Global Health

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  • Reconsider severe international affairs budget cuts (The Tennessean)

    by Bill Frist




    TENNESSEAN | While music, faith, health care, and even hot chicken have made Nashville famous, we also have a robust hub of research, work, and advocacy for global health and development. Thanks to the dozens of humanitarian organizations providing excellent services for vulnerable populations worldwide, Vanderbilt’s Institute for Global Health research and development, and the missions…




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  • The Case for Keeping America’s AIDS Relief Plan (New York Times)

    by Bill Frist




    NEW YORK TIMES | Among global public health advocates, there is a growing concern that President Trump may cut back, or even eliminate, programs that have played a critical role in fighting diseases worldwide. While every administration should strongly review our nation’s overseas commitments, and there are undoubtedly programs that we should cut, I hope…




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  • It’s time for the U.S. to lead on combating global malnutrition (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist




    THE HILL | One single public health crisis accounts for nearly half (45%) of all child deaths under age five. Every 4 seconds, a person dies from this cause – approximately 21,000 every day. And shockingly, nearly one in nine people globally is affected.  What is this epidemic that has taken so many lives? That has…




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  • The Last Shall Be First: Haitian Women Taking Steps To End Poverty (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist




    FORBES | How is it possible that the people of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere have to shoulder repeatedly the impact of one natural disaster after another? And what can we do as one of its closest neighbors – and by far the wealthiest country in the hemisphere – to best empower the…




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  • Want a more resilient world? Give mothers access to the tools they deserve (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist




    With Michelle Nunn, CARE President and CEO THE HILL | In 2010, the world watched in horror as more than 200,000 people lost their lives to a devastating earthquake in Haiti. And we shuddered again earlier this month when Hurricane Matthew – the most powerful storm to hit Haiti in more than 60 years – killed…




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  • Hurricane Matthew & Haiti A Week Later

    by Bill Frist




    Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, made landfall at about 7am this morning on the southwestern tip of Haiti.  Tracy and I just left Haiti a week ago, where we traveled with Hope Through Healing Hands and CARE to assess progress made since the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in January 2010, resulting in…




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  • Why We Need To Discuss Healthy Timing And Spacing Of Pregnancies (Huffington Post)

    by Bill Frist




    HUFFINGTON POST | Did you know that the number of women who die each year as a result of pregnancy is on the rise in the United States? A discussion needed in our country and across the globe is the health and wellbeing of women and children. Read more at Huffington Post.  




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  • Back to Haiti

    by Bill Frist




    NOTES FROM THE ROAD | It’s no secret that I believe investing in global health is absolutely essential, and investments in women and girls—particularly maternal and child health—does nothing less than change a country’s trajectory. Next week, Tracy is joining me as I lead a delegation from all over the United States on a learning…




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  • Charleston Helps Mothers and Children Globally (The Post and Courier)

    by Bill Frist




    This week, global health non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands (HTHH) seeks to galvanize the work already being done in Charleston and South Carolina around an important health initiative. HTHH will co-host a luncheon with faith leaders, nonprofit leaders, university leaders, and others in Charleston to discuss how we can better unite on behalf of child…




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  • Global Health: The Most Effective Policy

    by Bill Frist




    As the 2016 primaries unfold, it’s time for candidates of both parties to focus on expanding the big-hearted policies that have made this nation so exceptional. In recent years, the most effective of those policies has been global health — that is, putting U.S. resources to work saving lives in developing nations by spreading health treatments…




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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Notes from the Road: Building Infrastructure for Long Term Growth

    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, Monday’s blog, and Tuesday’s notes. This morning we met with patients and physicians at Centre Hospitalier…




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  • Notes from the Road: Cancer Care in Rural Africa

    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 Monday’s blog.  Who says you can’t treat patients suffering from cancer…




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  • Notes from the Road: Rwanda and Health Diplomacy in Action

    by Bill Frist




    KIGALI, RWANDA | Why are we in Rwanda? What makes it a unique place to learn about health policy, and health care delivery? What will we learn that can make us smarter as we address health issues back at home? I thought through these questions on the flight to Rwanda, and I had plenty of…




