Director, Chair Alliance for Cape Fear Trees
Retired executive director of the North Carolina School Community Health Alliance, which represented over 80 school health centers across the state. In establishing this position, she developed partnerships, built legislative relationships, identified diverse sources of funding, directed statewide meetings, and expanded communications technology, and she remains Senior Fellow for the Alliance. She previously founded Wilmington Health Access for Teens (WHAT), despite conservative pressure against adolescent health care in schools in the early 90’s. For 13 years she was executive director of this large, community-based, school-linked health center that was so successful that it quickly spun off three school-based centers in large Wilmington-area high schools.
Mrs. Parker has over 30 years of non-profit experience in creating and leading community partnerships, raising funds, grant writing, program management, and communication in health
care, as well as in education and environmental areas. She has or continues to serve in leadership roles on numerous statewide non-profit boards including the NC Aquarium Society, UNC-TV, UNC CH School of Nursing Foundation, Women’s Forum of NC, and the NC Medical Society Foundation. Recent Chair of the Wilmington Tree Commission and Chair of the newly founded Alliance for Cape Fear Trees, she has been awarded membership in the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award given to a citizen of the state.
She has received the Wilmington Star-News Lifetime Achievement Award, the UNCW Razor Walker Award for Distinguished Service to the Children and Youth of North Carolina, and the Citizen of the Year Award from the Virginias/Carolinas Chapter of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, in addition to a number of others. With her undergraduate and graduate education at the UNC-CH School of Nursing, she continues to identify and use community resources and partner relationships to address community health issues at the local, state, and national level.