UPA Tennessee

About Us

Chief Executive Officer

Kim Friar has played a key role in building our organization and consistently delivers results in the demanding challenges of healthcare. She is a reputable leader known in the Knoxville community for strategic vision to achieve healthcare business goals. Her reliable principles within the industry are numerous by exceeding daily operations with combined strategic planning. Kim provides direct report to the President of UPA and its 18 Physician Board of Director Members alongside the hospital executives and senior leadership council.

Vice President of Client Strategy & Chief Revenue Operations

Christy Bailey provides business insight on all aspects of revenue cycle services. Her strategic leadership and performance expectations are met in collaboration with client operations. She ensures projects and initiatives are financially profitable and meet or exceed margin thresholds.


Vice President of Credentialing & Physician Services

Kerrie Harless oversees the full credentialing process for the hospital's medical staff that are contracted by University Health System, Inc. for medical staff services, and all clinicians that hold and apply for privileges at The University of Tennessee Medical Center. Kerrie manages the coordination and levels of support for those activities between UPA and the hospital as they relate to its Bylaws and Rules and Regulations, The Joint Commission, NCQA and the physician committee structures. Kerrie has over 20 years of experience in healthcare administration.

Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Financial Officer

Scott Stucky’s responsibilities as the CFO of University Physicians’ Association, Inc. include the overall financial management of UPA. His responsibilities also include the oversight of client accounting services. Scott has 21 years of experience in healthcare accounting, including 15 years in Administrative finance roles.

Scott’s responsibilities as the Vice President of Human Resources include the oversight of team member benefits and ensuring that all HR policies and procedures are maintained in accordance with current legislation. He is also responsible for the payroll processing.

Scott is a graduate from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He joined the UPA leadership team in 2005. He has served UPA as the HR leader since 2010.

Vice President of Information Systems & Chief Information Officer

Teresa Matherly has over twenty-five years of professional experience in healthcare administration. In her role, Teresa oversees UPA's information systems that are instrumental in the organization's medical billing service software with focus toward the leading edge of technology offered by practice management and electronic health record vendors. She consistently seeks creative ways to foster new business while ensuring smooth operation and client satisfaction.


Vice President of Managed Care & Contracting

Mitzi Vaughn began her healthcare career at the early age of 16 as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Throughout a variety of healthcare organizations and divisions, she gained knowledge with hands-on involvement that only excels through seasoned experience. Her proficient roles comprised of direct patient care, liaison with network contracts and a variety of practice management were the specialty positions that cultivated her expertise.

Mitzi’s professional leadership roles consist of 34 years of enriched knowledge that include her advancement within UPA since 2011.


Vice President of Operations & Chief Operations Officer

Jerry began his career in healthcare as an Emergency Medical Technician in Georgia. He has worked in patient care in both inpatient and emergency department. His practice management experience includes Urgent Care, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Surgical Oncology and Rheumatology. He has overseen the operations of a physician office laboratory (POL), dealing with CLIA and COLA.

Since joining the UPA, Jerry has been involved in negotiating managed care contracts, membership, credentialing and with clinical integration.

Jerry and his wife, Darlene live in Knoxville, TN. They have 2 sons, a daughter and a grandson. Jerry and Darlene enjoy traveling and always looking for an adventure everywhere they go. Jerry enjoys hiking, biking and hunting.

Jerry Willis can be reached via email at jwillis@mc.utmck.edu or telephone at 865-670-6725.

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Chief Compliance Officer

Betzaida Shands oversees regulatory compliance requirements of the organization and affirms the need for a strong educational training of compliance matters for all team members. She is strategic to the organization’s overall success by providing management, skills and a working knowledge of current federal and state regulatory mandates and laws that pertain specifically to the organization’s needs. She serves as the organization’s legislative representative and is instrumental in the development of departmental control measures. Through the continual evaluation and assessment of the organization’s policies and procedures, the Chief Compliance Officer ensures the currency and accuracy of protocol used within departments and the organization, as a whole.

Director of Marketing

Donna Mowery represents UPA with creative planning and a notable image that encompass over 25 years of experience in a variety of health care roles and responsibilities. Her attributes reflect a unique and approachable style of leadership that are essential to health care marketing. Her strong relationships with colleagues enhance the organization’s ability to effectively communicate to its vast clinical and team members. Seizing difficulties as opportunities, she has formed and implemented numerous processes, presentations, training materials and publications on behalf of the organization. She is quickly able to identify the needs and transfer communication in a professional manner by design and content. Donna is an active member of the Tennessee Society of Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations and the Knoxville Medical Resource Group and has been employed with UPA since 2000.

Director of Practice Management

Sandra Jones (Sandy) is the Director of Physician Practice Management for UPA. She is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in Economics. Sandy joined UPA in 2014 with more than 20 years of healthcare experience, including the direct practice administration of specialties such as OB/GYN, Urology, Surgical Oncology and Thoracic Surgery. In 2014, Sandy assumed management responsibilities for the inaugural practice and proved the viability of UPA’s practice administration vision. Her focus has always been on continuous improvement and providing highest possible administrative standards while focusing on superior customer service and team member engagement. Sandy is married to Rick and has two children, a daughter-in-law and a Golden Retriever named Tucker.