Council Fellows Alumni Dinner: Healthcare Innovation – Now and for the Future 

Speaker Bios

Senator William H. Frist, MD
Former Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Former Council Fellows Chair

Senator William H. Frist, MD, is a nationally recognized heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, founding partner of Frist Cressey Ventures and special partner and chairman of the Executives Council of the health service investment firm Cressey & Company. He is also the Chair of the Global Board of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization.  He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities.

As a U.S. Senator representing Tennessee from 1994 -2006 (the first practicing physician elected to the Senate since 1928), Dr. Frist was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. His leadership was instrumental in the passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act that established Medicare Advantage and the historic PEPFAR legislation that provided life-saving treatment globally to 25 million people.

Senator Frist graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School, and completed surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford.  As the founder of the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center (today the largest heart transplant center in the nation), he performed over 150 heart and lung transplants, authored over 100 peer-reviewed medical articles, and published seven books on topics such as bioterrorism, transplantation, and leadership.  He is board certified in both general and heart surgery. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor of surgery at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. 

As a leading authority on healthcare, Senator Frist speaks nationally on health reform, government policy, global health, and education reform. In 2019, he launched “A Second Opinion” podcast, which addresses challenging healthcare issues of today from three distinct vantage points: policy, medicine, and innovation. 

He is Founder & Chairman of community health collaborative NashvilleHealth, the Tennessee-based State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), and global health non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands, as well as Co-Chair of the Health Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. His board service includes Monogram Health, Devoted Health, and publicly-traded companies Select Medical and Teladoc Health.  Senator Frist is one of only two individuals to rank in the top ten of each of the five inaugural Modern Healthcare Magazine annual surveys of the most influential people in healthcare in the United States.

Ford Koles
Vice President & National Spokesperson
Advisory Board
Fellows Advisory Board

Ford Koles, Jr. is one of Advisory Board’s preeminent thought leaders in the area of health system economics and strategy, and is the keynote speaker at the annual meetings for Advisory Board’s strategy membership. Ford is a health care economist by training and has participated in every major Advisory Board research initiative since 1992. He is well-versed in health care history and the many reform initiatives we have lived through in the past three decades: coverage expansion; vertical integration and physician partnership models; managed care and payer contracting; horizontal integration and system economies of scale; and quality-based payment.

Prior to joining Advisory Board, he was a management consultant for the Hay Group and Ernst & Young.

Education & Training

Ford received his BA from Kenyon College, and his MA in Economics from John Hopkins University.


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