CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has selected Dr. Barbara Easterling Smith as associate chief medical officer for all its lines of business.

In this role, Smith will be instrumental in collaboration with the provider community. She will provide leadership for the BlueCross teams and drive processes that improve clinical quality and member health outcomes. Smith will report to Dr. Andrea Willis, BlueCross’ chief medical officer.

"Barbara’s contributions to our government programs resulted in improved review processes and greater operational efficiency which ultimately means better care for our members," said Willis. “She has the clinical and business insight to help drive BlueCross’ quality efforts for improved member health.”

Smith joined BlueCross in 2009 as the medical director for government programs. In that role she oversaw clinical operations and medical management functions for BlueCare Tennessee and Cover Tennessee.

Prior to joining BlueCross, Smith worked as a board certified family physician with 20 years’ experience in direct patient care as a primary care physician and medical practice owner and six years’ experience in health plan medical management. She also has experience as medical director in the areas of home health, hospice and onsite employee health facilities.

Smith received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Mississippi, School of Medicine, and her Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Tougaloo College. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association and American Institute of Healthcare Quality.