NashvilleHealth – founded in 2015 by Former U.S. Majority Leader Bill Frist to harness the force of community-wide collaboration to improve Nashville’s health outcomes – has announced the appointment of its inaugural 17-member Governing Board.
“This announcement marks another exciting step in NashvilleHealth’s effort to address our community’s most pressing health issues. The caliber of these board members confirms the importance of NashvilleHealth’s charge and demonstrates the outstanding commitment of the city’s leaders to collaboration, innovation and the health of all Nashvillians,” said Sen. Frist.
Sen. Frist joins the 2016-2019 board as chairman with board members: Jeff Balser, president and CEO of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Bill Carpenter, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health; Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO of Change Healthcare; Gary Garfield, past chairman, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas; James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College; Milton Johnson, chairman and CEO of HCA; Rita Johnson-Mills, CEO of United Healthcare Community Plan; Ken Levitan, president and founder of Vector Management; Wanda Lyle, managing director, UBS Nashville Business Solutions Center; Bill Paul, director, Metro Public Health Department; Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce; Karen Springer, president and CEO of Saint Thomas Health/Senior Vice President, Ascension; John Stein, Tennessee president, Bank of America; Donato Tramuto, CEO, Healthways; Stephaine Hale Walker, assistant professor of Neonatology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center; and Andrea Willis, senior vice president and CMO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
“Nashville is a thriving, energetic city and we are in the midst of an economic boom – but the health of our own population is poor,” said Sen. Frist. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently ranked Nashville last in health among its peer group that includes Austin, Charlotte, Cincinnati and Raleigh. “Left unaddressed, our long-term economic and social vitality is in danger,” he said. “In true Nashville fashion, we will pull together to solve the issue and create a sustaining culture of health, with an eye towards health equity and health disparities.”
Under the direction of the board and Executive Director Caroline Young, NashvilleHealth’s goal is to make Nashville one of the healthiest places to live in the state and nation.
“I am excited to work alongside some of Nashville’s most innovative and successful business and health care leaders and many other community partners to identify challenges and develop solutions that will ultimately improve the health of our friends and neighbors,” said Saint Thomas Health CEO Karen Springer.
NashvilleHealth, while initially focused on three specific health issues – smoking cessation, child health and hypertension – will span diverse health conditions to address the broad and unique needs that impact the health of our city.
“The importance of a healthy community in attracting top businesses and talent to Nashville cannot be overstated. It’s a responsibility we all share if we’re going to ensure our city’s vitality for generations to come. I am honored by the opportunity to work with Senator Frist and many other community and business leaders and health experts to make Nashville stronger, healthier for all of our residents,” said Chamber CEO Ralph Schulz.
“The deep wealth of experience, leadership and foresight from our Governing Board, combined with many others joining us on this journey will help Nashville make health a shared value through diverse and inclusive business and community engagement,” added Sen. Frist.
NashvilleHealth was formed with support from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
About NashvilleHealth: NashvilleHealth is dedicated to making Nashville-Davidson County one of the healthiest places to live in the state and the nation by achieving measurable gains in the health of all residents. Our goal is to create a culture of health and wellbeing by serving as a convener to open dialogue, align resources and build smart strategic partnerships to create a bold plan for health and wellbeing in Nashville. To achieve this, we work to collaboratively identify major population health challenges, propose transformative solutions, and facilitate and ensure execution to improve overall health.