Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announcedRobert J. “Bob” Gfeller, Jr. will assume additional responsibility at the medical center. Adding to his role as executive director for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma (CIPT), Gfeller was named Vice President of Communications, Marketing & Media and Chief Marketing Officer, effective October 27. Gfeller will report to Executive Vice President of Strategy and Administration Terry G. Williams.
In his new position, Gfeller is responsible for development and implementation of marketing and communications strategies that support and advance the major goals and objectives across the medical center enterprise including: Wake Forest Baptist Health and its strategic affiliates and partners, Wake Forest School of Medicine and support to Wake Forest Innovations.
Wake Forest Baptist Chief Executive Officer John D. McConnell, M.D., said Gfeller has the global experience and the skills needed to guide the medical center’s marketing and communications efforts to the next level.
“Bob’s vast knowledge of the marketplace and his commitment to exceptional service is a crucial element in our growth going forward,” said McConnell. “He believes that a deep understanding of patient needs can lead to development of enhanced product and service offerings that will improve patient experiences.”
Gfeller draws from both his professional and personal experience in his approach to patient care and experience. He had a 30-year corporate career in executive positions that led marketing, merchandising, strategy, and customer experience operations for major national and international companies such as Coca-Cola, Nabisco, Colgate-Palmolive and Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Gfeller earned a master’s in business administration degree in marketing from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Franklin and Marshall College.
In 2014, he transitioned to the non-profit world when he joined CIPT as executive director. In his 18 months as leader of the Childress Institute, Gfeller has helped to solidify the Institute’s direction and accelerate progress made in fund-raising, research and education programs designed to reduce childhood death caused by severe injury. As a result, the Institute is on firm financial footing and able to assist faculty at Wake Forest Baptist and other academic medical centers in two ways: through funding for medical research into prevention and care of pediatric trauma; and with educational programs for medical providers to raise the level of care severely injured children receive, no matter the cause.
Gfeller’s passion for better patient care is also personal. He serves as President of the Matthew Gfeller Foundation, a 501c3 organization, founded in 2008 in honor of his son Matthew who died at 15 after he sustained a traumatic brain injury playing football for Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem. Both the Matthew Gfeller Foundation and the Childress Institute work in the area of prevention, treatment and care for pediatric trauma due to sports and recreation injuries.
Gfeller and his wife Lisa moved to Winston-Salem in 1988. They have two grown children, Robbie, 25, who lives and works in Chapel Hill, and Haley, 23, who lives and works in Washington, D.C.
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