Former Trump Administration Health Official Launches Nashville-Based Firm to Expand Healthcare Companies Nationwide


Former Trump administration health official and Tennessee native Brad Smith established a firm to create and grow healthcare companies for high-needs and vulnerable populations. The company, Russell Street Ventures (RSV), is expected to launch or scale several companies within the next six months to a year. One of those companies will focus exclusively on rural healthcare.

“We are committed to launching a company that will expand access to healthcare for rural Americans,” Smith told The Tennessee Star. “We are also very interested in solutions that improve care for underserved and vulnerable populations including seniors, individuals with serious illness and both adults and children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.”

According to RSV’s press release, the firm will also prioritize innovation focused on improved quality and lowered costs. Those objectives mirror many of those undertaken by Smith throughout his time in the Trump Administration.

The Star asked the entrepreneur about his support of price transparency, an issue the President Trump championed.

“Price transparency has the potential to significantly change the healthcare system by helping lower cost while simultaneously improving quality. It is an important aspect of several of the ideas we are considering,” he said.

Prior to resigning ahead of the Biden administration, Smith served a variety of roles in the White House. As reported by The Tennessee Star, he was the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Trump Administration requested his help in assisting the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on cost-effective health care payment and service delivery models.

Smith’s expertise opened him up to other roles within the White House. Smith was also the CMS deputy administrator, former HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s senior advisor, and White House Domestic Policy Council deputy director.

Before his work in the White House, Smith co-founded and led Aspire Health with Tennessee’s former Senator Bill Frist. That company went on to operate in 25 states and over 70 cities, and was acquired by the national insurance provider Anthem in 2018. Smith was also the Economic and Community Development Chief of Staff during former Governor Bill Haslam’s administration.

Other former Trump Administration staffers joining RSV will be Eric Hargarten, Rachael Baitel and Kara Pitts.

– – –

Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Brad Smith” by Nashville Institute for Faith and Work.

Updated 1:30 pm CT March 3




Related posts