Beverly Parker, director of the St. Bernards Senior Health Clinic and director of education for the Center on Aging-Northeast in Jonesboro, has been named to the Alzheimer’s Advisory Council of Arkansas.
The council is the permanent statutory successor to the Task Force on Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease created in 2009. It is co-chaired by Arkansas representatives Karen Hopper and Butch Wilkins, both of whom have spouses suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The council held its initial meeting earlier in the summer and will review the findings and recommendations of the Task Force and the mandate provided by the General Assembly in Act 889. It will hold a series of hearings throughout the state during the coming year.
Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Arkansas State University and a master’s degree in community health and nursing administration from the University of Southern Mississippi.
She served as director of clinical and community education at St. Bernards for over ten years before joining the Senior Services Division. Parker also taught nursing at Phillips County Community College in Helena. Prior to that, she was the first hospice nurse hired by the state, piloting in Phillips County the first hospice program for the Arkansas Department of Health. She also has served as director of development, director of education and nursing education coordinator at Helena Regional Medical Center, as a staff nurse at Doctors Hospital in Little Rock and as a nursing supervisor at Forrest Memorial Hospital in Forrest City.
Parker is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the national nursing honor society and the American Society on Aging. She has been instrumental in securing a number of health-related grants and was chosen to lead the implementation of a grant for the local Schmieding Home Caregiver Training Program through the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. She also has been a speaker at state and national aging conferences. Parker is a graduate of Leadership Jonesboro, and was recently appointed by Mayor Perrin to the Jonesboro Vision 2030.
She serves as a mentor and preceptor for students in a number of health related fields at Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Parker was instrumental in helping to develop the Healthy Ager Project, an annual research collaborative with Arkansas State University. The goal of the project is to help older adults improve their overall fitness level and quality of life while giving students a chance to know more about active seniors in the community.
The Alzheimer’s Advisory Council will focus on the impact and growth of Alzheimer’s Disease in Arkansas, the quality, availability and cost of care, state response and other considerations. “I am honored to be a part of this important endeavor,” said Parker. She will participate with Representative Wilkins on a subgroup to improve workforce education and training.