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Leadership

 

James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
James E. Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
Executive Director
 
Jim Bailey is Executive Director of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. He also serves as the Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and Director for the Center for Health System Improvement. Dr. Bailey continues to practice general internal medicine as a primary care physician for adults with complex chronic illness and teaches doctors-in-training. He is principal investigator (PI) for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded study, Management of Diabetes in Everyday Life (MODEL), which recently demonstrated the effectiveness of low-cost motivational text messaging and health coaching to improve healthy eating and other essential diabetes self-care decisions in low-income people with uncontrolled diabetes. He was PI for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded SafeMed study that demonstrated how hospitals can drastically reduce hospital readmissions and overall costs through better outpatient care. Dr. Bailey has served as PI for over 10 major grants and health systems improvement research initiatives and has over 75 journal articles, book chapters, and publications. His research appears in many peer-reviewed medical journals, including JAMAJournal of General Internal Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. His novel, The End of Healing: A Journey Through the Underworld of American Medicine, received a Benjamin Franklin Book Award for popular fiction. Dr. Bailey’s work focuses on patient-centered approaches to improve quality of care and health outcomes for people living in medically underserved areas with multiple chronic conditions. He enjoys leading multidisciplinary teams to address systemic challenges using innovative approaches to meet the triple aim and simultaneously improve patient experience, maximize population health, and reduce healthcare costs.
 
Email: jeb@uthsc.edu 
Phone: 901.448.2475

  Umar Kabir
Umar Y. Kabir, DVM, MPH, PhD 
Umar Y. Kabir, DVM, MPH, PhD
Director of Operations 

Umar Kabir serves as Director of Operations for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium and oversees its TN Population Health Data Network. He is also a Research Leader at the Center for Health System Improvement, College of Medicine, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He has a PhD in Health Systems Management at the University of Memphis School of Public Health. He has extensive research experience in areas including healthcare disparity, health systems strengthening, mental illness, process improvement, and health information technology in low-resource communities. He earned his Master of Public Health from Western Kentucky University in 2016 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ahmadu Bello University in 2011. Dr. Kabir has successfully published research papers in several peer-reviewed journals and has presented both nationally and internationally. He has taught at the University of Memphis and National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism in Abuja, FTC, and did a fellowship in Process Improvement at Qsource. Dr. Kabir’s professional experience includes working as an epidemiologist for the Shelby County government, most recently managing the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Cluster Investigation Unit and Special Investigations Teams. At the beginning of his career, he served as a clinician at the State House Veterinary Clinic in Abuja.

Email: ukabir@uthsc.edu 
Phone: 901.448.2453

Satya Surbhi
Satya Surbhi, PhD
Satya Surbhi, PhD
Director of Measurement and Reporting

Satya Surbhi, an Assistant Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement, College of Medicine, at UTHSC, serves as Director of Measurement and Reporting for Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet), and Co-Investigator and lead evaluator for the Consortium’s main project, the Tennessee Heart Health Network. Dr. Surbhi obtained her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree in India, completed her Master’s in Pharmacy Administration from St. John’s University, and obtained her PhD in Health Outcomes and Policy Research from UTHSC. Her current work focuses on medication adherence, social determinants of health, care transitions, and comparative effectiveness of therapies, among vulnerable patients with multiple chronic conditions. She has experience in conducting health services research among medically underserved Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries using administrative claims data and electronic medical records, as well as conducting pragmatic randomized controlled trials. Currently, she the principal investigator of two studies, a PhRMA Foundation-funded pilot pragmatic randomized control trial aimed at improving medication adherence by providing full medication subsidy and home delivery of medications for Medicaid super-utilizers, and a University-funded retrospective cohort study to examine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on disparities in access to care and health outcomes among patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions. Dr. Surbhi has successfully published her research papers in several peer-reviewed journals, such as American Journal of Managed Care, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. She currently serves as the academic editor for the journal PLOS ONE and invited peer reviewer for more than 15 national and international journals.

Email: ssurbhi@uthsc.edu  
Phone: 901.448.4166
Curriculum Vitae

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Susan Butterworth, PhD
Susan Butterworth, PhD
Director of Patient Engagement
 
Susan Butterworth serves as an Associate Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement, College of Medicine, at UTHSC, and serves as Director of Patient Engagement for Tennessee Population Health Consortium. As Director of Patient Engagement, Dr. Butterworth leads curriculum and program development and delivery including competency assessment for UTHSC Motivational Interviewing, Health Coach, and Community Health Worker Training and Certification programs for lay and interprofessional health care workers. She has a clinical background is exercise physiology and she received her doctoral degree in adult education and training, with a cognate in health promotion from Virginia Commonwealth University. During her 20-year tenure as faculty at Oregon Health & Science University, she founded Health Management Services which won several national awards. Dr. Butterworth's special area of expertise and research is the practical application of behavior change science, such as Motivational Interviewing-based health coaching, to various healthcare settings. She has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous NIH, HRSA and PCORI grants to study the efficacy and impact of health management interventions and has published multiple articles on the theory and outcomes of health coaching. Dr. Butterworth has been an active member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 2002, and has developed certification courses on motivational interviewing and health coaching for clinicians, health coaches, and community health workers for premier health systems nationwide.
 

