Africare News Release
The Honorable Bill Frist, Sr., M.D.
Former Senator Bill Frist, M.D.,
Joins Africare Board of Directors
WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2007 — Former Senator William H. Frist, Sr., M.D., was elected to the Africare Board of Directors, effective June 11, 2007, announced Board Chairman W. Frank Fountain today.
"Africare welcomes Senator Frist with great anticipation and in full confidence of his intentions to work for sustainable development in Africa,” noted Fountain. “He has been a champion for international development throughout his career and continues with a sincere passion to serve others. That passion and drive for Africa will amplify the similar commitment felt by the entire Africare Board.”
Frist brings extensive background in global health and foreign policy to the Africare Board. Born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., Frist received his undergraduate degree in 1974 from Princeton University, where he specialized in health care policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He went on to earn his M.D. at Harvard Medical School. In 1986, he became Director of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s heart and lung transplantation program — later founding the region’s first multi-organ, multidisciplinary transplant center, also at Vanderbilt.
From January 1995 through January 2007, Frist served two terms as a United States Senator (R-Tenn.). He was the first practicing physician since 1938 to serve in the U.S. Senate. He was also the Senate Majority Leader from January 2003 to January 2007: unanimously elected to that post after serving less total time in Congress than any senator ever to hold that office.
As Majority Leader, Frist championed U.S. leadership in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and worked to ensure that access to clean water became a cornerstone of U.S. foreign assistance. He authored the Sudan Peace Act (H.R. 5531) of 2002, which declared the atrocities taking place in that nation to be genocide. In 2006, Frist decided not to run for re-election to the Senate.
Frist strongly supports “using medicine as a currency for peace” and travels to Africa annually on medical mission trips.
With his fellow former Senate Majority Leader, the Honorable Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Frist is also serving as co-chair of Bono’s ONE Campaign presidential initiative: ONE Vote ’08. According to a June 11, 2007, news release posted on the ONE Vote ’08 Web site, “The ONE Campaign launched ONE Vote '08, an unprecedented, high energy, non-partisan campaign to save lives and secure America's future by energizing presidential candidates and ONE's 2.4 million members to make the fight against global extreme poverty a key foreign policy issue in the 2008 presidential election.” Africare is ONE Campaign partner organization.