Gary Gunderson, M.Div., D.Min., D.Div.
Appointed in July 2012, Gunderson oversees spiritual care
services for patients, families and Medical Center staff.
In his position, Gunderson supervises six departments:
CareNet Counseling, Chaplaincy and Clinical Ministries (including the Clinical
Pastoral Education program), FaithHealth Education, Community Engagement, the
Center for Congregational Health and FaithHealthNC.
Gunderson also nurtures the relationship with more than
4,300 Baptist congregations throughout North Carolina and other large networks
of our patients’ faith groups.
A recognized expert in congregations and health,
Gunderson has previously served as senior vice president of the Faith and
Health Division of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee. In
his 7 years there, he developed a new model of congregational health that
became widely known as the Memphis Model.
Gunderson became involved in public health through his
work with former President Jimmy Carter in Atlanta when he directed the
Interfaith Health Program at The Carter Center for a decade.
The Interfaith Health Program moved from The Carter
Center to the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, where
Gunderson became a research assistant professor in International Health. He
also served as a visiting professor in Family Medicine and Community Health at
the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Gunderson has worked extensively with the White House
Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He serves as secretary for
Stakeholder Health, a group of 39 health systems committed to more effective
engagement with the poor in their communities.
He brought the Leading Causes of Life Initiative to Wake
Forest Baptist, an international and interdisciplinary group of Fellows working
to build an intellectual foundation beyond the purely medical paradigm. He was
lead author for a recent paper based on this work and published by the Institute
of Medicine, “The Health of Complex Human Populations.”
In addition to his role in Faith and Health Ministries,
Gunderson holds faculty appointments at the Wake Forest School of Divinity and
in Public Health Sciences.
A Wake Forest University alumnus, Gunderson holds a
master of divinity from Emory University in Atlanta, a doctor of ministry from
the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, and an honorary doctor
of divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary.