Recognizing that his hometown—despite its reputation as a health services capital—ranked far behind peer cities in community health, physician and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. established a robust, collaborative health movement: NashvilleHealth.

Focus Areas

Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions. They are also often the most preventable.

Timely health data is critical to understand community well being, better allocate resources, implement strategies for health improvement and measure outcomes.

A healthy, equitable Nashville is resilient and ready to respond to health challenges.


U.S. Senator Bill Frist, M.D.

Founder & Chairman

NashvilleHealth Bio Images

U.S. Senator Bill Frist, M.D.

Founder & Chairman

Senator William Frist, M.D. is a nationally-acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and chairman of the Executive Board of the health service private equity firm Cressey & Company. He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities.

Senator Frist graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Frist completed surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford. As the founder and director of the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center, 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.

Dr. Frist annually has led medical mission trips to Africa and Haiti, and emergency response teams to disasters around the globe, including to Sri Lanka after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Bangladesh, Sudan, New Orleans after Katrina, Haiti after the earthquake, and the horn of Africa. He is chairman of both Hope Through Healing Hands, which focuses on maternal and child health and global poverty, and SCORE, a statewide collaborative education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a K12 education reform state. Most recently he launched NashvilleHealth, a community wide initiative that creates a culture of health and wellbeing by serving as a convener to open dialogue, align resources and build smart strategic partnerships to forge a dynamic plan to improve the health of all Nashvillians.

His current board service includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Kaiser Family Foundation, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Bipartisan Policy Center, and Nashville Health Care Council. He is a member of the advisory committees for global health at Duke, Harvard, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. His previous board service includes Princeton University and the Smithsonian Institution.

In the private sector, he serves on three public company boards, Select Medical, Teladoc and AECOM, (the largest engineering/architectural company in the world). In addition he is a board member of Unitek (nursing and information technology), Aegis (lab), Aspire (palliative care), MDSave (health consumerism), Cognosante (information technology in health) and Accolade (patient navigation). Past board service includes Third National SunTrust Bank in Tennessee.

Currently Dr. Frist serves as an adjunct professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University and clinical professor of Surgery at Meharry Medical College. As a leading authority on healthcare, Senator Frist speaks nationally on health reform, government policy, global health, education reform, and volunteerism.

Dr. Frist is married and has three sons and lives in Franklin, Tennessee.

NashvilleHealth Bio Images

Mark H. Yancy


Mark is a lifelong Tennessean, having spent most of his life in Memphis before relocating his family to Nashville in 2022. Mark has intentionally devoted his career to the underserved and those most impacted by lack of access to care and resources. Mark is an accomplished healthcare administrator, business planner, public speaker, and fundraiser. He has an extensive track record engaging public and private sector businesses to partner with healthcare institutions.

Mark became a healthcare leader at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare hospital system in Memphis. He intentionally worked at urban hospitals, allowing him to focus on conditions impacted by nonmedical determinants of health such as hypertension and Sickle Cell Disease.

Mark then joined Anthem (now Elevance) via its subsidiary CareMore. As Director of Health Services, he ran operational point for a multi-site value-based attributed panel of over 15,000 Medicaid patients, focusing on assertive preventive care for chronic and behavioral health. From there, he was recruited by DaVita Kidney Care to oversee care and all operations for what he perceived to be “hidden” end-stage kidney disease patients in Memphis and eastern Arkansas.

Mark chose to acquire a Master of Public Health so he could better understand and engage the chronic medical and social dynamics that lead to acute and emergency presentations in hospitals or clinics. It’s that passion that led him to Nashville Health, an organization founded by former Senator Bill Frist that is totally focused on improving population health and promoting wellness for all Middle Tennesseans.

In less than a year, Mark has led NashvilleHealth to build and manage an equity coalition of over 20 public and private organizations across data, academic, health services, food and nutrition, housing, and
transit sectors (among others). This coalition is aligned with the purpose of identifying areas in Middle Tennessee where health disparities exist, designing projects and demonstrations to reduce disparities and improve public health and wellness. Under Mark’s leadership, NashvilleHealth has achieved an unprecedented partnership with the Mayor’s office and Metro Public Health Department to establish a functioning collaborative impact framework that engages chronic illnesses at the neighborhood level.

Ultimately, NashvilleHealth links these activities as a business case that addresses the need to create stronger and healthier workforces for our region.

Mark is married to his soulmate, Shaherah, a leading healthcare researcher directing life sciences research for a variety of medical devices. They have a daughter, Akiyana, and a son, Christopher. Rounding out the family is their four-legged son, a Boston Terrier named Zyg.

NashvilleHealth Bio Images

Payton Robinette


Payton Robinette is the Chief Operating Officer for NashvilleHealth. In this role, she oversees and manages the implementation of community health programs and initiatives that work to move the needle on some of Nashville’s most challenging health disparities. She has been with the organization since 2021 and notably also serves as a policy advisor for former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D.

With Senator Frist and NashvilleHealth, Payton has explored a variety of health policy related topics including community health data, healthcare reform, the intersection of health and the environment, and food is medicine. Her work with NashvilleHealth is specifically rooted in compiling and analyzing comprehensive community data as well as in leveraging collective action for impact and policy solutions.

Payton has a passion for health policy and, more specifically, for improving community health and wellness, advancing health equity, and ensuring everyone has a fair opportunity for healthy life. She has conducted research focused on the social and political determinants of health as well as cultural and structural competency methodologies.

