Core Team

Michael Pignone, MD, MPH - Director

Dr. Pignone is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He completed medical school and residency training in primary care internal medicine at the University of California at San Francisco followed by fellowship training in clinical epidemiology and health services research at UNC Chapel Hill as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. Dr. Pignone’s main areas of expertise include heart disease prevention, colorectal cancer screening, and management of chronic illnesses, particularly diabetes and heart failure. He has conducted research examining the role of literacy in physician-patient communication and its effect on health outcomes in patients with chronic illnesses. He has developed and tested interventions to mitigate literacy-related disparities and to improve the use of appropriate preventive services. In 2013, he was appointed to the US Preventive Services Task Force.

Tina Schade Willis, MD - Associate Director for Inpatient Care

Dr. Willis completed medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, trained in pediatrics at Creighton-Nebraska Universities Foundation and completed a pediatric critical care fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She joined the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2004. Her academic focus includes system designs that reduce variation and cycle times leading to improved patient care, efficiency, and satisfaction. She is an expert in high performance team training, performance improvement study design, analysis, and management.

Laura Graves Brown, MPH - Associate Director for Operations

Ms. Brown earned a master's degree in public health with a concentration in Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Public Health in 1997. She applies quality improvement, behavioral intervention design and evaluation, and adult learning to improve clinical care and public health. Ms. Brown has led many complex projects and programs at UNC Chapel Hill, the American Board of Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.