Dr. Claude Brunson leads external affairs activities at the Medical Center, a role he officially assumed in 2010. His responsibilities include nurturing key relationships with constituencies beyond the campus to advance UMMC’s missions. An anesthesiologist and former chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UMMC, he continues to practice medicine part time at the rank of full professor.
In 2013, Brunson was elected president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, the first African American to hold that position in the 160-year history of the organization. He was also the winner of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Diversity Educator Award in 2015.
A native of Auburn, Ala., Brunson earned his BS degree from the University of Alabama after a four-year tour with the Navy as a hospital corpsman and field medicine technician with the Fleet Marine Force. He completed his medical degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his residency in anesthesiology at UMMC. After graduating, Brunson joined the faculty of the School of Medicine and later served as chief of the medical staff.
Among other accomplishments, Brunson is a graduate of the leadership course for physician executives offered by Harvard University. He was consistently listed among the Best Doctors in America for many years beginning in 1988. He has been a member of the board of directors of the American Society of Anesthesiologists since 2002, leading several committees including finance. He has also served on several expert panels of the Food and Drug Administration. In addition, he serves on the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure, currently as its vice president.