Mr. Jerry Parks, health director for Albemarle (N.C.) Regional Health Services and alumnus of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, was awarded the 2015 Ronald H. Levine Legacy Award at the annual State Health Director’s meeting on January 22 in Raleigh, NC.
[Photo: Mr. Jerry Parks]
Named for former North Carolina State Health Director Dr. Ron Levine, the award honors individuals whose work and commitment on behalf of the public’s health has resulted in significant, sustainable, and positive improvements to health and quality of life in North Carolina.
Mr. Parks, who received his Master of Public Health through the Gillings School’s Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP) in 2000, oversees a district health department that serves seven counties in northeastern North Carolina, including Pasquotank, Perquimans, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Bertie, and Gates.
Dr. William Sollecito, clinical professor and former director of the Public Health Leadership Program, noted that Mr. Parks was in the first PHLP distance education cohort at the Gillings School.
“Jerry was identified as a ‘pioneer’ in distance education when he was featured in the 2001 U.S. News and World Report ‘Best Graduate Schools’ issue in an article on distance education opportunities for working practitioners,” Dr. Sollecito said. “He personifies the leadership development vision of the Public Health Leadership Program. He was named health director for what is now Albemarle Regional Health Services shortly after receiving his master’s degree, and he is now considered by many to be one of the most influential health directors in our state. This is demonstrated in many ways, including through his leadership on the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board, where I continue to interact with him regularly.”