Catholic Health Association salutes exceptional young leaders in the ministry

Shelly Haberman
Tiffany Parker

Tiffany Parker, director of Inpatient Behavioral Health, Addiction Services and Domestic Violence Services with Agnesian HealthCare, was among 10 young professionals recognized by the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in early June during a virtual assembly.

Parker is being honored as one of Tomorrow's Leaders 10 accomplished individuals - all age 40 or younger - who are poised to continue to make significant contributions to the ministry for years to come.

The Catholic health ministry of tomorrow depends on strong leadership and passionate commitment to the healing mission. Encouraging the promising young leaders of today to continue their careers in the ministry, CHA's Tomorrow's Leaders program each year honors an impressive cadre of dedicated, high-performing individuals who already have demonstrated commitment to advancing the mission of Catholic health care.

The honorees are recognized at the annual Catholic Health Assembly, which was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parker, 30, joined Agnesian HealthCare in 2010 starting her journey with Agnesian HealthCare’s Domestic Violence Program as a domestic violence advocate. At that time, the program featured two staff members. Three years later, a counselor and social workers were added, and Parker was named supervisor.

The program continued to grow nearing 1,500 victims, offenders and education services to hospital staff and patients. Parker added a prevention educator, and an internship program for doctoral and bachelor level students, and later a master’s level intern, as well as an offender specialist. In January 2019, she was promoted to her current position.

A nomination letter from Damond Boatwright, FACHE, SSM Health Wisconsin Region president, and Rachelle Barina, PhD, HEC-C, SSM Health Wisconsin vice president of Mission Integration, applauds Parker’s leadership.

“As a Catholic health ministry, we are called to listen and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable within our communities, and to do it with urgency and compassion,” they write. “Tiffany’s work embodies this calling, as she passionately seeks to improve the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of victims of violence and those suffering with addition.

“Tiffany continually works to promote and defend human dignity and to bring awareness and justice to the topics of domestic violence, addiction and mental health,” they continue. “With Tiffany’s leadership, the program has grown into a robust program that is now reaching proactively to serve families, children and schools.”

Katherine Vergos, St. Agnes Hospital president, concurs. “Tiffany has changed the landscape of her community. Through her passion to bring awareness and education to a community, she has helped many victims of violence and addition come forward that otherwise might have stayed silent. Tiffany is emotionally intelligent and carries the burdens of others with strength and grace.”

Parker is actively engaged in the community, including serving on the Fond du Lac Area Women’s Fund education committee, which has led a three-year campaign and grant funding focused to bring domestic violence awareness to the community. She has served as past president of the Solutions Center Shelter & Support Services, as well as volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club, Exchange Club, ASTOP and Life Enforcement.

“I am honored and humbled that I was considered for this award,” Parker says. “It means a lot to me that my leaders and peers think highly of me in this regard. I truly wasn't expecting this.

“I don't do this work for accolades but simply for striving to improve a life, a day, a moment to the patients we serve who are struggling with mental illness, addiction and trauma,” Parker adds. “I want patients to feel the same kindness and support that I have been given from my family, peers and leaders in recognizing me for this award. That is truly what is important to me.”

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