Tennessee Alumnus

Spanning the State

Spanning the State

By Elizabeth A. Davis

UTHSC does more than train Tennessee’s health professionals.

When you go to the doctor’s or dentist’s office, get a prescription filled, or undergo therapy in Tennessee, there’s a good chance your health professional trained at the University of Tennessee.

Filling the needs of the state’s health care workforce is only part of the impact the UT Health Science Center has on Tennessee. With the relationships UTHSC has built over the last century, the Health Science Center enhances the state, both physically and economically.

In Memphis alone, UTHSC contributes about $2 billion to the city’s economy every year. UTHSC is the sixteenth largest employer in Memphis with more than 3,400 employees. More than 4,500 UTHSC graduates live and work in Shelby County.

“The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is one of Memphis’s and the Mid-South’s most important economic engines. Without a vibrant medical school, it is unlikely we would be home to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or have a new growing Bioworks Park,” says Karl Schledwitz, UT trustee from Memphis.

More than 6,300 members of the UTHSC faculty and staff are spread across the state, teaching and working in hospitals and clinical facilities in nearly every county. Two of those facilities are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Regional Medical Center at Memphis.

“The labs and clinics of St. Jude are enriched by faculty and students from UT, synergizing with the faculty and staff of St. Jude to create the leading pediatric cancer center in the world and the only National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center devoted solely to children,” says Dr. William E. Evans, director and CEO of St. Jude and a UT College of Pharmacy graduate.

Dr. Reginald Coopwood, president and CEO of the Regional Medical Center at Memphis, says his hospital and UTHSC have had an invaluable partnership.

“For decades, this partnership has advanced the practice of medicine and helped to ensure that access to quality health care is readily available in our community and state,” he says. “Today, approximately 400 UTHSC physicians on our medical staff, along with the more than 200 residents and medical students in training, provide exceptional health care services within our walls.”

Since 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care professionals.

“Without UTHSC, there would be a big hole—in UT, in the state, and for sure in West Tennessee,” says George Cates, another UT trustee from Memphis.

“The UTHSC is a critical component in the current and future success of the university and the state. Its blossoming resurgence assures that UTHSC will increasingly shape economic progress as well as the health and well-being of Tennessee.”