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Nashville, February 4, 2008

Veronica Gunn, MD, MPH, FAAP, has been named chief medical officer for the Department of Health. In this position, she will serve as medical director for the Department and will work to assess the health needs of Tennesseans and establish statewide health objectives.  

“I am so pleased that Dr. Gunn has joined us at the Department of Health,” said Susan R. Cooper, MSN, RN, Commissioner of Health. “She has a strong clinical and health policy background, as well as a strong dedication to improving the health status of Tennesseans. I am confident she will be a tremendous asset to my team.”

As chief medical officer, Gunn will serve as an advisor to the Commissioner on matters of health policy and assist in setting priorities for the Department. Gunn will collaborate with the Department’s executive leadership team to assess the health needs of the state, to establish health objectives, to develop and maintain an appropriately organized infrastructure, and in developing, implementing, and evaluating coordinated, effective public health programs.

“I am excited about this opportunity to serve the people of Tennessee and look forward to the challenges of this new position and to working with Commissioner Cooper and the Department of Health to protect, promote and improve the health of Tennesseans,” said Gunn.

Gunn comes to the Department of Health from the Tennessee Governor’s Office of Children’s Care Coordination, where she has served as medical director since 2005. She also currently serves as assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, a position she has held since 2002. Gunn also served as staff pediatrician at a number of hospitals in Baltimore, Md.

“The Tennessee Medical Association, as a partner in the selection process for the Chief Medical Officer for the state of Tennessee, was pleased to learn that Commissioner Cooper has selected Dr. Gunn,” said J. Mack Worthington, MD, president of the Tennessee Medical Association. “We feel she is extremely qualified for the position.  The TMA will work with her to improve the health care of the citizens of our state.”

Gunn earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Rhodes College in Memphis, and her medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She completed a pediatric residency and chief residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore. She is licensed to practice medicine in both Tennessee and Maryland, and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

Gunn belongs to a number of professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Physicians’ Coalition and the Ambulatory Pediatric Association. She has published numerous articles, book chapters and abstracts, and serves as a reviewer for professional journals including Pediatrics and the International Journal of Nursing Studies.