The goal of Thomas F. Frist Jr., before he founded and became Chairman Emeritus of HCA, has always been to better the human condition. HCA became the platform through which his goal to improve human life was achieved.
On a parallel path, the United Way for the past 118 years has sought to mobilize the caring power of communities into making a difference in people’s lives through improved education, income and health.
Recognizing the value in these parallels, Dr. Frist created the Alexis de Tocqueville Society in 1981 as a way to bridge and strengthen shared goals and to unite community leaders of like mind. His committed stewardship of the program over the past 30 years has seen the expansion of its original ten communities in Nashville to well over 500 communities worldwide.
For his lifetime commitment, the United Way at the Community Leaders Conference in Nashville last week presented Dr. Frist with the inaugural United Way Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions over a lifetime of effort that help create opportunities for a better life for all and advance the common good in global communities.
“I am honored to accept the United Way Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Frist at the conference. “Individuals and corporations play an important role in the creation of stronger, more vibrant societies, and I am thankful that I have been able to play a small part in the development of opportunities for a better life for all. I am forever indebted to HCA for providing me a platform and encouragement over the years to work with organizations like United Way Worldwide.”
Since its inception, Alexis de Tocqueville Society members, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffet and more than 25,000 other families around the world, have invested an average of about $600 million annually.
Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, says Dr. Frist’s longstanding support of United Way “is a tremendous asset to communities throughout our worldwide network. Throughout a lifetime of philanthropy and community support, Dr. Frist has helped grow the United Way movement, through the creation and stewardship of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society and continual advocacy for our community impact goals in education, income and health.”
“Dr. Frist’s extraordinary leadership remains a benchmark moment in philanthropy, and the catalytic effect will be felt for generations to come,” added 14-year Tocqueville Society member Mike Schmerling, chairman of Choice Food Group in Nashville. “The impact of his vision can be measured by the $7 billion generated to date, the 25,000-membership in over 500 societies worldwide, and most importantly, the positive impact on countless lives. Dr. Frist’s invitation to invest at an altitude that reflects the true capacity of our caring is among the most important in the history of philanthropy,” Schmerling continued.