Present and Future

UTHSC to Create Two New Faculty Practice Groups

Memphis, Tenn. (September 21, 2010) – Steve Schwab, MD, chancellor for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has announced that UTHSC is creating two new faculty practice groups as joint ventures with partner teaching hospitals in Memphis and Chattanooga. "Both of these ventures establish new practice expansion opportunities, generate new lines of revenue for the Health Science Center, and will enhance the teaching environment. These types of ventures are essential to drive the university’s go-forward expansion strategy," Chancellor Schwab stated.

In Memphis

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are launching a new pediatric specialty faculty group practice. "The increased focus on alignment between hospital and university will allow cooperation in clinical care, research and teaching," Dr. Schwab explained.

The new physician group, UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists (ULPS), will initially include more than 100 pediatric subspecialists who are currently members of UT Medical Group, Inc. (UTMG). These physicians practice at Le Bonheur and have academic appointments at UTHSC. They represent pediatric medical areas ranging from pediatric heart surgery to pediatric neonatology. In addition to treating children throughout the Mid-South at Le Bonheur, these physicians are devoted to cutting-edge research related to children’s health, and education of the next generation of pediatric physicians and surgeons.

The ULPS structure will also allow the children’s hospital and the university to jointly recruit highly trained, highly sought-after pediatric specialists to Memphis. "This concept will allow us to recruit the best and brightest to Memphis to care for our children," said Le Bonheur President and CEO Meri Armour. "We are working hard to cultivate pediatric thought leaders and experts to expand the capabilities of both Le Bonheur and UTHSC."

All physicians in the UT Le Bonheur Pediatric Specialists group will be UTHSC faculty members. The group will be governed by an 11-member board of directors including the practicing physicians. A chief executive officer will be recruited to lead the practice. The practice will be in place by January 1, 2011, and has been presented to the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Board of Directors. ULPS will be the Mid-South’s only multi-specialty pediatric group practice solely focused on children’s health. Substantial growth is expected in this practice both from local and national sources.

"We see closer alignments with our health care partners across the state as an essential element in our ability to expand our educational offerings and increase our ability to serve the state and region," Chancellor Schwab observed. "UT Health Science Center is already the state’s leading purveyor of health care trainees in a variety of fields – medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and allied health professions. To expand our educational capacity and improve the opportunities for health care trainees at partner institutions, we will work in close collaboration with our partners."

In Chattanooga

The Erlanger Health System, in partnership with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has created a new physician practice plan called the UT-Erlanger Medical Group. The formation of this multi-specialty physician group, approved by Erlanger trustees, will include more than 150 physicians and mid-level providers.

Physicians in the newly formed UT-Erlanger Medical Group represent a wide range of medical expertise, from both adult and pediatric specialties. In addition to providing health care for all ages, members of the UT-Erlanger Medical Group will continue to focus on medical research and educating future medical specialists.

David Seaberg, MD, dean of the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga at Erlanger, noted the new UT-Erlanger Medical Group "will finally align the clinical strategic vision of the Erlanger Health System with the academic mission and strategic direction of the university." Dr. Seaberg went on to enumerate the benefits, noting that the plan "will strengthen the partnership between the university and the Erlanger Health System, provide stability for the physicians in the practice, enhance the efficiency of the clinical practices and, most importantly, provide better patient care for the greater Chattanooga community."