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UTHSC Advisory Board

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Advisory Board — created under the UT FOCUS Act passed by the General Assembly in 2018 — is composed of five public members, one faculty member, and one student member. The Advisory Board members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the General Assembly.

Advisory Board Members

Gubernatorial Appointment

  • Chair: Philip Wenk, DDS
  • Honorable Mark Norris
  • Natalie Tate, PharmD, MBA
  • Michael Ugwueke, PhD

Faculty Senate Elected

  • Terrance Cooper, PhD

Student Representative

  • Leah Burns


  • Anthony A. Ferrara, CPA, MAS

Agendas and Minutes

Minutes will be posted following their approval at the next Advisory Board meeting.



Phillip Wenk photo

Philip A. Wenk, DDS

Phil Wenk, DDS, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee since 2000, has earned a reputation as one of Tennessee’s leading health care executives. Dr. Wenk was selected as one of the University of Tennessee’s most illustrious alum when he was selected from more than 370,000 alumni and named to the list of “Top 100 Distinguished Alumni” by Tennessee Alumnus, the University of Tennessee system’s alumni magazine. Dr. Wenk has also been recognized as a “Health Care Hero” and named to the “Health Care 100” by Nashville Business Journal.

Dr. Wenk is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and received his DDS from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  Prior to coming to Delta Dental, Dr. Wenk practiced dentistry for two decades in his hometown of Clinton, TN.  He and his wife of 46 years, Brenda, live in Brentwood and frequently spend time with their two children and three grandchildren.

Norris photo

The Honorable Mark Norris

Mark S. Norris is a United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Tennessee. He is a graduate of Colorado College and the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. A former Shelby County Commissioner and State Senator, Norris practiced law for 38 years before his appointment to the Court in 2018.

Tate photo.

Natalie A. Tate, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Dr. Natalie Tate joined BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee in September 2015 as Vice President of Pharmacy Management.  In this role, Dr. Tate oversees all aspects of the Pharmacy Management program and provides strategic direction for the pharmacy teams charged with helping our members improve their health outcomes.  Prior to joining BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Dr. Tate served with Bristol-Myers Squibb as Director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research; with Memphis Managed Care Corporation as Director of Pharmacy and as a pharmacist with both Walgreens and the Memphis Mental Health Institute. 

Dr. Tate earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is certified by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties.

Ugwueke photo

Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE

Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE, President and COO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 30 years' experience and a track record of developing partnerships with physicians, associates and community leaders to address healthcare needs in the community. He has been recognized by City, County and State elected officials for his efforts to improve access to quality healthcare and is committed to patient- and family-centered care, excellent clinical quality and community wellness. 

Dr. Ugwueke received a Doctorate in Health Administration and Leadership from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and a Master's Degree in Public Health from Emory University. A member of various professional organizations, including NAHSE (National Association of Health Services Executives) and ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives), Dr. Ugwueke was recently named a recipient of Becker’s Healthcare 2015 Leadership Awards and was honored in 2012 as a Modern Healthcare Top 25 Minority Executive.

Dr. Terrance Cooper

Terrance Cooper, PhD (Faculty Member)

Dr. Terry Cooper, Andrey Avinoff Professor of Genetics and Biochemistry at University of Pittsburgh, came to UT in 1985 as the Harriet S. Van Vleet Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. He founded and was director of the Molecular Resource Center (1985-2001) and chaired the Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology. His research has been continuously supported by NIH for 45 years.  He Chaired the AAMC Council of Academic Societies, served on the AAMC Executive Committee, and as Distinguished Service Member. Faculty Senate President (2016-2017) and served on the UT Board of Trustees (2017-2018).

Sonali Demla

Sonali Demla (Student Member)

Sonali is from Lawton, Oklahoma. She received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2018 and soon after moved to Memphis. She is a current D3 at the College of Dentistry and also serves as the Dental School Executive Council (DSEC) President as well as the Student Government Associaton Executive Committee (SGAEC) President.

Last Published: Jan 14, 2022