greetings

    by Bill Frist

    Merry Christmas all! Tracy and I hope this holiday season brings peace and joy and 2015 was a rewarding year. It’s been a fall of new beginnings for us in many ways. After three sons, and two grandsons, our family welcomed our first granddaughter, Amelia Fearn Frist, just over a month ago. We launched a…

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  • The Childhood Experiences That Can Cut 20 Years Off Your Life

    by Bill Frist

    I recently heard a startling statistic. According to a CDC study, children who endure six or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) by the age of 18—incidents of abuse or neglect that make a child feel unsafe or unwanted in their home—live on average 20 years less than their peers who are not exposed to these…

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  • Approve Limited-Population Antibacterial Drug Pathway (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | A recent study about antibiotic resistance hit close to home for me. It projected that drug-resistant bacteria are developing at a pace that could soon threaten the lives of thousands more surgery patients each year. This study also revealed that as many as half of infections after surgery are already being caused by pathogens…

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  • The Numbers are In: The Case for NashvilleHealth

    by Bill Frist

    I like to keep an eye on my hometown’s statistics. I love seeing Nashville listed among the nation’s best cities to launch a startup, raise a family and visit for a weekend away. According to some estimates, we gain 80 new Nashvillians each day, transplants from all over, drawn to our welcoming atmosphere and our…

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  • Our Opportunity Where Health and National Security Converge (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | This week, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and I released a report recommending a policy of strategic health diplomacy, inspired and informed by the success of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).  The report’s publication was announced at a conference in Washington, DC, where many of the architects of PEPFAR came together to advocate…

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  • Retreating From Global Leadership Puts America at Risk

    by Bill Frist

    The 2016 presidential campaign is well under way, and the candidates are already jousting over who is best suited to respond to an increasing number of obstacles abroad, ranging from the refugees crisis in Europe and the Middle East, to the threat of ISIS, to Russian aggression under President Vladimir Putin. As Democrats and Republicans,…

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  • What PEPFAR’s Numbers Mean for National Security

    by Bill Frist

    As of last year, PEPFAR supported anti-retroviral treatment for 7.7 million people, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and an astounding 95 percent of at-risk babies were born HIV-free. In 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the one-millionth baby had been born HIV-free because of PEPFAR-supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission. No nation in history has been…

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  • The Superbug Fight at your Grocery Store

    by Bill Frist

    You may have heard statistics about the over-use of prescription drugs, with reports indicating that up to half of all antibiotics prescribed today are used improperly. It’s a huge problem contributing to the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. What you may not have heard, however, is that the majority of drugs used in the U.S. aren’t even taken…

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  • In Memory of Fred Thompson

    by Bill Frist

    Today Tennessee lost a talented and admired statesman and many of us lost a beloved friend. Working at his side in the Senate for 8 years, Fred embodied what has always been the best of Tennessee politics—he listened carefully and was happy to work across the aisle for causes that he believed were right. My…

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  • Congratulations to the 2015 SCORE Prize Winners

    by Bill Frist

    All year long the State Collaborative on Reforming Education—SCORE—works with and for students, parents, and teachers in Tennessee and each October we have the privilege of dedicating an evening to recognizing the amazing progress they have made. I love that our annual SCORE Prize awards ceremony doesn’t just bring together administrators and policy makers in…

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  • Making Health Convenient

    by Bill Frist

    I believe one of the secrets of achieving good population health is to make the healthy choice the easy choice, and I’m so pleased to learn of businesses in Tennessee who are working to make that a reality. Tri-Star Services’ Twice Daily convenience stores are making a strong committment to offering  healthy food and drink…

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  • In Search of the Family Doctor

    by Bill Frist

    Over the course of three visits to Cuba in the past year I have learned much about this nation, its people, its art, and its healthcare system.  We’ve toured polyclinics, hospitals, and medical schools. I’ve met with professors and medical students.  We’ve gotten the government’s healthcare statistics and double checked those with providers on the…

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  • Doing the Hard Work for a VA Transformation

    by Bill Frist

    It was over a year ago that the public learned of unacceptably long wait times and false record keeping at the Department of Veterans Affairs, resulting in shoddy care for our service men and women. Since then, instead of progress, we have been met with ongoing reports of delayed care, wasteful spending, and poor management. Last February…