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  • Off to Rwanda: Considering Child Nutrition

    by Bill Frist




    I was in Aspen earlier this week working on some of the challenges facing healthcare and the health industry in the US, but it’s time to switch gears. Sunday, I leave for Rwanda to lead a one week group trip with my friend Dr. Paul Farmer to see some of the work being done by…




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  • Investing in Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide

    by Bill Frist




    Earlier this week, a project we’ve been working on for months finally came to fruition! Hope Through Healing Hands announced a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide. Since 2004, Hope Through Healing Hands has made investments to support infrastructure, sustainable health development,…




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  • Why the U.S. must lead on Disabilities Treaty

    by Bill Frist




    (Reuters, November 5, 2013 ) By Bill Frist In an HIV clinic in Africa, a man born deaf holds a single sheet of paper with a plus sign. He looks for help, but no one at the clinic speaks sign language. In fact, the staff doesn’t seem interested in helping him at all. He returns…




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  • Global Engagement Pays off for U.S.

    by Bill Frist




    By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Gov. Phil Bredesen During difficult economic times, there is a tendency for Americans to turn inward, to focus on domestic challenges, especially as this country emerges from a decade defined by two major wars and a crushing financial crisis. Though the urge to withdraw and retrench is understandable, it…




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  • Global Engagement Pays off for U.S.

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, August 17, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Gov. Phil Bredesen During difficult economic times, there is a tendency for Americans to turn inward, to focus on domestic challenges, especially as this country emerges from a decade defined by two major wars and a crushing financial crisis. Though the urge to withdraw…




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  • Future of Healthcare is Personalized Medicine

    by Bill Frist




    (Diplomatic Courier, July 08, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. It is a common refrain that America has the best health care in the world, but our people are far from the healthiest. We spend twice as much as any other nation on health services, yet rank dismally, behind more than twenty other countries in…




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  • What a Difference a Decade Makes

    by Bill Frist




    (The Hill, May 28, 2013) By Rep. Barbara Lee and Bill Frist A Democratic Congresswoman and a former Republican Senator aren’t afforded many opportunities to work together. Especially at a time of fiscal crisis when every dollar is scrutinized and fought over, partisanship pushes us into opposite corners. But we agree on a program that…




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  • A Crucial Moment for Global Nutrition

    by Bill Frist




    (The Hill, May 22, 2013) On June 8, the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron, will host “Nutrition for Growth,” a high-level meeting where donor governments, including our own, will pledge funding and other commitments to address undernutrition and its devastating impact on the long-term health and productivity of millions of…




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  • We Must Continue Our Legacy of Saving Lives

    by Bill Frist




    (Roll Call, March 7, 2013) Now is no time to shy away from our health investments By Bill Frist A decade ago, as I was beginning my time as Senate majority leader, bipartisan consensus in Washington helped launch a new era of progress in global health just when it was sorely needed. Twenty years had…




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  • Personalized Medicine

    by Bill Frist




    (The Hill, July 10, 2012) It’s time to think of health in a disruptive way. Policy must set the enabling landscape, but the truly dramatic and the transformative will come from the exploding but still very young field of personalized medicine. All healthcare is local, and all health is personal. Personalized medicine is healthcare targeted…




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  • Is AIDS the last bipartisan issue?

    by Bill Frist




    (The Week, July 31) These days, Washington can’t agree on anything. Thankfully, though, some brave lawmakers are still willing to cross the aisle to fight a deadly disease. We live in fiercely contentious times. Every day, it seems, a new issue arises that Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on. Health care, taxes, energy, favorite flavor…




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  • Helping Haiti Build Back Better

    by Bill Frist




    (The Washington Times, July 13, 2012) As a board member of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, I traveled to Haiti last month to check on the post-earthquake progress being made through the fund’s projects. What I saw confirms that developmental aid can have a greater impact than the humanitarian aid most people know. Moments after…




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  • The world needs more health-care workers — millions more

    by Bill Frist




    (The Week, Posted on June 19, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. The most impressive part of any hospital or health clinic is the caring, skilled employees who prevent and treat illness. But the workforce we have is not enough.   As I visit health programs in far off corners of the world and right here…




