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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dr. Brunner Selected As Chief Surgeon for New Sacred Heart Hospital in Port St. Joe

Sacred Heart Health System announced today that Dr. Richard Brunner, a board-certified surgeon who has practiced in Marianna for more than 20 years, will become the chief surgeon at Sacred Heart’s new hospital in Port St. Joe.

Dr. Brunner and his nurse practitioner Wendy Corbin and his associate Dr. Val-Dee Sheffield, will continue to see patients at his office in Marianna, but as of June 1, Dr. Brunner will perform his surgeries at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf.

“We are very pleased to have a surgeon of Dr. Brunner’s experience and surgical expertise joining our medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf,” said hospital President Roger Hall. “It was very important to us that we provide the services of a surgeon with his training and record of success. It was a bonus to recruit a well-known surgeon who is very familiar with the area.”

Dr. Brunner obtained his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences and performed his residency training in surgery at the University of Florida Health Sciences Center in Jacksonville. He has broad experience in performing general surgery using minimally invasive, laparoscopic techniques. He also is trained in thoracic, vascular, gynecologic and trauma surgery. He has practiced in Marianna since 1989 and is an assistant professor of surgery for the rural track of Florida State University Medical School.

Dr. Brunner has deep roots in Marianna, where he has lived since he was in third grade. Brunner served one term as a City Commissioner for the City of Marianna. His father, Dr. William Brunner, is a retired surgeon who practiced in Marianna for more than 40 years.

“It was a very difficult decision to move my surgery practice out of my hometown,” he said. “But I am honored that Sacred Heart has selected me to join such a prestigious organization and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to start the surgery service at a beautiful new hospital.”

He noted that his fiancĂ©, Lisa Sowell, is from Port St. Joe and he has a home in Mexico Beach. The new 25-bed hospital opened on March 15. The new $38 million hospital has a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient services, surgical services, a full complement of diagnostic and laboratory services, and a helipad to be used by Sacred Heart’s regional air ambulance service to provide rapid transport for trauma or critically ill patients.

Dr. Brunner will be a part of Sacred Heart Medical Group, a large network of more than 100 primary care physicians and specialists at offices in Northwest Florida and South Alabama. For more information about Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, visit online at or call 850-(850) 229-5600.

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