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  • Consumer Still Feeling The Pinch: The Next Big Health Care Debate (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | News headlines have touted a moderation in the rise of health care costs since the economic slowdown and passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But as I have traveled the country and met with health care professionals and consumers, those receiving the care have not felt any reduction in cost. In fact, many…

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  • The Future for The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    by Bill Frist

    Research matters. An agency that I fought to save many years ago is at risk again, and Congress must make a move to save it. I had just been sworn into the U.S. Senate in 1995, when I first found out that the The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) – then known as the…

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  • Call for a Conversation: Alzheimer’s in Tonight’s Debate

    by Bill Frist

    Tonight, when Republican candidates, vying for the White House, debate one another at the presidential library and final resting place of President Ronald Reagan, they should honor his memory and address the illness that claimed his life and the lives of 700,000 Americans annually: Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in our nation. Reagan…

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  • Nashville’s Role in the Healthcare Landscape

    by Bill Frist

    I love Nashville and I’m so proud of the work being done  here. Healthcare is the heart of this town and the solutions being developed here are helping patients all over the world. I’m particularly proud of the Nashville Healthcare Council’s Fellows program, and was thrilled to introduce it to a broader audience. I am…

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  • The Virus Wars: Vaccines that Work and Why We Aren’t Using Them

    by Bill Frist

    Researchers around the world are scrambling to find an Ebola virus vaccine. Rightfully so. The virus infected nearly 28,000 people and killed over 10,000 in Africa since last year’s outbreak began. But there are other viruses with even more staggering numbers: HPV–human papillomavirus–killed 230,000 women last year. 170,000 more were diagnosed with cancer, but survived. And…

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  • Hector Frank and a New Opportunity for Cultural Unity

    by Bill Frist

    Last October, Tracy and I visited Cuba and got an up close view of the country, the people, and their challenges. I’ve written about my impressions of their healthcare structure–in many ways woefully lacking, but with some surprising lessons for us in America. What I didn’t write quite as much about was the art. We found…

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  • Making Dementia Friendly Communities The New Normal (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Alzheimer’s may be one of the most frightening health challenges today. Over five million Americans—one in eight age 65 and older and one in three age 85 and older—are living with dementia and we don’t yet have a treatment that can prevent or cure the disease. But these men and women are not alone….

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  • Podcast: Medicare and Medicaid at 50

    by Bill Frist

    Fifty years after Medicare and Medicaid were created, healthcare in America is still rapidly evolving. Carefully observing where we’ve been will help inform where we are going, so in today’s special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman and I look at the Perspectives of Beneficiaries,…

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  • Telemedicine and the Tools of Care

    by Bill Frist

    At the Spotlight Health event at the Aspen Ideas Festival last month I had the privledge of speaking on a panel moderated by Steve Clemons. We focused on the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act and costs of healthcare in America. It prompted some thoughts about my dad’s medical practice many  years ago….

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  • Three Challenges Impacting The Future Of Obamacare (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | Last week’s Supreme Court decision puts the Affordable Care Act firmly and securely into institutional and cultural permanence.  It still bears flaws due to its imperfect construction and divisive passage, but after five years, the new certainty for insurance markets will permit a maturity of risk pools, and the more direct and predictable provider…

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  • Compensating for End of Life Conversations Is Important First Step

    by Bill Frist

    The Obama Administration is soon scheduled to release the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which determines what and how much providers can bill for health care services. The administration can choose to compensate providers for offering voluntary counseling services to patients and families about end-of-life care options, and I strongly urge it to do…

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  • Advancing transparency in healthcare: A call to action (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist

    THE HILL | “How much does health care cost?” It isn’t an easy question to answer. Your yearly check-up, a colonoscopy, or trip to the emergency room doesn’t typically come with an obvious price tag. And it isn’t just finding out the price of a service or product that’s difficult; it’s also difficult to determine the…

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  • Cuba’s Most Valuable Export

    by Bill Frist

    If you had to guess, would you guess sugar? Cigars? What about doctors and nurses? The Cuban government reportedly earns $8 billion a year in revenues from professional services carried out by its doctors and nurses, with some 37,000 Cuban nationals currently working in 77 countries. The socialist regime allows the government to collect a portion…

