Biographical Information

Mark grew up in rural Illinois. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Washington University School of Medicine (MD), Stanford University (Medical Information Science), and Washington University Olin School of Business (MBA). 

In 2013, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 

Mark is an internist trained in hematology oncology who was a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean at Washington University School of Medicine. He left Washington University to become a Vice President at Express Scripts. There he had the opportunity to help create consumer web sites for over 60 million members. He also ran their Practice Patterns Science subsidiary and later became Chief Medical Officer.
He subsequently explored the real world of health care technology by joining First Consulting Group. While there he was involved in a range of engagements. The most long-standing included a large-scale quality study for Texas Health Resources and an ambitious clinical information system implementation for Allina in Minneapolis.

For the past nine years, he’s been the Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University. In 2010 he was granted a secondary appointment as Professor of Management in the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management and more recently in the School of Nursing. Through these positions he has extensive contact with students both in the Medical Center and in the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Working with the support of Governor Phil Bredesen on a five-year project funded by AHRQ and the State of Tennessee, Mark and his amazing colleagues  created a regional health information exchange involving all major providers in the Memphis area. The Exchange has comprehensive data sharing agreements and supports care for over 1,200,000 people. It has been in operation for since May of 2006. As of 2010, Mark and Vanderbilt's role have diminished. As intended, the effort is now managed entirely by its Memphis Board and services are largely provided through Informatics Corporation of America. Mark is in the process of writing up the results of this ambitious experience. Formal evaluation has shown statistically significant financial savings through the use of health information exchange in the emergency department settings.

Mark is now focusing efforts on national efforts, research, and teaching.  As a participant in the ONC-sponsored SHARP initiative in privacy research, he and Vanderbilt colleagues are applying novel domain modeling techniques to "gateways" among various health care delivery organizations. Modeled on evolving NHIN specifications and incorporating both federal and institutional policies, he and his group are trying to create a uniform approach to security and privacy across a range of "external" services including web portals, PHRs, remote monitoring, secure messaging, and population health reporting. 

Mark participates in projects that bring informatics skills to bear through a CMS Innovation award focused on chronic disease management and reduction of hospital readmissions. He is also active in the development of IT strategics for the Vanderbilt Health Affiliate Network

His teaching focuses on the Department of Biomedical Informatics, The School of Nursing, and the Owen Graduate School of Management. For two years he directed Owen's Masters of Management in Health Care program. He also led their nine-month "Capstone" consulting course where  teams of executive students are applying their skills to pressing issues at Vanderbilt and for other Nashville organizations.





Quick Searches
Mark has focused on a number of areas.
  • He was an editor of the “Manual of Medical Therapeutics” in 1982 - one of the largest-selling medical books in the world.
  • He started working on hypertext information retrieval systems since 1986 and was on the program committee for Hypertext ‘87. One member of his lab team, Scott Hassan, went on to found Google and now works with another former lab member, Steve Cousins, to advance robotics at Willow Garage. Scott now leads Suitable Technologies.
  • He founded the Medical Informatics Laboratory within the Department of Internal Medicine and for was Co-Director of the NLM-funded Training Program in Biomedical Informatics at Washington University. His mentors were Jerome Cox and Charles Molnar. His closest faculty colleague was Michael Kahn.
  • He was involved in a large-scale data integration project in the mid 1990s that provided drug interaction alerts to pharmacists at the BJC Health System in St. Louis.
  • As an associate dean at Washington University, he was director of the Bernard Becker Medical Library and had the good fortune of spending a lot of time with Dr. Becker.
  • He served as academic director of a health care executive MBA program at the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University.
  • He helped found RxHub; later served on the board of SureScripts, and in the latter capacity most recently was involved in the merger of the two entities into one firm called SureScripts.
  • He’s led workshops and authored comprehensive reports on privacy, confidentiality, and health information exchange.
  • He served as a co-chair for the State of Florida Health Information Privacy and Security (HISPC) effort and spoke at many regional meetings.
  • He co-chaired the Markle Foundation’s Connecting for Health Common Framework group that developed many of the data sharing policies. Carol Diamond, David Lansky, Gerry Hinkley, and Allen Briskin played key roles. Vicki Estrin brought these policies to life in Memphis. Markle inspired all.
  • He’s led workshops for a number of state-level initiatives. In 2008, he completed a workshop and authored a report proposing re-organizing the health care system for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Later in 2008, he led and reported on a multi-day workshop addressing reorganizing the State of New York’s approach to progressive intermittent frailty and the care of the elderly.
  • He served on the Governor Phil Bredesen's eHealth Council and played a role in transitioning this council to a non-profit public-private partnership.
  • In 2010, he led workshops for the State of Louisiana's HIT planning.
  • He had the good fortune in the winter of 2009-2010 to support the NHIN Working Group at ONC.
  • He was on the steering group for the ONC Strategic Plan.
  • He is an advisor to a federally-funded State Health Policy Consortium as well as to other groups.
  • He was a primary author of a successful CMS Innovation Program Award 
He lives in Nashville, TN and retains a home in St. Louis. He wife Cathy died in March, 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer.  He spends as much time as possible his two daughters. The eldest is a medical student at University of Missouri School of Medicine and the youngest is a medical student at Washington University School of Medicine. Both are graduates of Barnard College. 


There can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms..
Cicero, Tusculan Disuptations [link]

Fight the good fight; finish the race; remain faithful
adapted from 2 Timothy 4:7

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Mark Frisse,
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