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  • A New Model Of Community Care: Aspire Health And Transforming Advanced Illness Care (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist




    FORBES | For loved ones with advanced illness such as cancer or heart disease or with severe symptoms from a chronic illness, especially in the last year or so of life, what we desperately want is for them to seamlessly receive high quality, compassionate care at home that keeps them comfortable and free from pain…




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  • Telemedicine can improve access to quality, affordable care in Texas (Texas Tribune)

    by Bill Frist




    TEXAS TRIBUNE | If you become ill and need a doctor tonight at 11, who will you call? What will you do? Texans in Austin, Dallas, or Houston are probably surprised to learn that Texas ranks 47th in the nation in the number of active primary care physicians per capita. Among its 254 counties, 35…




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  • Less salt in foods means longer lives — Trump’s administration can fix this (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist




    THE HILL | No state is an island when it comes to our food and its impact — good or bad — on our population’s health. That’s why it’s critically important for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to continue its efforts to reduce sodium in our packaged and restaurant foods. In June, the FDA…




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  • Supporting Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education

    by Bill Frist




    Betsy DeVos has been nominated for the next U.S. Secretary of Education, and I believe she is the best person for the position. I’ve known Betsy for many years, and I’ve seen firsthand her passion for education and for our children. Here is the letter I’ve just sent Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Committee on Health,…




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  • Groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act

    by Bill Frist




    The US Senate just voted 94-5 to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. This is an historic moment for American medical innovation and the millions of patients who will benefit. The Cures Act is groundbreaking. Over the 40 years I have been in medicine, there has never been a more exciting time for medical innovation…




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  • The Newborn Illness That Nobody Is Talking About – And It’s Not Zika (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist




    FORBES | Nothing can prepare a mother for seeing her newborn seize multiple times an hour, refuse to eat or sleep, and shake uncontrollably. That’s what Julia found herself facing after severe chronic back pain from a car accident left her dependent on opioids. Julia had been a college student from a middle class family with…




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  • Congress Must Preserve Quitlines and The Tips Program (Forbes)

    by Bill Frist




    FORBES | Smoking is the number one killer and public health challenge today, causing more deaths each year than automobile accidents, firearm-related injuries, HIV, illegal drug use, and alcohol abuse—combined. As a surgeon, it was the primary cause of the heart and lung disease that I operated on every day for 15 years. In my…




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  • Salty Stuff (The Hill)

    by Bill Frist




    THE HILL | When more than 75% of the sodium you eat comes from processed foods and restaurant meals, it can seem like the problem is out of your hands. How can you cut back on salt effectively when you can’t control those foods? The Food & Drug Administration feels the same way. In a draft guidance…




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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Call to action on global nutrition

    by Bill Frist




    (The Hill, May 28, 2014) The United States has shown courageous leadership over the last decade on global health. Earlier this year, Congress once again voted to protect the budget for those critical investments that we make to save lives, prevent the transmission of diseases and end preventable child deaths. During my time in Congress,…




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  • The Case For Global Health Diplomacy

    by Bill Frist




    (Health Affairs Blog, April 14, 2014) At the end of February, I had the pleasure of speaking about global health diplomacy at the Nursing Leadership in Global Health Symposium at Vanderbilt University. Nurses are one of the specialties that we support in the Frist Global Health Leaders program facilitated by Hope Through Healing Hands, a…




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  • Contraception Is A Pro-Life Cause In Developing World

    by Bill Frist




    (Time Magazine, March 21, 2014) By Bill Frist, M.D. and Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D. When it comes to the health of children and mothers worldwide, there are immense challenges yet many signs of hope. Over 6.9 million children die every year in the developing world from preventable, treatable causes. While the loss of these children…




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  • Bloomberg: The Real Price of Healthcare

    by Bill Frist




    Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg View columnist Lanhee Chen is joined by former U.S. Senate majority leader William Frist, Mayo Clinic CEO John Noseworthy, Boston Consulting Group partner Michael Ringel, John Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul Rothman, Thompson Holdings CEO Tommy Thompson, and Walgreen CEO Gregory Wasson to discuss the state of healthcare in the United…




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  • Child’s first 5 years hold key to success

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, Nov 14) As a surgeon, I understand the exigency of a window of opportunity. In cardiac transplant, procurement of a donor heart starts a strict four-hour window until that heart needs to be beating in the chest of the accepting patient — a patient who is almost always a plane ride away. Neuroscience…




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  • Tremendous Step Forward for Tennessee’s Children

    by Bill Frist




    Today the state of Tennessee has taken a tremendous step forward for our children and our future.  The Volunteer State has made more progress than any other state in the nation across 4th and 8th grade reading and math. When I launched the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) in 2009, we noted that “several…




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  • Elderly need options for palliative care

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, October, 20, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain, M.D. A patient — we will call her Matilda — has thin, silvery hair, deep-set eyes and is in her mid-80s. She worked as a factory worker until she was widowed and now lives alone a few miles away from two working…




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  • We often avoid important conversation

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, October 6, 2013) By Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. and Manoj Jain, M.D. When a patient’s lymph node biopsy came back as a rare form of lymphoma, he did not have long to live. In the six months before he died, he did not settle his family affairs or financial accounts. His doctors should…




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  • It’s Common Sense to Come Together for Our Kids

    by Bill Frist




    (The Huffington Post, October 2, 2013) By Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. When we served together in the Senate, we found ourselves on different sides of a variety of issues. But when it came to common-sense measures that benefitted our country and our citizens, we pulled together. We were proud to cosponsor…




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  • It’s never too early to discuss your final wishes

    by Bill Frist




    (The Tennessean, September 22, 2013) By Manoj Jain, M.D. and Sen. Bill Frist, M.D. A week before my (Dr. Jain) elderly parents came for a long visit, I asked them if they would be willing to have a conversation about end-of-life planning. But it wasn’t until the day before they left that we sat at…




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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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  • Technology And The Changing Business Of Health Care

    by Bill Frist




    Three years after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare,” scholars and political pundits have paid much attention to the macroeconomic effects of the law. Will Obamacare bend the health care cost curve? What will be its impact on the federal budget deficit? How will it affect the…




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  • European Summer Travels

    by Bill Frist




    Copenhagen, Denmark The statue of the Little Mermaid who gazes longingly out to sea from her rock to the harbor. Copenhagen is one of the most historic cities in the Baltic region; loved exploring the 850 years of recorded history. Helsinki, Finland Missed the all-year round Igloo hotel, but did sit for a few minutes…




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  • Bike Ride Through Kadriorg Park, Estonia

    by Bill Frist




    Rode bikes with Mary and Lee through Kadriorg Park, Estonia, site of Peter the Great’s Summer Palace, and then went by the President’s Palace. Apparently he is a Princetonian but I did not see the orange and black flag flying that day (wonder if he was at reunions? Finally to romantic Old Town to see…




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  • Health care system should focus on easing patients’ lives

    by Bill Frist




    Over the course of the past century, advances in public health and medical care have led to improvements in life expectancy that our ancestors would not have been able to imagine. Average life expectancy for Americans born in 2013 is approaching 80 years. While we now live longer and typically spend most of these years…




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