Payton is originally from Maryville, Tennessee. She obtained a B.A. in English literature and a M.A. in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University (where she also was a member of Vanderbilt’s 2015 NCAA Division I National Championship and 2018 NCAA Division I National Runner-up tennis team).


NashvilleHealth Change Makers

Our NashvilleHealth partners are providing the leadership, collaboration, and investment critical to setting our city on a path toward a healthier future.

Governing Board

William H. Frist, M.D.

Partner, Cressey & Co.
Founder and Chairman

Greg Allen


Cigna Tennessee and Mid-South

Richard Ashworth

President & CEO

Tivity Health

Marshall Crawford

President & CEO
The Housing Fund

David Dill

Chairman & CEO
LifePoint Health®

Bob Dittus, M.D., MPH

Executive Vice President for Public Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

John Esposito

Chairman and CEO
Warner Music Nashville

James E. K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D.

President and CEO
Meharry Medical College

Alex Jahangir, M.D., MMHC

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Medicine; Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Shubhada Jagasia

President & CEO
Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital

Rita Johnson-Mills

rjMills Enterprises

Ken Levitan

President and Founder
Vector Management

Wendy Long, M.D.

President & CEO
Tennessee Hospital Association

Wanda Lyle

The Center for Nonprofit Management

Chad Pendleton

President & CEO

Amerigroup Tennessee

Suzy Sonnier

Regional Growth Officer
United Healthcare

C.J. Stimson, M.D., J.D.

Chief Medical Officer for Employee Health Plans
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Ralph J. Schulz, Jr.

President and CEO
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Tama R. Van Decar, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer, TriStar Division
HCA Healthcare

Joseph Webb, D.Sc.

Nashville General Hospital

Herman Williams, M.D.

HW Healthcare Solutions

Andrea Willis, M.D.

Senior Vice President and CMO
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Steering Committee

Nancy Anness

Chief Advocacy Officer
Saint Thomas Health

Stephanie Bailey, M.D.

Senior Associate Dean for Public Health Practice
Meharry Medical College

Melinda Buntin, Ph.D.

Chair, College of Health Policy
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Judith Byrd

Executive Director, Healthcare



Molly Cate

Founding Partner, Chief Innovation Officer

Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock

John Chobanian

Coalition for Better Health

Terry Cook

Tennessee State Director
The Nature Conservancy, Tennessee

Magi Curtis

Community Volunteer

Dan Dummermuth

President & CEO
YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Gary Gaston

Executive Director
Nashville Civic Design Center

William “Todd” Henry

Deputy Chief of Police
Metro Nashville Police Department

Hayley Hovious

Nashville Health Care Council

Phil Johnston, PharmD.

Vice Provost of Academic Affairs
Belmont University

Patricia Kirkpatrick

Director, Quality & Performance Improvement



Kathryn Kranitzky

Interim QM Director and EPSDT Manager


Rebecca Leslie

Executive Director
Nashville Academy of Medicine

Leslie Meehan

Director, Office of Primary Prevention

Tennessee Department Of Health

Dexter Samuels, Ph.D.

Executive Director
RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College

Vicki Shepard

Vice President, Government and Industry Relations
Tivity Health

Divya Shroff, M.D.

Tristar Centennial Medical Center

Tom Starling Ed.D.

President & CEO
Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee

Joseph Webb, D.Sc.

Nashville General Hospital

Consuelo Wilkins, M.D.

Vice President for Health Equity, Associate Dean for Health Equity

Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Michele Williams, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer
Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center

NashvilleHealth Partners

Aegis Sciences Corporation

Alignment Nashville

Alive Hospice

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association

American Lung Association


Baby & Co.

Bank of America

Baptist Healing Trust

Bass Berry & Sims

Belmont University

Belmont University School of Pharmacy

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Bridgestone Americas

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Catalyst Healthcare Research

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Change Healthcare

Cigna HealthSpring

Colliers International

Connectus Health

Cressey & Co.

Cumberland Consulting Group

Cumberland Pediatric Foundation

CVS Health

eTransX, Inc.

Faith Family Medical Clinic

Governorʼs Foundation for Health and Wellness

Hall Strategies


Healthy Nashville Leadership Council

The Heimerdinger Foundation

Hope Through Healing Hands

Hope Clinic for Women

Interfaith Dental Clinic

Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock

LifePoint Health

Lipscomb School of Pharmacy

March of Dimes

Martha OʼBryan Center

Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center

Meharry Medical College

Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance

Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee

Metro Public Health Department

Metro Nashville Police Department

Metro Nashville Public Schools

Metro Developmental Housing Agency

Mount Zion Baptist Church

Nashville Academy of Medicine

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Nashville Civic Design Center

Nashville General Hospital

Nashville Health Care Council

Nashville Public Library

Neighborhood Health

New Beginnings Center

Nurses for Newborns

Office of the Mayor

Office of Senator Bill Frist


Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee

RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College

Safety Net Consortium

Saint Thomas Health

Siloam Family Health Center


Tennessee Department of Health

Tennessee Hospital Association

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition

Tennessee Pharmacists Association

Tennessee Primary Care Association

Tennessee Public Health Association

Tennessee State University

The Little Clinic

The Nature Conservancy

Tivity Health

TriStar Centennial Medical Center

UBS Nashville Business Solutions Center


United Way

Urology Associates

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Medicine

Vector Management

Warner Music Nashville


Womenʼs Heart Alliance

YMCA of Middle Tennessee

Partner with us