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  • 5 reasons deficit hawks should lay off global health initiatives

    by Bill Frist




    (The Week, April 24, 2012) By Bill Frist, M.D. America’s national debt is ballooning at a worryingly rapid pace. But some programs ought to be spared the chopping block. Government spending is about to get chopped — no matter who wins the next presidential election. President Obama and his GOP challenger Mitt Romney have both…




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  • Health As A Currency For Peace

    by Bill Frist







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  • Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act 2010

    by Bill Frist







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  • Sri Lanka Tsunami

    by Bill Frist







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  • Hope Through Healing Hands Water PSA

    by Bill Frist







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  • Frist Back From Haiti

    by Bill Frist







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  • Meeting With GE Foundation in Cambodia

    by Bill Frist




    I had a wonderful meeting today in Pnom Penh with Dararith Lim, health executive for General Electric who oversees the GE Healthymagination initiative for the underserved in Cambodia. I have been on the advisory board for the Healthymagination initiative for the past couple of years, exploring the opportunities that American technology, initiative, and business can…




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  • Refugees International Gala

    by Bill Frist




    05.07.10 This past evening, I attended to the 31st Annual Refugees International Gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium with many former Senate colleagues and advocates for those displaced by crisis or conflict. At the gala, I was honored to receive the McCall-Pierpaoli Humanitarian Award, which was named in the honor and memory of Penny…




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  • Bill Frist Receives 2011 NBAA Humanitarian Award

    by Bill Frist




    Bill Frist Receives 2011 NBAA Humanitarian Award from Bill Frist on Vimeo.   Bill Frist Flies Missions Worldwide to Help Those in Need Esteemed doctor, pilot and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been awarded the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) 2011 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership in recognition of his life-saving efforts…




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  • Frist Visits Refugee Camp in East Africa

    by Bill Frist




    This week I traveled with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden to refugee camps in eastern Kenya along the Somali border to witness the impact of the most acute food security emergency on earth.We need your help, and your help I promise will make a difference. Yesterday we visited intake centers just on the border where…




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  • Sen. Frist heads to Kenya to study famine’s effects

    by Bill Frist




    More than 29,000 young children have died of malnutrition and disease in Somalia in the past 90 days. We are now on our way to the Horn of Africa to see what more we as a nation can do. Early this morning, our plane left Washington, D.C., bound for East Africa. I’m flying with Second Lady…




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  • East Africa – “The Children’s Famine”

    by Bill Frist




    As I write this, East Africa is in turmoil. Roughly 12 millions people, almost 5 million of which are children, along the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst drought in sixty years. Tens of thousands have already died and millions more are at risk, especially children, who are dying at such a rate this…




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  • Tennessee Global Health Coalition PSA and Recap

    by Bill Frist




    On Monday, Hope Through Healing Hands partnered with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health to put on a Summer Social for the Tennessee Global Health Coalition. Global Health Coalition PSA from Bill Frist on Vimeo.




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  • Mother-and-child health challenges persist globally

    by Bill Frist




    This Mother’s Day, moms in Tennessee and around the world have more to celebrate than ever before. Infant mortality rates are declining in many communities and many countries. Yet even today, where a woman gives birth determines dramatically different odds of survival for her child. We can, and must, change that. A baby in Shelby…




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  • Medicine Serves as a Currency for Peace

    by Bill Frist




    Just eight years ago, fewer than 50,000 HIV-positive people in Africa had access to the medicines needed to live. Today, through American-created and -supported programs, almost 4 million people are being treated for as little as 40 cents a day. They are raising their children, building their communities, farming the land and inventing new technologies;…




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  • Frist’s Foreword to the 2011 State of the World’s Mothers Report.

    by Bill Frist




    “Working together with developed and developing country partners, we reduced the total number of under-5 deaths worldwide by more than one-third in less than two decades.” When children in developing countries die, we all mourn this loss of life, especially when we know that most of these deaths could have been easily prevented. We are…




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  • Can Africa Make The Cut?

    by Bill Frist




    by Raynard Jackson Whenever the U.S. government enters into a state of fiscal austerity, politicians always look for budget cuts from programs they deem to be less important or have little or no constituency. Foreign policy budgets, especially those directed towards Africa seem to always show up near the top of that list. The left…




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  • Using Health as a Currency for Peace

    by Bill Frist




    I just had this video made introducing my message of using Health as a Currency for Peace and thought I’d share it with you. Health As A Currency For Peace from Bill Frist on Vimeo.




