Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem has appointed Gary R. Gunderson as vice president of faith and health ministries, effective July 1. Gunderson, a 1973 graduate of Wake Forest University, is currently senior vice president for faith and health at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., and director of its Center of Excellence in Faith and Health.
“Gary’s work, particularly his ability to understand and meet the needs of patients in the community, has been recognized nationally and internationally,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist. “His model, which brings together patient need with services within the community, coincides with Wake Forest Baptist’s mission to provide a full range of caring and healing to those that we serve. Gary’s natural ability to engage patients and community partners offers a new way of thinking about what it is to provide health care.”
As head of the Division of Faith and Health Ministries at Wake Forest Baptist, Gunderson will oversee the division’s four departments (CareNet Counseling, the Department of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Education, the Center for Congregational Health and the Department of Church and Community Relations) that provide spiritual care services to patients, families and medical center employees as well as manage marketing and public relations services to more than 4,300 Baptist congregations.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest, Gunderson holds a master of divinity from Emory University in Atlanta. He also has a doctor of ministry from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.
Gunderson is an assistant professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and a visiting professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.