Dr. Jim Bailey

University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine

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University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine


Dr. Jim Bailey is Executive Director of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium, a statewide partnership including the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and its Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville campuses; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and partnering academic institutions, health systems, health plans, quality improvement (QI) organizations, providers, and patients. The Consortium aims to strengthen primary and preventive care to measurably improve population health and health equity in Tennessee. The Consortium’s signature initiative—the Tennessee Heart Health Network funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)—is developing sustainable, statewide QI support capacity for primary care. This Network of primary care practices will work together to make primary care more patient-centered and effective at improving heart health for people in Tennessee. The Consortium also leads the Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet), and supports its registries for obesity and diabetes, heart health, and cancer prevention to tracks outcomes and measurably improve population health across Tennessee.

Dr. Bailey studied the great books at St. John’s College in Annapolis; medicine and public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; completed a residency in internal medicine, primary care and served as Chief Medical Resident at the University of Washington in Seattle; and is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. At UTHSC he serves as the Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and Director for the Center for Health Systems 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 JAMA, Journal 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.