I am constantly inspired by the sheer volume of creativity in Nashville, much of which is channeled toward shaping a smarter, more efficient health care system for our nation.
I was only 16 when my father and brother co-founded HCA in 1968, an innovative venture that grew into the largest hospital management company in the world and reshaped the delivery of care throughout the country. HCA's founding helped set the stage for Nashville to become the epicenter of the American health care industry, today home to 400 health care companies.
I advise a number of cutting-edge organizations, and I consistently see tomorrow's successful, shareable care-delivery models being built in Nashville. Future generations of patients across the world stand to benefit.
Today, a new generation of patients wants transparent care delivered on the consumer's terms, while nationally our health system is undergoing dramatic payment reform to transition to value-based care. We are just now tapping into the potential of big data, electronic health records, and personal health wearables.
The convergence of these changes will spur nothing less than a health care revolution. Fortunately, the Nashville Health Care Council was founded 20 years ago with today's transformative period of health services in mind.
With stakes this high, the country's senior health care executives must be prepared for the changing industry they will soon lead. That is why Dr. Larry Van Horn and I have partnered to direct the Nashville Health Care Council's Fellows initiative, a purposeful program which brings together the nation's future health care leaders under one roof, to participate in meaningful conversations on the direction of our business.
Council Fellows assembles the health care industry's rising chief executives for an intensive course that exposes them to the top C-suite executives, thought leaders, and influencers in the health care world, inspiring collaboration and disruptive innovation among the group. This year's class heard from visionaries such as Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of ground-breaking diagnostics company Theranos; took part in immersion activities like the operating room simulator at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and participated in discussions on genetics and precision medicine while having their own DNA analyzed.
But Nashville cannot truly be the health care capital until the health of the city's workforce is improved. This is why I have launched NashvilleHealth, a one-of-a-kind effort to convene public, private and nonprofit sectors to create a comprehensive plan to address the health and wellbeing of Nashvillians. By capitalizing on the intelligence and collaborative spirit of this network, we will improve the health of our citizens and serve as a model for the nation.
The challenge for us all is to find ever better ways to bring quality and value —a goal Nashville is working hard to realize. By exercising our broad expertise and inventive spirit, Nashville's future in the health care industry will be as promising as its past.
William H. Frist, M.D. is a nationally acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, director on the Nashville Health Care Council board and co-director of the Council Fellows initiative. Dr. Frist represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate for 12 years where he served on both the Health and Finance committees responsible for writing health legislation.