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  • The Worst Kept Secret in Healthcare

    by Bill Frist

    For many of our health problems, the solutions are not a secret: eat well, move, make healthy choices. Of course sometimes that is easier said than done. Our physical and social environments–where we live, what kind of emotional support we have, our access to fresh food and healthcare–determine more of our healthcare than what our…

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  • A Charge to Press Forward on Alzheimer’s Research

    by Bill Frist

    Heart transplantation revolutionized healthcare in a way that’s hard to comprehend. What was once a death sentence–sometimes without warning–became surmountable. People got their lives back. We need the same revolution in Alzheimer’s research. The answer will be different; transplant can’t solve this problem. But just because the way forward is unclear, we can’t stop pushing…

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  • Why Texas is missing out on the future of medicine

    by Bill Frist

    If you’ve read much of anything here, you know that I am a big fan of health technologies to improve care and create a sustainable healthcare system. I think it’s essential that we choose the right technologies that will serve patients, and I firmly believe telemedicine is one of those solutions (so much so that…

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  • Killing the superbug: A call for Congressional action

    by Bill Frist

    When Alexander Flemming accepted his Nobel Prize for the discovery of penicillin, he issued a warning to future generations: his miracle drug—responsible for saving millions of lives—could one day be useless. “It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them,” Flemming…

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  • The Promises and Challenges of Precision Medicine

    by Bill Frist

    Only 15% of our health is determined by the healthcare we receive, the rest are the social determinants of health: environment, economic stability, access to care, education and community resources. Paying attention to that 85% is imperative, and precision medicine aims to take targeted genetic and molecular information and consider it in tandem with data about…

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  • MCC: Foreign aid in action

    by Bill Frist

    Most people are surprised when they learn how little we actually spend on foreign aid. But as we know, global health issues know no boundaries. That’s why it is so very important that spend our foreign aid  money wisely. I’m at The Hill today discussing a model that I think does a great job. Most…

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  • A Conversation on Haiti

    by Bill Frist

    Last week, Hope Through Healing Hands and I had the honor of welcoming the former Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe, to Nashville. I’ve been to Haiti many times, and was thrilled to hear the latest updates on the quantifiable successes in Haiti over the last few years, namely in providing housing for those displaced by the…

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  • It’s National Health Care Decisions Day: Who will you designate?

    by Bill Frist

    End-of-life planning is an important part of healthcare. It’s a refrain I’ve been repeating. I’ve called for changes in care models, payment schemes, and physician education. But all of the needed changes aren’t at the system level. There are steps that every individual must take as well. Along with Gary Dodd, a palliative care nurse…

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  • Where Health And Environment Converge

    by Bill Frist

    An area of healthcare that has recently become very important to me is community transformation projects focusing on the social determinants of health: environment, economic stability, access to care, education, and community resources. Only 15% of our health is determined by the healthcare we receive, so looking at the other 85% is not only imperative,…

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  • The Mother & Child Project

    by Bill Frist

    I am thrilled to announce that a huge project of ours has finally come to fruition. Thanks to the team at my global health nonprofit, Hope Through Healing Hands, The Mother & Child Project is now available! The Mother & Child Project was compiled by Hope Through Healing Hands’ Faith-based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide. In…

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  • A Vaccine For Future Health Crises: A Coordinated Communications Strategy Will Be The Difference (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | During the Ebola epidemic this fall, I was reminded of the chaos and fear we felt in the Senate in 2001.  When the first anthrax letter was opened in the office of Majority Leader Tom Daschle, no one really even understood what anthrax was, much less how it was contracted, transmitted, or the disease’s…

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  • Ebola Doctor and Survivor Ian Crozier Advocates Global Awareness and Treatment (Hope Through Healing Hands)

    by Bill Frist

    HOPE THROUGH HEALING HANDS BLOG | On Tuesday, March 31, Hope Through Healing Hands had the honor of hosting Dr. Ian Crozier, an Ebola physician and survivor at an event with Siloam Family Health Center. I had the privilege of talking with Ian as he shared his experiences with the packed auditorium. His message is one that…

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  • Tackling Administrative Waste: The Promises Of Data Science For The FDA

    by Bill Frist

    Our healthcare system needs an overhaul in lots of areas and the FDA is not exempt. It’s slow, expensive, and cumbersome. Modernizing the FDA is now the focus of several initiatives including ones from Congress and the Bipartisan Policy Center. One of the top priorities: using data to speed the drug approval process without sacrificing safety….

