Nashville Health Care Council Fellows Celebrates Fifth Commencement

2017 Fellows class marks program’s growth and success in shaping the future of health care

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Nashville Health Care Council is proud to announce the commencement of its 2017 Health Care Council Fellows class, following an intensive period of challenging coursework to inspire collaboration on critical issues impacting the nation’s health care system. The class of 31 senior executives explored strategy and leadership development in order to hone the skills needed to address today’s most pressing health care challenges.

31 senior #healthcare executives from the 2017 #CouncilFellows class graduate, marking fifth commencement

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Click here to view the full list of 2017 Council Fellows graduates.
Click here to view select photos from the graduation.

Celebrating its five-year anniversary with this commencement, the Council Fellows program provides a one-of-a-kind experience that brings together top health care leaders across the country to explore strategy and leadership development. The initiative is co-led by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., and Larry Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

“The 2017 Fellows class serves as a beacon for the collaborative and innovative future of health care,” said Senator Frist. “It’s been exciting and inspiring to interact with such a remarkable class of leaders. As they graduate from Fellows, we look forward to watching how they use this experience to grow, evolve and better position their organizations for the new direction of health care.”

Reflecting today’s unprecedented industry changes, the Fellows’ curriculum covered the latest and most pressing issues facing today’s health care executives. Through eight full-day sessions, the Fellows met with a number of highly respected authorities in health care from across the country. The experience leveraged the power of dialogue and the sharing of perspectives, as well as immersive activities to address:

  • State and federal policy reform
  • Consumerism
  • Disruptive innovations in technology
  • Dramatic shifts in reimbursement systems
  • Population health management
  • Crisis management
  • Integrated delivery networks
  • Applications for data and analytics
  • Clinical advancements

“The diversity the Fellows program brings, attracting leaders from 14 different health care sectors, is one of the things that makes it a truly unique initiative,” Van Horn said. “From the time we launched Fellows five years ago, we have constantly evolved and updated the focus of the curriculum to ensure we are addressing the greatest challenges of the industry. Because of this adaptability, the program has grown to a national level, attracting top leaders from across the country.”

Guest faculty for the 2017 Fellows classes included, among others:

  • Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO, Kaiser Permanente
  • Patrick Conway, M.D., Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Joseph Swedish, Chairman, President and CEO, Anthem, Inc.
  • George Barrett, CEO, Cardinal Health
  • Brent James, M.D., Chief Quality Officer, Intermountain Healthcare
  • Elisabeth Rosenthal, Editor-in-Chief, Kaiser Health Network
  • Marcus Osborne, Vice President, Health and Wellness Transformation, Walmart
  • Charlie Martin, Founder, Martin Ventures

“To truly drive change in our complex industry, we must bring the best minds from health care together. The Fellows setting and the speakers we hear from inspire dialogue that brings together diverse perspectives committed to advancing health care around the world,” said Melissa Hendricks, vice president, marketing strategy, Cerner Corporation and 2017 Fellows graduate.

In addition to hearing from guest faculty on issues facing the health care industry, this year’s Fellows class participated in the inaugural Fellows’ Team in the Trenches competition. The class was divided into six teams and each developed an innovative business solution that could solve a real challenge in health care. The winning team—Fellowship Home Help—created a business solution that would provide on-demand, low-cost help at home. Winning team members included Jim Corum, vice president of business development, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Kimberly Lamar, chief population health and quality officer, Metro Nashville General Hospital; David Pontius, principal, MTS Health Investors; Praveen Thadani, vice president of innovation and partnerships, Humana; and Melissa Waddey, president of ambulatory and operations services, LifePoint Health.

Recruiting the 2018 Fellows Class

The 2018 Fellows will bring together the next class of top health care leaders from all corners of the national health care landscape to shape the future for our industry.

“Nashville is the center of the health care universe, and Fellows is an unparalleled opportunity for health care leaders from across the country to join the national conversations taking place here,” said Hayley Hovious, Council president. “There’s never been a better time to work together to find new solutions and best practices for the never-ending current of changes and challenges health care leaders face.”

Applications for the class of 2018 will open this September. The 2018 class will be selected by the Council Fellows Advisory Committee and announced in December 2017.

Interested applicants can find more information by visiting

The Fellows initiative is supported by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Community Health Systems, HCA, LifePoint Health, Tivity and Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

About the Nashville Health Care Council

The Nashville Health Care Council is a premier association of health care industry leaders. Supported by nearly 300 corporate members, including local and national health care companies, the Council serves as a trusted source for information on trends that influence the health care industry. The organization provides members with one-of-a-kind networking opportunities and access to Nashville’s elite health care business community.

Worldwide, Nashville’s health care industry generates more than 500,000 jobs and $78 billion in annual revenue. The industry is Nashville’s largest and fastest-growing employer. For more information on the Council, please visit


Nashville Health Care Council
Katie Schlacter, 615-743-3147