It’s been a point of pride in Nashville’s health care community just how many companies trace their roots back to HCA, the nation’s largest hospital chain, valued at more than $45 billion. It’s locally known as the “family tree” and has made the city a national hub for health care services. But health care leaders in the city also say it has failed to build critical diversity within its upper ranks.
In Nashville’s dominant health care sector, Chris Poole is one of the few Black entrepreneurs.
“Given where society was when health care got started in this town, there just isn’t really anyone who looks like me who is in that circle,” he said.
That circle was only white men when HCA incorporated in 1968.
Poole got his start with a health care investment fund. He now leads a startup called ThriveAP that helps hospitals support new nurse practitioners and