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Cardella Leak

Cardella Leak, PhD, MPH

Cardella is the Research Leader at the Center for Health System Improvement. AIn this role, she oversees the Management of Everyday Life (MODEL Program) and serves as the administrator for the Diabetes, Wellness, and Prevention Coalition Registry. She earned her BA in Medicine, Health, & Society from Vanderbilt University and her Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Tennessee State University. She received her PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Memphis School of Public Health. Her general research interest includes chronic disease and health disparities with more specific interests in childhood obesity prevention with an emphasis on the role that parents have in influencing their child’s health behaviors and outcomes. 

Phone: 901.448.2476


Patti Smith

Patti Smith, MPH

Patti is Scientific Writer for the Center for Health System Improvement and the UTHSC Office of Scientific Writing. A former journalist and nonprofit executive, she shifted her focus to public health in 2013. After earning a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Memphis, she served as interim director of the Healthy Shelby initiative. She joined CHSI in February 2017.
Phone: 901.448.2477


Lauren Haley 

Lauren Haley, MA

Lauren serves as the Research Coordinator for the MODEL study. She is originally from North Carolina and received her BA in Anthropology at East Carolina University. She move to Tennessee to complete her MA in Anthropology at the University of Memphis. She enjoys running, going to the gym, and going camping with her husband and three dogs.

Phone: 901.448.4168



Chris Goodell, MS

Chris serves as a Data Analyst for the Center for Health System Improvement. He received an MS in Analytics from Louisiana State University, with focus in multivariate statistics, data mining, and categorical data analysis. Prior to his joining the Center for Health System Improvement, he worked with the Louisiana Department of Health performing data analysis for epidemiological research and pharmacy rebate program administration.
Phone: 901.448.2453



Bill Pichette

Bill is the Administrative Services Assistant for Center for Health System Improvement. After a career in federal civil service, he moved to Memphis to experience the history, heritage, and culture of the region. Bill enjoys live music, baseball, travel, and volunteering in the community.
Phone: 901.448.2475



Ming Chen, MS

Ming is a doctoral research assistant in the Institute of Health Outcomes and Policy and the Center for Health System Improvement. She received her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from China, and Master in outcomes research with training focus on pharmacoepidemiology from the University of Florida. Her research interests are health outcomes, health service research, policy evaluation, and measurement. The databases she has worked on include Registry, electronic medical records, and administrative claims databases. Her hobbies include travelling, basketball, and watching live games. She enjoys meeting her long-time idols on the basketball court.

Phone: 901.448.2561



Sohul Shuvo, MS, MBA

A graduate research assistant in the Center, Shuvo is a PhD Candidate in the Institute for Health Outcomes and Policy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He holds an MBA from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and an MS in Pharmaceutical Technology from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. His research interests are around health outcomes and pharmacoeconomic research. His current research projects include improving health outcomes by ensuring access to and quality of care particularly for patients with chronic conditions, and comparing cost-effectiveness of antidiabetic medications among low-income population. He is currently involved in a pragmatic clinical trial targeted to improve diabetic self-care activities among medically underserved African-Americans with diabetes.

Phone: 901.448.2453

Last Published: Jun 10, 2020