PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT: Shaun Frost, MD, SFHM | Shaun Frost, Society of Hospital Medicine, SHM, hospitalist, Cogent Healthcare, Cogent HMG, Rusty Holman

Cogent Exec Elected New Leader for Hospital Physicians 

Shaun Frost, MD, has “grown up” with the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM).

SHM was only a year old when, fresh out of his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Frost joined the fledging organization. Now Nashville-based Cogent HMG’s regional chief medical officer has been elected to lead the national organization for the 2012-13 presidential term.

SHM, which represents the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, is now the nation’s largest organization representing hospitalists and the practice of hospital medicine. The organization has a membership totaling 10,000 practicing hospitalists and more than 30,000 individuals in the hospital medicine professions.

Both the organization and physician leader have come a long way since the beginning of their relationship. In 2005, Frost was honored with the National Award for Clinical Excellence from SHM.

“It is an incredible honor to be elected to this position with SHM,” said Frost. “SHM is an outstanding organization comprised of industry thought leaders and innovative hospital professionals.” The president-elect added, “After working with the Society for many years as a physician member, I look forward to stepping into this new role and having the opportunity to help shape the future of hospital medicine.”

As regional medical director for Cogent HMG, Frost serves as chief medical officer for the company’s northeastern region. In May, Cogent Healthcare merged with Ohio-based Hospitalists Management Group (HMG) to form the largest private hospitalist company in the United States with nearly 1,000 affiliated hospitalists and extenders practicing in more than 100 healthcare facilities nationwide. The combined company will maintain its Nashville headquarters but keep offices in Canton, Ohio.

“Cogent HMG is so proud to have Dr. Frost as a leader in our organization,” said Rusty Holman, MD, MHM, chief clinical officer of Cogent HMG. “This is a position well deserved by Dr. Frost, whose contribution to the organization and the field of hospital medicine has been nationally recognized and makes him uniquely suited to this role. Shaun is a distinguished leader in hospital medicine who has an intimate understanding of patient care settings ranging from small community hospitals to large major academic centers.”

Holman continued, “Frost has played a key leadership role in the hospitalist industry and championed the development of SHM local chapters throughout the U.S., studied, published and educated others on surgical co-management service, and led to the development of hospitalist fellowship program in SHM.”

Frost said, “I’ve always been fond of the organization, it has done fabulous things for me personally as I have developed professionally.”

Frost grew up in Calgary, in western Alberta, Canada and remains a Canadian citizen. He went to high school in Denver and followed a trail, blazed by many of his classmates, to Texas for college. Frost did not go unnoticed at Baylor University, where he received his undergraduate degree, along with membership in Phi Beta Kappa, presidential and valedictorian scholarships and graduated summa cum laude.

He had already identified a keen interest and aptitude in science so it was a natural step to enroll in medical school. Frost chose the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha and received numerous awards. He did an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University Medical Center in Dallas.

Frost began his career at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he was the director of non-teaching in-patient services. He is also former faculty member at the University of Minnesota and Pennsylvania State University Medical Schools.

“I was not primarily career-driven when I was determining my path. I was looking for a position in an academic medical center but found that the job I found most attractive was working with fledging hospitals,” he recalled.

He has extensive speaking and writing experience on a variety of healthcare topics and is often chosen as a spokesman to address healthcare systems integration issues that are universally germane to practicing hospitalists, such as leadership and teamwork, quality and process improvement, management of care transitions and the hospitalist as teacher. In the hospital setting, he is interested in and likes to stay involved with construction of facilities, deployment of resources and implementation of ideas.

Of his role in SHM, Frost stressed the importance of the organization’s ongoing push for the highest quality healthcare and the need to continue to anticipate changes to healthcare reform and delivery. SHM has a presence in Washington D.C., and Frost envisions the organization will continue to work in public policy as a staunch advocate for advancing the quality of care for patients in meetings where decisions are made on healthcare policy.

In his position with Cogent, he sees himself as relentlessly working to improve efficiency of care to hospitalized patients by establishing the best practices within the facility, identifying and removing barriers to efficiency, and measuring outcomes.

When not at work on behalf of Cogent or SHM, Frost likes to get outside and spend time with his children, ages 13 and 10. “Anytime I can get away, we really enjoy going biking together.” Fittingly, for a leader in a Nashville-based company, Frost also loves music and enjoys picking a few tunes on his guitar.