About Us


safemed teamIn 2012 the University of Tennessee Health Science Center received a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Health Care Innovation Award (HCIA) under the medication management umbrella. The money was used in partnership with Methodist Healthcare to implement an innovative approach to care transitions using a team-based approach utilizing nurses, pharmacists, LPN’s and pharmacy technicians as community outreach workers, and a social worker. The lessons we learned over the three-year implementation period culminated into the SafeMed model described here. This site contains descriptive information about the model, success stories, tools for implementation and collaboration, and a sharing of our lessons learned through the availability of published papers and presentations.



Jim Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP

SafeMed Project Director

Photo of Dr. Jim Bailey
Dr. Jim Bailey

Dr. Bailey is a professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where he directs the Center for Health System Improvement, cares for the sick, and teaches doctors in training. Dr. Bailey served as the founding board chair for the Common Table Health Alliance, the MidSouth’s regional health improvement collaborative, and spearheaded its signature Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) Initiative. Dr. Bailey’s research centers on health system organization and its impact on quality of care and health outcomes for people with chronic diseases. He work particularly focuses on patients with multiple chronic conditions, and he is deeply engaged in partnership with the people and providers of medically underserved areas in West Tennessee to find patient-centered approaches to improve care for diabetes and other chronic conditions. His research appears in many peer-reviewed medical journals, including JAMA, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine and has resulted in over 50 publications. Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography.

Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE

SafeMed Project Co-Director

Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE
Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE

Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE, President and COO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 29 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. Ugwueke is very active in the Memphis community. A Leadership Memphis Alumni, Dr. Ugwueke has a keen interest in improving education and youth development. As a result, he currently serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis, Soulsville Foundation, and Memphis New Leaders. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Church Health Center, Christ Community Health Services and the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

Bonnie Binkley

Program Manager

Bonnie Binkley

Bonnie Binkley has a combined 15 years of experience in research including 7.5 years in human subjects protection, and 7.5 years in social and behavioral research. Her undergraduate degree is in Anthropology/Sociology from Rhodes and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Memphis. Bonnie is the Research Manager for the Center for Health Systems Improvement and works with Dr. Bailey improve care for diabetes and other chronic conditions.




Ilana Gaetz, PhD

Director of Measurement

Ilana Gaetz, PhD

Ilana Graetz, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Health Services and Policy Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Her research work focuses on the role of health information technology and organizational culture and their effects on clinical care quality and costs for patients with chronic conditions; and patient knowledge and behavior with respect to insurance access and insurance benefit design. She is particularly interested in how technology can be leveraged to improve care and self-management practices for patients with chronic conditions.

She received a doctorate in Health Services Research and Policy Analysis with an emphasis on organizational theory from the University of California, Berkeley. During her graduate education, she was awarded an AHRQ-sponsored dissertation grant to examine the relationship between use of EHR, care coordination, and care quality and outcomes for patients with diabetes. Prior to her current position, she worked as a data analyst at the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Oakland, CA) for nearly ten years.

Funding Opportunity Notice and Disclaimer

The project described was supported by Grant Number 1C1CMS331067-01-00 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies.