In 2014, Regional One Health and University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) partnered to create UT Regional One Physicians (UTROP), an academic physician group and an innovative approach to practice management.

“With the creation of UT Regional One Physicians, Regional One Health is changing the way we think about how physician practices are created, governed and managed,” said Dr. Reginald Coopwood, president and CEO of Regional One Health.


How it works

The health system management of Regional One Health provides the administration and processes to ensure a positive patient experience, while UTHSC, as the academic partner, provides research for better outcomes.

“In today’s health care environment, hospitals are continually struggling with how to partner and work best with physicians,” says Randy Sites, executive director of UTROP.

Today, about a year and a half later, the practice has grown to about 200 physicians and advanced practitioners. Randy says the contemporary model is attracting national interest from larger academic centers and health systems looking for similar alignment solutions.

“Our partnership allows the university to have an active role and involvement, and it allows our physicians to maintain their strong academic teaching and research interests,” says Randy.

The partnership also provides Regional One Health’s patients the opportunity to participate in research studies that can provide innovative care that isn’t otherwise available.

Randy says it’s the caliber of our physicians that make UTROP a particular point of pride for Regional One Health. “It says a lot about Regional One Health to have this level of expertise employed in UTROP and practicing at Regional One Health,” he added.

UTROP Physicians

Dr. Lebron Cooper is one of the physicians that chose to join UTROP. Dr. Cooper is a professor and chair of anesthesiology at UTHSC and the chief of anesthesia services at Regional One Health.

“The physicians in UTROP basically have one foot in each world,” Dr. Cooper says. For instance, he joined UTHSC as the chair of anesthesiology to start an anesthesia residency program for the university. However, he also provides clinical services and runs anesthesia operations from a business perspective at Regional One Health.

Dr. Cooper chose his current path in   part because he found the opportunity to build an anesthesia residency program from the ground up to be an exciting one. “Once we establish it, this will be one of the major anesthesia training programs in the state. There are only two others: Vanderbilt and UT Knoxville,” he says.

Dr. Cooper has big plans to grow with Regional One Health. “My department is building an acute pain service and we’ll have an acute pain clinic within the next two years,” he says. “So again, we’re offering services that don’t yet exist or aren’t prominent in Memphis.”

Dr. Laura Detti is also part of UTROP. She’s a reproductive endocrinologist who specializes in male and female infertility. She’s currently and repeatedly been named to the Best Doctors® lists for her expertise.

Dr. Detti has published content on various reproductive topics including early pregnancy, assistant reproduction and ultrasound. She’s also a reviewer of over a dozen peer-reviewed medical journals. She serves as associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UT Health Science Center and frequently instructs medical students and residents.

By being part of UTROP, Dr. Detti says she’s able to provide quality care to her patients at more affordable prices. “The major reason some families don’t seek treatment for infertility,” she says, “is due to the high cost of medications that are often not covered by insurance plans. Our patients can get their medications right here at our pharmacy at a discounted cost.”

Dr. Detti says it’s very rewarding to be part of an organization that helps people in our community realize their dreams of having children.


“I also have the opportunity to help young children from all over the world who are diagnosed with cancer,” Dr. Detti says. “One of the most devastating side effects of cancer treatments can be infertility or hormonal issues that can prevent children from experiencing puberty naturally.”

Leading-edge services such as tissue preservation can often prevent these side effects from having a life-altering impact. Regional One Health is the only organization in the Mid-South that has the expertise and technology to perform this type of tissue preservation.

Dr. Detti recently performed ovarian tissue preservation for a 10-year-old cancer patient. By harvesting the ovarian tissue before chemo treatments, healthy tissue will be available to retransplant if needed.

Dr. Robert Wake is a UTROP physician and chairman of the department of urology at the UTHSC. He has a special interest in the treatment and research of prostate cancer and its complications, as well as kidney stone disease.

Dr. Wake has seen major breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating prostate cancer. He was one of the first to perform and report on Cryoablation—a prostate cancer treatment that doesn’t involve open surgery or radiation. This minimally invasive procedure uses very cold temperatures to freeze and kill prostate cancer cells.

Dr. Wake joined the UTROP group in hopes of seeing his long-awaited vision to develop a comprehensive men’s health center right here in the Mid-South become a reality.

“While we’re fortunate to have comprehensive treatment centers and hospitals for women,” says Dr. Wake, “we don’t have a men’s health center that encompasses all aspects of men’s health.”

The men’s health center will offer innovative technology, such as an MRI Fusion Biopsy that helps better detect prostate cancer. This procedure provides a clearer view of where to biopsy versus using ultra sound technology alone.

“With the new technology, we’ll be able to fuse MRI (X-ray) images to ultra sound images so we can target the right area of the prostate to biopsy,” Dr. Wake says. “This innovative procedure can better detect possible cancer cells and eliminate the need for multiple biopsies.”

While the procedure isn’t for everyone in need of a prostate biopsy; it’s extremely beneficial to patients who have an elevated PSA, abnormal mile markers and have had a negative biopsy.

“Our East Campus model of care—similar to MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic—provides the perfect structure for a truly comprehensive men’s center,” Dr. Wake continues. “Often patients go to their doctor with symptoms that can identify an even bigger and sometimes life-threatening illness. With our multi-specialist group, we can get to the root of the problem. Patients have access to neurologist, endocrinologist, radiologist and more without leaving the building.”

» Providing this type of innovative care doesn’t come without a cost. You can be a part of improving the health of our community by making an online donation today.