Shannon Tacker, UCH CEO, Selected as Woman Who Leads by Memphis Business Journal

Posted on December 20, 2021

Women Who Lead | Health Care: Maureen O’Connor of Le Bonheur, Shannon Tacker of UCH, Tish Towns of Regional One, Monica Wharton of Methodist

If there ever was a time for leadership, the pandemic era has been that occasion. And the health care industry has taken the brunt of wave after wave of COVID-19. For Memphis Business Journal’s next group of Women Who Lead, honoring executives in health care seemed to be a logical choice. Also logical is highlighting the accomplishments of women who have broken through the glass ceiling and helped define their organizations.

Each woman chosen by MBJ’s editorial team has qualities that define leadership — from pushing through challenges and moving hospitals and care providers forward in difficult times to career-altering decision-making. Within health care, the 10 Women Who Lead honorees are leaders at the Memphis metro’s largest health systems, from major hospitals to essential clinical care providers.

The strains on the overall health care infrastructure — from preparing for and then administering COVID treatment to managing through lost outpatient dollars — required leadership during a 100-year pandemic. And these women featured played key roles in making sure health care continued for those in need.

Shannon Tacker leads University Clinical Health (UCH), an academic practice plan affiliated with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine. UCH employs 180 physicians and 350 support staff at 23 clinical locations and at other affiliated facilities. And those staff members are close to Tacker’s estimation of achievement. “It will always be the people. I love to mentor and watch people grow,” she said. “My passion is to help unlock gifts in others, and then place them in a position to excel. It is, by far, the best part of my job.” During the pandemic, UCH’s workforce stepped up by partnering with UTHSC on a COVID lab and with the City of Memphis and Shelby County government to run testing and vaccination sites. “It has been tough, but so much good came out during that time. I am proud of UCH, UTHSC, our community partners, and Memphis, and I look forward to continuing our community partnerships in the upcoming year,” Tacker said.


“Looking down the road, I anticipate risk-based contracting with payers having a large impact on the Memphis health care market. This contracting is contingent upon quality health care program results. UCH has invested heavily in our quality programs over the past three years, and we plan to continue to do so.”