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Gwen Wagstrom Halaas M.D.

Gwen Wagstrom Halaas is a family physician who has practiced family medicine for more than 15 years in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her practice included the full range of family medicine, including delivering babies, making house calls, and treating and counseling patients with depression and other stress related disorders. She has been in medical education since 1986, most recently she directed the family practice residency training program at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. This included the teaching of health and wellness, management of disease, medical ethics, and assessing the health of communities. Prior to that she was a medical director for HealthPartners, a health care system in Minneapolis. There she was responsible for health plan policy decisions and was part of a quality management team. As medical director for UCare, a Medicaid managed care organization, she developed a health promotion/ disease prevention strategy for the members. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Masters in Business Administration in Medical Group Management from the University of St. Thomas. She is an undergraduate from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Gwen was named project director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) Ministerial Health and Wellness program by the Division for Ministry and the ELCA Board of Pensions. She began her work July 1, 2001. She is also Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and associate director of the Rural Physician Associate Program.

Gwen is profiled in Fitzhugh Mullan's book, Big Doctoring in America: Profiles in Primary Care published by University of California Press, Berkeley. This is a book of the oral histories of 15 primary care practitioners who have practiced big doctoring described by Dr. Mullan as humanist, comprehensive, efficient and flexible, doctoring that builds on the legacy of the past and the rich tradition of care in medicine and nursing.

Gwen has written three books. The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy will be published through Fortress Press in June of 2004. The second, Retiring Well, is in process and will be published by the Alban Institute later in 2004. The third, On Call: Called to Serve, is not yet published. Gwen is married to the Rev. Mark W. Halaas, senior pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. They have three young adult children, Per, Liv and Erik.

Book List

1 items
Release date: 
May 18, 2004
Many clergy are in startlingly bad health. Not only do they regularly report depression, stress, and serious family and financial problems, they also exhibit...