Tennessee Needs
Better Heart Care

Too many Tennesseans suffer from life-threatening heart disease that could be prevented and/or managed. Our state is #3 in heart attack and stroke, and the numbers are growing every day. The Tennessee Heart Health Network is committed to changing that.

Who We Are

Our Network

The Tennessee Heart Health Network is a statewide network of primary care providers, health systems, community-based organizations, and academic centers committed to identifying, developing, and implementing patient-centered approaches to improve quality of care and outcomes for Tennesseans with heart disease. This network includes leading Tennessee health plans, health professional organizations, and advocacy organizations and is coordinated by the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. In addition to helping patients, we are studying how healthcare organizations can work together to improve cardiovascular outcomes, to advance our goal of moving the needle on heart health in Tennessee and beyond.

Our Goals

The overall goals of the Tennessee Heart Health Network are:

  • Leverage existing infrastructure by identifying and implementing appropriate evidence-based interventions to improve quality and outcomes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) care
  • Target control of hypertension and high cholesterol as two of the most potent CVD risk factors
  • Assist primary care providers and community-based organizations in working together to identify and address social determinants of health such as food insecurity in order to improve heart health
  • Reduce disparities in CVD outcomes and risks
  • Identify what is most effective at the practice level, then share our findings with practices across Tennessee
  • Help primary care practices across Tennessee strengthen their teams to offer new population services proven to help patients overcome diabetes, obesity, and ultimately heart disease through healthier living

Our Partners

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is supporting our work through a five-year Innovative Cardiovascular Health Program award to promote and disseminate evidence-based approaches to address social determinants underlying adverse cardiovascular outcomes and disparities in collaboration with community health centers serving Tennessee census tracts with highest prevalence of hypertension.

Health Systems and Providers

Care Rite, PLLC

Family Health Care of Camden

Fast Access Healthcare


Horizon Family Medicine

Integrated Health Concepts

Paul Perryman, MD

Health Plans

Professional, Advocacy, and Quality Improvement Organizations

Academic Institutions

Our Governance

Executive Council

The Tennessee Heart Health Network is governed by the 12-member Executive Council, made up of representatives from key partner organizations. This advisory council provides the strong strategic oversight, guidance, and support that is essential for the success of the Network. The council is chaired by Shari Rajoo, MD, MS, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Population Health, at Ballad Health.


Shari K. Rajoo, MD, MS
Executive Council Chair, Tennessee Heart Health Network
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Population Health Services, Ballad Health

Shari Rajoo is a primary care physician who has worked with Ballad Health for 13 years, currently as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Population Health Services. She has a passion both for patient-centered care across the care continuum and for reducing health disparities. Her past roles there include Medical Director for Population Health for Ballad Health Medical Associates and Medical Director for Ballad’s Patient Centered Medical Home initiative. She has a MS from the University of Southern Mississippi and her MD from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada.

Jim Bailey
(901) 448-2475

Jim Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP
Principal Investigator, Tennessee Heart Health Network
Executive Director, Tennessee Population Health Consortium, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Jim Bailey serves as the Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Director for the Center for Health Systems Improvement, and Executive Director for the Tennessee Population Health Consortium at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is principal investigator (PI) for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded Tennessee Heart Health Network which seeks to support and strengthen primary care practices across Tennessee in in their efforts to improve cardiovascular health. He is also PI for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute-funded Management of Diabetes in Everyday Life (MODEL) study.

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Annie Ninan
(615) 828-8985


Annie Ninan, FNP, MBA
Program Director, Tennessee Heart Health Network
Deputy Executive Director, Tennessee Population Health Consortium

Annie Ninan brings diverse business and clinical experience to the Tn Heart Health Network team. As an FNP, she saw patients in the primary care setting prior to moving into the operations and informatics arena of healthcare. At HCA Healthcare she managed and led the clinical informatics team. She was responsible for the roll out and implementation of several programs and products in the Ambulatory setting across the HCA Enterprise.  At Elevance Wellpoint, she got a deeper understanding of TennCare programs and collaborated with all the Tennessee managed care organizations.

Umar Kabir
(901) 448-2453

Umar Y. Kabir, PhD, MPH, DVM
Program Manager, Tennessee Heart Health Network
Director of Research, Tennessee Population Health Consortium

Umar Kabir has extensive research experience in areas including healthcare disparity, health systems strengthening, mental illness, process improvement, and health information technology in low-resource communities. He has successfully published research papers in several peer-reviewed journals and has presented both nationally and internationally. Dr. Kabir’s professional experience includes a fellowship at Qsource and working as an epidemiologist for the Shelby County government, most recently managing the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Cluster Investigation Unit and Special Investigations Teams.

Tennessee Population Health Consortium

The Tennessee Heart Health Network is the signature initiative of the Tennessee Population Health Consortium. The Consortium is a collaboration of major academic institutions, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders working to improve population health and health equity across Tennessee. Our mission is to encourage the adoption of evidence-based practices, transform primary and preventive care, and measurably improve health outcomes, quality of life, and health equity for the people of Tennessee.

The Consortium supports the Tennessee Population Health Data Network (TN-POPnet) to track and support improvements in quality and outcomes of care for population health initiatives across Tennessee, including the TN Heart Health Network.

The Consortium also supports the Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Coalition to improve diabetes care, the Cancer Prevention and Control Program to support cancer prevention initiatives, and the Equitable Health in Neighborhoods initiative to improve access to essential primary and preventive care.

The Consortium is dedicated to expanding the primary care workforce and improving population health through training and certification of healthcare workers in motivational interviewing and health coaching.

More information about the Consortium and its work can be found in our 2022 Annual Report.