Gary Gunderson, Professor of Faith and Health of the Public at the School of Divinity and Vice President of Faith and Health Ministries at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, believes the health of individuals can be strongly influenced by the power of the local church. “Medical science has noticed that over a life span, people who have a faith community – not just a faith, but a faith community, a local congregation – it is as healthy for that person as smoking is unhealthy,” he said. Previously, Gunderson developed a model for care in Memphis, Tennessee that connected local churches with health care. Since beginning at the Medical Center in July of 2012, he has been working on drafting the covenant for what will be called FaithHealthNC. In its developing stages, FaithHealthNC will begin in a partnership with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and its associational missionaries. Then as it continues to develop the network wille expand to congregations other than Baptists. FaithHealthNC will draw on the strength of the 21 CareNet Counseling centers across the state, which is an existing network of a faith-health strategy; providing spiritually sensitive, Christian counseling.
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Media Contact: Mark Batten