UPA Tennessee

Chief Executive Officer

Kim Friar

Chief Executive Officer


Kim Friar is a reputable leader known in the Knoxville community for her strategic vision to achieve healthcare business goals. Kim has worked alongside hospital executives and leadership with UPA since its beginning days in 1995. Her strong qualities are an attribute to the organization's unique culture-driven environment.

Alongside the 18 physician-led Board of Directors and its president, Kim oversees all aspects of the various business lines within the UPA. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Childhelp in Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

Kim is devoted to her family and enjoys spending as much time as possible together with them. She enjoys everything surrounding nature in the Smoky Mountains including hiking.

Vice President Operations & Chief Operations Officer

Jerry B. Willis, MBA

VP, 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 Human Resources & Chief Financial Officer

Scott A. Stucky, SHRM-CP, PHR

VP 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 23 years of experience in healthcare accounting, including 18 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 and remains a true Volunteer. He joined the UPA leadership team in 2005. He has served UPA as the HR leader since 2010.

Scott is devoted to his family and stays active with athletics through his son's sports.

Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Chief Compliance Officer

Betzaida Shands

VP 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.

Betzaida is active in many events but especially enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys hiking, snow-skiing, snorkeling, traveling and is quick to conquer adventures together with them.

Vice President Information Systems & Chief Information Officer

Teresa A. Matherly

VP Information Systems & Chief Information Officer


Teresa Matherly has over twenty-seven 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.

Teresa is extremely talented with system technicalities and is quick to identify the physician practice systematic needs. Her keen abilities prove that her reputation is widely recognized in the East Tennessee healthcare communities.

Her talents show off at cooking on a master level along with creative planning and excellent writing skills. She enjoys holiday cooking alongside her granddaughter and Tennessee tailgating with family and friends.


Vice President Client Strategy & Chief Revenue Operations

Christy Bailey, RHIT, CPB

VP Client Strategy & 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.

Christy has grown with UPA since its existence and her devotion is magnified through quality and compassion. She is quick to nurture training opportunities for her revenue cycle managment team.

Christy is a native of West Virginia but her family are true Ohio State Buckeyes. She is driven with passion serving others but her true passion surrounds her family. She is non-stop active in their sporting events but equally thrives with all responsibilities in her UPA family.


Vice President Physician Services

Kerrie Harless

VP 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 24 years of experience in healthcare administration. Her organizational skills are proven solid during multiple audits throughout the calendar year. She maintains constistent work flow during the fast-paced and high volume profession of medical staff services.

Kerrie enjoys time with her family the most but as a native Floridian, she always loves sunshine and get-away beach trips with family and friends.

Vice President Contracting

Mitzi Vaughn

VP 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 36 years of enriched knowledge that include her advancement within UPA since 2011.

Mitzi operates on high-level demands of major healthcare organizations. Her awareness to sudden changes are imperative to UPA's membership that can impact revenues on multiple levels. Her strong relationships and contractual knowledge are key to UPA's organization.

Mitzi is a native of East Tennessee and enjoys priority time with her family.