William H. Frist, M.D.

A profile photo of Bill First

A Nashville native, Dr. William H. Frist graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy, Princeton University and Harvard Medical School before completing his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. Soon after, Dr. Frist joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he began a heart and lung transplant program and served as founder and director of the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center. Throughout his career, he has performed more than 150 heart and lung transplants.

In 1994, Dr. Frist was elected to the U.S. Senate and represented the state of Tennessee from 1995–2007. During that time, Frist served as U.S. Senate Majority Leader, from 2003–2007, a position to which he was elected after having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body previously. During his time as Senator, Dr. Frist led efforts to enact the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act and the historic PEPFAR legislation that helped reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Since then, Dr. Frist has gone on to help lead public education reform through his work with SCORE, the State Collaborative on Reforming Education and has contributed significantly to global health care efforts. He founded Hope Through Healing Hands, a nonprofit whose mission is to promote and improve the lives of citizens and communities around the world. Most recently, Dr. Frist founded NashvilleHealth, an organization intended to directly impact the health and quality of life for citizens throughout the city.

Dr. Frist also serves as partner and chairman of Cressey & Company’s Executive Council and co-founder of Aspire Health, the country’s largest non-hospice, community-based palliative care organization. He currently serves on the boards of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Kaiser Family Foundation, AECOM, Teladoc and Select Medical Corporation, among others.

A devoted physician, dedicated public servant and committed humanitarian, Dr. William H. Frist is a 2017 inductee of the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame.

Bill First and his wife pose for a photo with a family
Bill First helps a child with a water tap