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  • Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Inveneo Project

    by Bill Frist




    See how the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s grant to Inveneo is empowering rural and underserved communities in Haiti with information and communications technologies. Their grant will accelerate the development of sustainable, high-speed wireless broadband connectivity to 20 population centers in six rural regions across Haiti, which will in turn stimulate economic growth and support decentralization…




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  • Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: YouthBuild IDEJEN Project

    by Bill Frist




    See how the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund’s grant to YouthBuild International, partnering with IDEJEN, will put young people back to work in Haiti and give them the skills necessary to rebuild their country. The centers will serve at-risk youth (ages 16–28) by providing them with vocational training in construction and leadership skills for the future….




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  • Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: Artisans in Jacmel

    by Bill Frist




    See how money from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has provided sales and marketing support for local artisans. Their funds also helped these local business people rebuild their workshops, damaged during the earthquake. Through our support, artisans were able to complete their order to Macy’s for its exclusive “Heart of Haiti” collection, inspired by the…




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  • Conversation: Exploring Global Health

    by Bill Frist




    Tuesday night I was in New York at an event for Harvard Medical School, “Conversation: Exploring Global Health.” Moderated by 60 Minutes’ Byron Pitts, the event was a conversation about the history and direction of global health with Dr. Paul Farmer, who among other things leads the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at…




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  • Clinton Bush Haiti Fund Update

    by Bill Frist




    In the ten months since the catastrophic earthquake, the Haitian people have been working towards rebuilding and recovering. But now, a devastating cholera epidemic is spreading, threatening progress. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is dedicated to funding initiatives that create jobs, teach skills, and assist local businesses. With programs that promote economic opportunity for all…




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  • UPDATE: Haiti Cholera Outbreak

    by Bill Frist




    I write to you today a little more optimistic than my last post on the developing disaster in Haiti. I will be keeping on top of the situation there and encourage you to stop by to read updates on my personal website, BillFrist.com. This weekend, I urgently emailed around the medical community, searching for desperately…




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  • Haiti Cholera Outbreak

    by Bill Frist




    As the cholera outbreak continues to ravage through Haiti, killing hundreds and inciting terror and riots throughout the country, I’m afraid I may have more bad news. It has come to my attention today that the cholera outbreak is being vastly underreported and underestimated. My sources on the ground in Haiti have estimated that the…




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  • Everyday Life in Somalia

    by Bill Frist







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  • East Africa – The Children’s Famine

    by Bill Frist




    As I write this, East Africa is in turmoil. Roughly 12 millions people, almost 5 million of which are children, along the Horn of Africa are experiencing the worst drought in sixty years. Tens of thousands have already died and millions more are at risk, especially children, who are dying at such a rate this…




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  • Medicine as a Currency for Peace Through Global Health Diplomacy

    by Bill Frist




    The twenty-first century has seen the rise of a new nexus, one that generates a remarkable opportunity for medicine and health to serve as a powerful currency for peace. Two trends define this nexus. The first is globalization and all the interconnections this phenomenon has produced among populations previously isolated from one another in almost…




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  • Leading the Fight Against Global HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist




    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  May 14, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, the size of HIV is about 100 nanometers. That is tiny, microscopic, and invisible to the naked eye. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. If you divide 3 feet, into 1 billion parts, and…




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  • May 2003 Senate Floor Remarks on HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist




    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  May 13, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, the sequence we just walked through is very important. The sense of urgency for the HIV/AIDS legislation, for me, really boils down to the fact that every 10 seconds somebody is dying from this little…




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  • January 2003 Senate Floor Remarks on HIV/AIDS

    by Bill Frist




    The following is text of remarks delivered on the Senate floor.  Jan. 30, 2003 – Senate Floor Remarks Mr. President, for a few moments before closing tonight–and we have had a very productive day and we will make the more formal announcements in about 15 minutes or so–I take a few moments addressing an issue…




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