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  • Reauthorizing No Child Left Behind matters to Tennessee (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Tennessee teachers, parents and local education leaders know what’s best when it comes to educating our children. Federal education law has a powerful role to play in ensuring that our nation’s schools equip the next generation of global leaders, but only if the law is carefully crafted so that local expertise can be…

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  • Notes from the Road: Hong Kong

    by Bill Frist

    I’m in Hong Kong right now attending some financial meetings and touring some infrastructure projects. It’s been an eye-opening trip so far. Today in a financial meeting, one of the smartest participants is an historian, a student of thousands of years of Chinese history. He observed: “The era of a Dynasty always begins with low…

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  • Telemedicine Is A Game-Changer For Patients, The System

    by Bill Frist

    The Affordable Care Act won’t address our physician shortage–a problem expected to grow to as many as 52,000 needed physicians by 2025. And for many, the ACA still isn’t providing actually affordable care. To bridge these gaps, we must find innovative ways facilitate hassle free access to a provider that is more cost-effective. There is a…

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  • Separate Health Care For Veterans Does Not Best Serve Our Vets (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | I had the privilege of speaking at the Concerned Veterans for America Summit last week in Washington, D.C. I’ve written about my concern for veterans’ healthcare before (and I highlighted some of my thoughts immediately before the Summit). Our healthcare system needs a lot of work, and having served as a VA staff surgeon for nine years, the care…

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  • Training the Next Generation of Doctors in Palliative Care Is the Key to the New Era of Value-Based Care (Academic Medicine)

    by Bill Frist

    ACADEMIC MEDICINE I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone. —Hippocrates We would like to think Hippocrates made this statement about the field of palliative care. Considering the state of medical practice during Hippocrates’s time, and the definition of palliative…

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  • A bold blueprint for transforming veterans’ health care (The Washington Post)

    by Bill Frist

    THE WASHINGTON POST | Imagine how we would meet the service-related health-care needs of military veterans if we had a clean slate and were considering the question for the first time. The answer is obvious. Just as we do with veterans’ educational benefits, we would use the private sector. We would never create something like the Veterans…

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  • FDA Reform (Morning Consult)

    by Bill Frist

    MORNING CONSULT | The FDA’s warning letter Anne Wojcicki received as the CEO of 23andMe in November 2013 came as a shock to the direct-to-consumer product industry dealing in the “peri-medical” device space. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not previously made such a move, and perhaps 23andMe was being used to set an example,…

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  • Bill Frist and Jenny Eaton Dyer: Americans need to step up on global health issues (Dallas News)

    by Bill Frist

    DALLAS NEWS | The Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported that Ebola is still a top-tier global health concern in Americans’ hearts and minds. Although media coverage has slowed, there is still much work to do in West Africa to curb the spread of the virus that has now killed more than 8,500 people. In a promising…

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  • Save the Children’s Insurance (New York Times)

    by Bill Frist

    NEW YORK TIMES | NO child in America should be denied the chance to see a doctor when he or she needs one — but if Congress doesn’t act soon, that’s exactly what might happen. For the past 18 years, the Children’s Health Insurance Program has provided much-needed coverage to millions of American children. And yet,…

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  • I’ve Seen A Measles Outbreak; It’s Not Something We Want To Risk By Denigrating Vaccines (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist

    FORBES | I last witnessed a measles outbreak in 2011. Thousands were sick with high fevers, dry cough, and a spreading rash. Three quarters of the ill were children under five years old, and the disease was spreading rapidly. Once the outbreak began, immunization response strategies could barely keep up. It took months before even the…

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  • New Tennessee telemedicine law grows health care access

    by Bill Frist

    I am convinced that telemedicine is a crucial part of the solution for delivery of healthcare in the United States–care that isn’t yet affordable or accessible for all. Tennessee has made important steps toward ensuring telemedicine is an option for our citizens, but there’s more to do. Telemedicine is in its infancy in Tennessee. Specialists…

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  • We Must All Play a Role in Ending Childhood Obesity (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

    by Bill Frist

    ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION | We all want our kids and grandkids to grow up happier and healthier than we did. Instead, today’s children are the first generation of young Americans to face the prospect of living their entire lives in poorer health and dying younger than previous generations. The reason is no mystery. Too many…

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  • The Physician’s Role and End-of-Life

    by Bill Frist

    Over the past several months, I’ve been championing a revolution in end-of-life care. The care models need to change. Reimbursement strategies need to change. The way we think and talk about end-of-life needs to change. And physician education needs to change. We, as doctors, need a new perspective on our role as healers and what…

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  • Bill Frist supports Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist

    THE TENNESSEAN | Medicaid expansion has been a contentious topic since the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision holding mandatory state participation was unduly coercive. And the arguments against expansion are well-founded: Does the federal government really have enough money to fund this? What happens if the money runs out? We have tried this before and it was…

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  • Real Conversations: You and Me

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here, the overview of you and me here, and the conclusion. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 At the end of the day,…

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  • Real Conversation on Democracy

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of the right to vote here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Hand in hand with freedom of the…

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  • Water for the World

    by Bill Frist

    Back in 2003 I was traveling in Mozambique with a delegation of Senate colleagues to take a closer look at U.S. policy on HIV/AIDS.  We found an HIV emergency, but we also identified a health need even more fundamental: access to clean water. That was the trip that prompted PEPFAR, President George Bush’s unprecedented commitment to address…

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  • Real Conversation on Creative Freedoms

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of creative freedoms here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Creativity and freedom of expression are essential to dialogue…

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  • Real Conversations on Population

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of population here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Almost all of the problems of the world today…

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  • Real Conversation on Children

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of children here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Over six million children die per year before they…

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  • #Conversation2015

    by Bill Frist

    I recently got together with a couple of friends, entertainer WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff to talk about American compassion and to make a list: a list of things we should really care about. We wish to start a national conversation to identify and address some of the greatest threats to our…

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  • Real Conversation on Disaster

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of natural disasters here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Natural disasters are a threat in and…

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  • Real Conversation on Poverty

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of poverty here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Poverty is inextricably tied to poor health. The…

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  • Real Conversation on Environmental Damage

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of environmental damage here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 Whether we are talking about global warming,…

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  • Real Conversation on Safe Food and Water

    by Bill Frist

    With WK “Big Kenny” Alphin and Dr. Randy Wykoff, I am launching #Conversation2015, a look at the opportunities we have to make dramatic changes through compassion and caring. Read the introduction to the project here and the overview of safe food and water here. Then join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook: #Conversation2015 For many Americans it is…

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  • Time to advance a new oversight framework for health IT

    by Bill Frist

    By former Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), MD (The Hill; December 11) Innovations in digital technology have changed the way we live our everyday lives, and we are finally, just now, seeing them change the way that we deliver health care and manage our own health. Now new technology makes it possible for us to track…

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  • Building Companies that Change Medicine

    by Bill Frist

    I am a partner at Cressey & Company, a health care focused private investment firm, where I serve as chairman of the company’s Distinguished Executives Council.  Yesterday, we announced the closing on a new fund that totals $615 million. Health care in America is changing so rapidly and I believe health-IT is an essential part…

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  • November Update

    by Bill Frist

    The fall has been exceptionally busy around here with several international trips and speaking engagements, but I was able to be home for Thanksgiving and got to enjoy some of the beautiful autumn color that Middle Tennessee has to offer. I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s an update on some of…

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  • The Way Forward for Ebola

    by Bill Frist

    Thankfully—and appropriately—the panic surrounding Ebola in the United States has waned over the past weeks. But the calm doesn’t mean it’s time to move on, though the news cycle may have. All major crises can be teachable moments and now is the time to carefully consider our response to the Ebola outbreak and what we…

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  • 2014 SCORE Prize Awards

    by Bill Frist

    Each year in late October I have the privilege of hosting the Annual SCORE Prize celebration. Every year just gets better and last night was no exception! We had a great time with school representatives from across the state and country music artist Dustin Lynch. The SCORE Prize celebrates success in Tennessee’s schools, and this…

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  • Notes From the Road: A Big Picture Impression of Cuba

    by Bill Frist

    Two weeks ago, I was in Cuba as part of a healthcare delegation to learn more about the country as a whole and its healthcare system in particular on a “people-to-people” trip. Cuba is a land of heterogeneity and chaos: an amalgam of cultures, colors, tastes, and textures. Wifi access there is severely limited, so…

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  • Helping VA Do Better

    by Bill Frist

    (Military Times, October 15, 2014) By Bill Frist In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln articulated a clear principle to guide our nation’s commitment to military veterans. The goal, he said, should be “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” That sentiment still resonates a…

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  • New Horizons for Touch!

    by Bill Frist

    If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you have probably seen Touch mentioned several times. He’s a new friend of mine with a fascinating story, and today is a very big day for him! A few months ago, the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet contacted me about their annual fundraising auction on Oct….

