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November 16, 2015

The Council at 20: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed

The Council at 20: Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed

Hayley Hovious | Nashville Medical News

The Nashville Health Care Council has spent the past several months celebrating a significant milestone: the 20th anniversary of our organization’s founding.
This event has given us an important opportunity to reflect on the legacy of our city’s healthcare leadership, dating back almost 50 years. It has also provided us the chance to highlight the role Nashville serves as the nation’s healthcare industry capital, and also to recognize and support the crucial part our member organizations play — and will continue to play — in shaping a smarter healthcare system for tomorrow.

When HCA launched its operations out of a small house in midtown Nashville in 1968, its founders recognized they were in a special place, surrounded by a wellspring of entrepreneurial energy, a robust infrastructure, and a group of forward-looking city officials and investors who believed in Nashville. They knew change was coming, but they never could have foreseen the transformation this city, and the American healthcare system, would experience in the decades to come.

Today, our city and industry again find themselves ripe for change. I am constantly inspired by the sheer number of entrepreneurs in Nashville dedicated to shaping a more efficient healthcare system for our nation and by the willingness of our member companies to embrace change. It’s a privilege to facilitate the ties between these groups, because above all else, our community has always focused on working together to bring quality and value to healthcare.

The Council was formed in 1995 to protect, strengthen and elevate the city’s status as the nation’s healthcare capital. With guidance from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, our 27 founding member organizations held the first meeting in a basement at Belmont University. At the time, the Nashville healthcare industry was responsible for $3.7 billion in revenue and 53,000 area jobs. Today, it generates $73.3 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 500,000 people globally.

As president of the Council, I have seen firsthand the shared desire among this city’s leaders for solutions-driven innovation. Here, this passion connects more healthcare minds to more resources than in any other city in the world. Nashville-based venture capital groups, accelerators and startup incubators now are helping new entrants impact our ever-evolving industry. Tomorrow’s care delivery models are being built today in Nashville. Future generations of patients across the world stand to benefit.

With the stakes this high, the industry faces a crossroads as pivotal and full of potential as the one HCA’s founders saw in 1968. The Council was founded 20 years ago with 2015 in mind — as well as 2025, 2050 and beyond. Thanks to unique Council programs like the Fellows initiative, future generations of healthcare leaders are being prepared for the changing industry they will soon lead.

The impact of Fellows on the healthcare industry is truly massive, not only with respect to the national reach of our class members but also the fact that many Fellows go on to implement the skills and ideas they learn in the program for decades to come. Under the leadership of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD, and Professor Larry Van Horn, healthcare economist at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, we are set to announce one of our most diverse and accomplished classes yet.

Within the Fellows program, senior executives from across the country and from all different sectors of the industry engage with one another, as well as with nationally renowned faculty members, to explore better business strategies, creating value, driving industry growth and effecting change. Most importantly, however, they develop these talents together under one roof, participating in the same conversations while creating a network that promises to expand the Council’s famous “family tree” for decades to come.

Members of the Council have helped shape the national healthcare landscape for the past 20 years. Through the conversations and opportunities the Council provides, the leaders of our industry continue to find new, smarter ways to improve the delivery of patient care across the globe. And I’m so proud that the principles of our legacy — collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship — are still driving our future.

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