February 8, 2008

Gunn takes on Dept. of Health post

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Veronica Gunn, M.D., M.P.H.

Gunn takes on Dept. of Health post

Vanderbilt's Veronica Gunn, M.D., M.P.H., has been named chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health.

In her new role, Gunn, assistant professor of Pediatrics, will work to establish statewide health objectives, develop public health programs and maintain the state's public health infrastructure.

She will supervise and collaborate with the directors of various bureaus and divisions within the department and will also serve as liaison to members of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Gunn said she is excited about this opportunity to work with the Commissioner and the Department of Health.

“Although this position requires that I take a leave of absence from Vanderbilt, I will continue to teach medical students and residents, and will continue to collaborate with Vanderbilt colleagues to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans through responsible health policy based on evidence,” Gunn said.

“It is an honor to have Veronica join us at the Department of Health, and I am confident she will be a tremendous asset to my team and to the citizens of Tennessee,” said Susan Cooper, R.N., Commissioner of Health, who also hails from Vanderbilt, from the School of Nursing.

“She has a strong background for this position and brings extensive education and experience to the Department.”

While at Vanderbilt, Gunn worked to promote a child restraint law in Tennessee that required booster seats in cars for children up through age 8. Research Gunn conducted helped direct health campaigns to implement programs aimed at improving restraint use, in particular booster seat use, among vulnerable populations.

Beginning in 2005, Gunn served as medical director for the Tennessee Governor's Office of Children's Care Coordination while she continued on staff at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.