Strengthening and Aligning Religious Health Assets in Memphis: A Conversation with Gary Gunderson and Bobby Baker

The following video is a conversation between Dr. Gary Gunderson, senior vice president of Faith and Health for Methodist Healthcare, and Reverend Bobby Baker, Director of the Congregational Health Network for Methodist Healthcare. The two discuss the hospital’s role in aligning and strengthening religious health assets in addition to the challenges and promises of working across various religious, ethnic, and cultural divides. Drawing on the work of the African Religious Health Asset Programme (ARHAP) and the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University, the work of this Memphis hospital is grounded in the belief that patient care and health care research should grow from the “blended intelligences of faith and the health sciences.” From their website:

“Blended intelligence” refers to our work in integrating a wide variety of information—community wisdom, hospital data streams, academic research, and the best practices knowledge from local and international partners—for research that is intentional about impacting practice, broadly defined and at several levels.

This short video conversation explores this type of collaborative work, which seeks to bridge the faith and health communities in an effort to provide increased access and excellent health care to the people of Memphis.

Photo:  Memphis from the Air.  Public Domain.


By Bobby Baker and Gary Gunderson
Bobby Baker is the director of Faith & Community Partnerships at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN. Gary Gunderson is Senior Vice President for Faith & Health and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Faith & Health of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN.