National Alumni Council Treasurer

dr-claude-brunson_4-minDr. Claude Brunson is the Senior Advisor to the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs and Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.  He also directs the University’s Office of Government Relations.

Dr. Brunson is a native of Auburn, AL where he attended the Auburn public school system and graduated from Auburn High School.

Dr. Brunson received his BS degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL in 1983 after a four-year stint with the U.S. 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 in Birmingham, AL in 1987.  He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Baptist Medical Centers in Birmingham, AL in 1988.  He then went on to complete a residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  He joined the faculty in the School of Medicine in 1991.

Some of Dr. Brunson’s accomplishments include being named Chief Resident of his residency training program, recognition as Teacher of the Year on two occasions in the Department of Anesthesiology and he also serves on multiple committees at the Medical Center.  He is active in his specialty and served as President of the Mississippi Society of Anesthesiologists in 1998.  He now serves the Society as its State Director and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Anesthesiologists where he is a member of the Board Committee on Scientific Affairs. He has received regional and national recognition as one of “The Best Doctors in America” for multiple successive years and in the Southeastern Region.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Mississippi State Medical Association where he has chaired its Council on Legislation and served as its Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2013.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Medical and Surgical Association (MMSA), the organization of the state’s African American physicians.  He received MMSA’s Physician of the Year Award in 2007 and 2013 and was elected to the office of President Elect in 2008 and it’s President for 2009 – 2011.

Dr. Brunson serves nationally as a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee on the Anesthesia and Respiratory Therapy Devices panel.  He is a former member of the Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board for the Mississippi Insurance Department and Chaired the Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board Sub-committee representing Large Employers.  He currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the Department of Insurance Health Insurance Enforcement and Consumer Protection Board.

Dr. Brunson serves on three Gubernatorial appointed boards:  the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure (MSBML), the Emergency Medical Services Committee and the Mississippi Office of Physician Workforce. He is Secretary of the Mississippi Board of Medical Licesure and member of two committees of the MSBML; Chair of the Operations Committee and Telemedicine/Electronic Health Records Committee. He was also appointed as the physician member to the Mississippi Board of Nursing. Dr. Brunson was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on his Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse.

Dr. Brunson has been active in research where his interests include the affects of anesthetics on patients with sickle cell diseases and hyperbaric oxygen effects on sickle cell anemias. He has also worked in the field of application of Simulation for improvement in healthcare education and patient safety. He is the author or co-author of multiple articles, papers and book chapters.

Dr. Brunson has worked diligently to increase the number of minorities in the healthcare disciplines at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the state’s only academic health sciences campus.  For the last decade, he and the Department of Anesthesiology served as mentors and host to minority high school and college students interested in healthcare careers.  He has been instrumental in helping the medical school place a focus and interest on development and recruitment of under-represented students, residents and faculty.  In his own department, while Chairman, he increased the number of under-represented minority residents and faculty dramatically and served as an example to other departments to do the same.  He now serves as a member of the School of Medicine Admissions Committee where he continues to advocate and promote a diverse medical school class enrollment.

Dr. Brunson is active in several community organizations.  He serves as a Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation where he helped organize Camp Sickle Stars, a summer camp for children with sickle cell diseases.  He is a former member of the 100 Black Men of Jackson where he served on its board of Directors and was the first Chairman of its Committee on Healthcare.

In July of 2001 he became the first African-American to serve as the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Chief of Staff.  He also established and served as the first Hospital Administrator of University Hospital’s Perioperative Services Division.  He was the first African American to serve as Chairman of a medical school department at the University of Mississippi School Of Medicine.

Dr. Brunson became the first African American to Chair the Mississippi State Medical Association’s Board of Trustees in 2012 and in August 2013 was elected its first African American President Elect.  His took office as President of the Association on August 15, 2014 when he became the Association’s first African American President.  He was elected in Aug 2013 to serve as a delegate for the Association to the American Medical Association and currently serves as the Chair of the Mississippi Delegation to the American Medical Association.  Finally, in 2013, Dr. Brunson was named to Ebony’s Top 100 List of Most Influential African Americans.