A physician who has served the medical community in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years has been named chief medical officer of Mercy Community Healthcare.
Dr. Don Gibsonwill oversee all medical aspects of the organization including adult and pediatric primary care services, mental health and care coordination. As CMO, he joins the Mercy leadership team, which is responsible for day-to-day operations as well as the strategic planning and growth of the nonprofit community health center.
According to a press release sent by Mercy, Gibson replaces Dr. Alex Brunner, who will serve as the full-time physician at Mercy’s Marshall County health center in Lewisburg. Brunner is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics, giving him not only the heart but the expertise for rural medicine.
Gibson served most recently with American Physician Partners where he was medical director of the Emergency Department at Tennova Healthcare – Clarksville, a Community Health Systems hospital.. Before joining Tennova, he was medical director and chief of emergency medicine for TriStar Health in Nashville, first at Skyline Medical Center and then at Centennial Medical Center.
He also spent more than 10 years as a physician in the emergency department at Skyline and at Baptist Hospital (now known as Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown) in Nashville and Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro.
“By working in emergency departments, I’ve practiced a component of primary care my entire career, which is one of Mercy’s core services,” Gibson said. “I’ve wanted to get into the public health arena for a while in order to make a bigger impact on primary care. I’ll be able to do that at Mercy.”
From the second he met the staff at Mercy, Gibson knew he wanted to be part of the team.
“You catch fire to the spiritual component of Mercy’s mission,” he said. “It’s something I immediately knew I wanted to be part of.”
Gibson’s experience includes developing an operational strategy for the emergency department that led to increased volume and admissions at TriStar Skyline and TriStar Centennial. Also, because of his role at these large hospitals, he’s had a front row seat to the tremendous growth the health care industry in Nashville and Middle Tennessee has seen over the past 15 years.
“I’ve had many great mentors and role models in the Nashville market from whom I learned the provision of high-quality health care balanced with the fiduciary responsibly of providing those services,” he said.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Gibson to our team,” said Cindy Siler, CEO of Mercy Community Healthcare. “We are all looking forward to the benefit his heart for people, spirit for the mission and experience in the medical field will bring to this ministry.
“I want to sincerely express my appreciation to Dr. Brunner for his years of service at Mercy as CMO,” Siler added. “We are excited that he will continue to be a blessing within Mercy’s medical staff as he serves the Lewisburg community.”
Mercy opened a full-time health center in Lewisburg in June 2019. In addition to his chief medical officer responsibilities, Brunner has been seeing patients in Lewisburg since the health center opened. He is eager to dedicate the entire work week to patient care.
“I love clinical work, and so I see Lewisburg as a perfect God-given opportunity to jump back into full-time patient care while being able to invest in the Lewisburg community,” Brunner said. “It’s also an opportunity for my family to look for ways to invest in the community itself.
“With his background and training, Dr. Gibson is well-equipped to help move the ministry of Mercy forward. Even more importantly, he understands our mission —serving our patients in the love of Christ. I’m thankful that God has brought him to serve along with us at Mercy.”
“As we continue to see more patients each year, the CMO position has become a full-time commitment, and we anticipate that a result of the pandemic will be that more people in our community will need the services that Mercy provides,” Siler said.
Gibson received his M.D. from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He earned an MBA from Lipscomb University and a Bachelor of Sciencein biology from the University of Alabama. Gibson is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.