Healthy Shelby

Healthy Shelby

Healthy Shelby, the first program of its kind in Tennessee, is focused on better health, better care, and lower costs as strategies for economic vitality.

In producing system change that improves the health of the public, improves the patient experience, and reduces the per capita cost of health care, Healthy Shelby’s partners believe that, when successful, this initiative will lead to:

  • increased appeal for business growth
  • decreased health care burden on employers, state and local budgets, and individuals
  • improved quality of life for citizens
  • a healthier and more productive community
  • enhanced ability for health systems and providers to address calls for improved quality and cost containment/cost reduction.

It’s a challenging objective, but employing Memphis Fast Forward's collective impact approach and with nationally significant medical and health care facilities, Memphis is uniquely qualified and prepared to address three main goals, which Healthy Shelby calls its "Triple Aim."  Collaborating with the internationally renowned Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Healthy Shelby is emphasizing “learning through action,” active rapid-cycle testing for positive change, and a structured approach to scale up successful interventions.

Working within the Memphis Fast Forward framework, acting on the principles of collective action, and with funding from Shelby County and City of Memphis governments, Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare, Baptist Memorial Healthcare, St. Francis Hospital, and the Regional Medical Center, Healthy Shelby is emphasizing improvements in three areas: infant mortality, chronic disease, and end of life care.  These three focus areas were chosen based on their potential to be scaled up, to improve significant health disparities in Shelby County, to capitalize on and leverage community energy and resources already invested in the region, and to activate residents to take ownership of their own health and health care.

Health care is not the primary determinant of health.  Health is shaped by many social, environmental, economic, and political factors, and no individual agency or institution has sufficient influence to bring about significant and sustainable improvements in population health, care quality, and cost. This is why Healthy Shelby is by design a multi-sector partnership that involves several major hospitals and health care centers, a wide range of social service organizations, members of the local business community, health plans, and representatives of the faith community in order to leverage broad-based community leadership and engagement. 

Healthy Memphis Common Table Health Alliance serves as the “backbone organization” for the initiative by convening, coordinating, and supporting the work of the partners.  For the first time, health care systems, public health, social services, and the business community have come together in this public-private effort to assume accountability for the health of a community.


 For information about Health Shelby, please contact Debra Bartelli, Director of Healthy Shelby, housed at the Healthy Memphis Common Table Health Alliance, at or (901) 681-2011 x 203.


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