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  • Opportunity to Act for Maternal and Child Health

    by Bill Frist

    I just welcomed my second grandson, and the dichotomy between the health care we enjoy and the realities in the developing world is never more stark than when I visited the proud new parents and their precious little one in the hospital—everyone  healthy and well. The biggest killer of women between 15 and 19 in…

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  • An Ebola Turning Point: An Early Diagnosis?

    by Bill Frist

    Read my earlier Ebola primer and a look at what we know about how the virus behaves. As the Ebola situation in West Africa progresses, we are dealing with increasingly complex medical and cultural challenges. I addressed some of the cultural issues in a Morning Consult column last month, and highlighted the importance of identifying infected…

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  • Join me to Discuss Palliative Care: We know we need it, but how will the system pay for it?

    by Bill Frist

    UPDATED: If you missed the event, the entire webinar broken down by speaker is archived online. On September 10, 1 pm EDT, I and some friends will be speaking at a live, free webinar sponsored by the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) on palliative care. We certainly need it, but how will the…

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  • Why the VA Should Look Toward Proven Health Care Solutions

    by Bill Frist

    By Bill Frist and Tom Daschle While it is not a secret that the Veteran’s Affairs hospital system has had inefficiencies for many years, the recent spotlight on veterans’ long wait times for basic medical attention has made headlines for good reason. Long wait times are dangerous and extremely costly, resulting in unnecessary emergency room…

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  • Ebola: Contagious vs Infectious

    by Bill Frist

    Read my earlier Ebola primer. As the CDC treats the nation’s first two Ebola cases there are a lot of questions and concerns about the disease in America—Could it become an epidemic here? How contagious is it? How is it caught? Although my medical specialty is cardiothoracic surgery, I have spent a good deal of…

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  • Ebola Primer and Liberia

    by Bill Frist

    As I hope you’ve heard, there is an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Western Africa right now, particularly in Liberia. Two American aid workers, Dr. Kent Brantly with Samaritan’s Purse and Nancy Writebol, a volunteer working with the faith group Service in Mission, were recently infected. I’ve been discussing the situation with the Centers…

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  • Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies: My Conversation with Melinda Gates

    by Bill Frist

    Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of sitting down with Melinda Gates, Scott Hamilton, Jenny Eaton Dyer, and a room full of caring people to talk about Hope Through Healing Hands’ Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers & Children Worldwide. Chatting with both Melinda and Scott is always such a pleasure—especially about such an important issue…

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  • Retrospective on Rwanda

    by Bill Frist

    I’ve been home from Rwanda and Kenya only a few days and I’m already on another flight, heading back to Aspen, this time for the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health, co-sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It’s on flights that I have time to reflect on a few takeaways, drawn from the myriad impressions…

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  • Bipartisanship saves lives

    by Bill Frist

    (The Hill, June 24, 2014) By former Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) When parents in America think about their children turning five, sending them off to kindergarten for the first time can be stressful. But if you live in the developing world, your biggest worry is whether your children will even live…

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  • Watching Global Health Diplomacy in Action: A Week in Rwanda

    by Bill Frist

    (Morning Consult, June 23, 2014) One week ago I had dinner in an open air restaurant overlooking Kigali, Rwanda. It was a beautiful night, and the almost-full moon illuminated Kigali and the land of a thousand hills. As we were leaving, one of our hosts approached me. A formal and reserved woman, she quietly told…

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  • Notes from the Road: Mountain Gorillas

    by Bill Frist

    *I’m in Rwanda this week representing Hope Through Healing Hands with Dr. Paul Farmer, Partners in Health Rwanda, and Harvard Medical School. These dispatches from the road are my personal journal–recording what I’ve seen and learned on this trip. See my pre-trip thoughts, and blogs from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Today we went to see some of Rwanda’s natural…

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