Frist, Health Care Council launch fellows initiative to address national health crisis

Intensive program will begin in spring at Owen school

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and others on Monday unveiled a local initiative for selected C-level health care executives that will seek to build a “forum for thought leadership” to birth new ideas that address old problems stemming from the nation’s health care crisis.

The initiative, named Nashville Healthcare Council Fellows, will launch this spring and “leverage the expertise of the industry’s founding leadership in Nashville as well as nationally-known figures and leading academic institutions,” according to a statement provided at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel event by the Nashville Health Care Council.

Frist was joined at the dais by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Healthways CEO and Health Care Council Chairman Ben Leedle, Council President Caroline Young and Larry Van Horn, professor at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

The inaugural class of Council Fellows will consist of 20 to 30 applicants who will meet bi-monthly and for eight day-long sessions during the spring and summer of 2013. Van Horn is developing a curriculum described as “rigorous” with the help of Owen School colleagues that will blend three elements: topics such as value creation and effecting change; immersion opportunities at Nashville’s leading health care organizations; and leadership development.

Frist will co-direct the forum with Van Horn. Health Care Council staffer Judith Byrd will oversee the Fellows initiative as executive director. The program will meet at Owen and speakers will include nationally recognized CEOs and others from Nashville who represent various interests related to both the health care industry and leadership studies. Additional material will come from Harvard Business School industry case studies.

“This program is designed to help us solve a seemingly insurmountable problem,” Frist said. “Nashville is the heart of all things health care and real-world solutions beyond political rhetoric should begin here.”

Nominations for the inaugural class are open. Industry leaders can apply themselves or recommend others. The basic qualifications to participate are as follows: 

• Be currently serving in or slated to take pivotal C-suite roles in their organizations.
• Commit to fully engaging their time and intellect on identifying challenges and exploring solutions facing the industry.
• Bring endorsement from their company’s CEO and a senior-level company sponsor.
• Be part of an organization that is a Nashville Health Care Council member.
• Offer recommendation letters from two references.

Nominations are open through Dec. 21. The inaugural class will be announced in early January and the program will officially begin in March.