Belmont’s new College of Medicine named in honor of HCA Healthcare co-founder Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr. 

“It’s been said that a good name is more valuable than anything else.”

Those remarks, made by University President Dr. Bob Fisher this spring, were a perfect set up to the naming of the new Belmont medical school in honor of health care icon Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Jr., co-founder of HCA Healthcare. In addition to its name, the Thomas F. Frist, Jr. College of Medicine at Belmont University enjoys strong ties with HCA Healthcare, whose Nashville-based TriStar Health will provide residencies and clinical rotations for students of the college. Planning continues for the new college with an interdisciplinary retreat held this spring to gather input from faculty and administrative leaders across the University.

Fisher said, “We have exceedingly high aspirations for this new College of Medicine. We know that we will have to earn a world-class reputation over time, but we intend to deliver a world-class learning environment beginning on day one with outstanding faculty, staff, students, physical resources and clinical experiences… The name ‘Thomas F. Frist, Jr. College of Medicine’ signals our determination to create an innovative, entrepreneurial approach to compassionate, patient-centered care that will settle for nothing less than the very best.” 

A Nashville native, Dr. Thomas “Tommy” Frist, Jr. had an idea while serving in the military for a company that would bring hospitals together to share resources. In 1968, Dr. Frist, his father Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr. and Jack C. Massey formed Hospital Corporation of America (now HCA Healthcare). As one of the nation’s first investor-owned hospital companies, HCA Healthcare modernized the way health care was delivered in the United States while keeping patient care and safety first. 

Dr. Frist noted, “Belmont has a history of building programs that are exceptional. I know with the leadership at the University, we have the potential to build a school that produces physicians with the same heart for service that guided my own career—not just for Nashville but also for a nation that desperately needs more practicing physicians.” 

The Frist College of Medicine is built on a strong history of connections between Belmont and HCA Healthcare, one that traces back to another of the company’s co-founders Jack Massey, a staunch Belmont supporter and the namesake of the Jack C. Massey College of Business. Initial plans for a building to house the Frist College of Medicine extend the campus’ footprint further down Wedgewood Avenue with a 160,000 square foot facility designed to create a fully interdisciplinary educational experience.