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Cori Grant, PhD
Cori Grant, PhD
Implementation Research Lead
 
Cori Grant serves as a part-time Assistant Professor in the Center for Health System Improvement and Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, and serves as implementation science lead for the UTHSC Tennessee Population Health Consortium. Dr. Grant serves a key co-investigator on the “Tennessee Heart Health Network: Implementing Patient-Centered Practices in Primary Care to Improve Cardiovascular Health” funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) where she leads the implementation science and qualitative research evaluation teams. Dr. Grant has extensive experience in implementation research and mixed-methods evaluation (including Photovoice) and patient- and family-focused research to evaluate and implement innovative patient-focused approaches for healthcare quality improvement. She earned her BS in Public Health from Texas A&M University and her Master of Science in Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Memphis School of Public Health. Her general research interests include population health and implementation science with a focus on identifying health disparities and including patients and families as research partners. 
 

Nicky Hitching
Nicky Hitching, BA
Nicky Hitching, BA
Scientific Writer
 
Nicky Hitching serves as Scientific Writer for the Center for Health System Improvement and communications lead for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium.  She supports marketing and communications activities for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium and its signature initiative, the Tennessee Heart Health Network. She has experience as grant writer for Memphis nonprofits, and in her previous career worked for many years as a journalist for Memphis Business Journal and for national business and finance publications. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University.
 
Phone: 901.448.2477

Gladys Hunt
Gladys Icaza Hunt, BA
Gladys Icaza Hunt, BA
Patient Advisory Council Coordinator
 
Gladys Hunt serves as the Research Coordinator for the TN Heart Health Network initiative and Patient Advisory Council Coordinator for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. As PAC Coordinator she is responsible for organizing patient partner experts in patient advisory councils in hub cities in each of Tennessee’s grand regions. She received her BA in International Business at Memphis State University. After a long career in management for an international corporation, she shifted her focus to healthcare in 2002. Prior to joining the Center for Health System Improvement, she worked for a healthcare consulting organization working to improve healthcare quality in all clinical settings.
 
Anusha Kompalli
Anusha Kompalli, MS
Anusha Kompalli, MS
Data Engineer, Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet)
 
Anusha Kompalli serves as Data Engineer for the Center for Health System Improvement and Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet). She is responsible for the overall data architecture of TN-POPnet and its component registries including the Diabetes, Heart Health, and Cancer Registries. She leads data import, quality control, and harmonization activities for the TN-POPnet, and collaborates with IT teams of TN-POPnet participating health systems and practices to ensure timely data transfers and to troubleshoot data-related issues. She has MS degrees in Information Systems from University of Memphis and from Acharya Nagarjuna University in India.
 
Phone: 901.448.6820

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Avinash Pakker, MS, Pharm-D 
Avinash Pakker, MS, Pharm-D
Data Analyst, Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet)
 
Avinash Pakker serves as Data Analyst for the Center for Health System Improvement and Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet). He is responsible for the analysis of EHR and administrative claims databases, production of quality/practice improvement reports for TN-POPnet participating health systems and practices and for assisting with the design, analysis, and interpretation of various health services research studies. He also helps to operationalize research questions, create study cohorts, apply analytic approaches, and assist with interpretation. Avinash has a MS in Health Informatics from Indiana University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India.
 

 

Graduate Research Assistants

 


Ming Chen
Ming Chen, MS
Ming Chen, MS
Graduate Research Assistant
 
Ming Chen is a doctoral research assistant in the Institute of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Center for Health System Improvement and she works to support research initiatives of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. She received her bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from China. She earned her Master in pharmaceutical outcomes research from the University of Florida. Her main interests include health service research, health outcomes, and observational study. The databases she has worked on include Registry, electronic medical records, federal and commercial administrative claims. She likes traveling, basketball, and watching live games.  
 

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Deborah Ogunsanmi, B Pharm
 
Deborah Ogunsanmi, B Pharm
Graduate Research Assistant
 
Deborah Ogunsanmi is a Ph.D. student in the Institute for Health Outcomes and Policy at UTHSC and a graduate research assistant in the Center for Health System Improvement, and she works to support research initiatives of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. She received her bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Her research interest is focused on improving health care quality, health outcomes, access to medicines, and medication adherence especially amongst those with chronic conditions. In her free time she enjoys working out, traveling, and making new friends.  
 
May 26, 2022