Suggested Introduction for a more faith flavored audience:
Rev. Dr Gary Gunderson is Professor of the Health of the Public in the Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Professor of Public Health Science in School of Medicine. He serves as Vice President for FaithHealth at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center which includes spiritual care in the 880 bed hospital, Clinical Pastoral Education and counseling centers in 37 locations across North Carolina as well as guiding community health strategy for the 19-county service area. He is known for more than two decades of creative work in the field of faith and public health initially at The Carter Center and Emory School of Public Health and then in Memphis, Tennessee where the ideas found ground through more than six hundred congregational partners showing hard evidence of significant improved outcomes including mortality, cost and dramatically lower hospitalization. The Division is developing partnerships with hundreds of congregations through FaithHealthNC adapting this broad body of experience into this very different social and faith environment.
Gary has authored four books including Deeply Woven Roots, by Fortress Press is widely used in seminaries since its publication in 1997. Much of the work with congregations in Memphis and in Winston-Salem reflects this fundamental appreciation of the strengths of worshiping communities.
The Leading Causes of Life, by Abingdon Press, is also widely used in denominational and faith leadership workshops. He has done many articles and hundreds of presentations, often around novel concepts such as “religious health assets,” “boundary leadership” and, perhaps most interesting, the “leading causes of life.” He has been an advisor to the World Council of Churches for Mental Health, to the Adventist Loma Linda University Institute for Health Policy and is a member of the National Academies of Science Roundtable on Population Health.
He is secretary of Stakeholder Health, a learning group of more than 40 healthcare systems convened in collaboration with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services exploring how faith-based organizations can more powerfully fulfill their founding mission to the poor.
Gary is an ordained American Baptist minister with degrees from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and Doctor of Ministry at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta as well as an honorary doctorate from the Chicago Theological Seminary. He blogs regularly at garygunderson.net. He has two daughters, Lauren and Kathryn, two grandson s(Charlie and Asa) and is married to his best colleague, Dr. Teresa Cutts (also faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine).