Tassy Parker, PhD, RN

Professor at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Tassy Parker, PhD, RN, is a medical sociologist and tenured Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Professor in the Colleges of Nursing and Population Health, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Parker is an enrolled member and elder of the Seneca Nation and belongs to the Beaver Clan. The Seneca Nation includes five Territories in Western NY and has an enrollment of 8,500 citizens. She is a Council-appointed member of the Seneca Nation Health Board. For almost two decades, Dr. Parker has been serving the Albuquerque urban Native population as an executive of the First Nations Community HealthSource Board of Directors. Her current national service includes the NIH All of Us Research Program Advisory Panel and the International Association for Indigenous Aging executive and national committees. Dr. Parker’s leadership positions at the UNM HSC include Associate Vice Chancellor for American Indian Health Research and Education, and Director of the Center for Native American Health (CNAH). CNAH is a special project of the NM Legislature that serves all Tribes, Pueblos, Nations, and urban Native communities in NM, and consists of three priority cores: Native American Student and Tribal Health Workforce Development, Public Health Education and Capacity Expansion, and Health Equity Research. Dr. Parker mentors a number of Indigenous health sciences students and early career scientists at UNM and nationally. She provides mentoring and education to mid-career and senior scientists and health care providers interested in improving knowledge and cultural humility competency in American Indian community engagement and health issues. Dr. Parker has a robust collaborative research portfolio established through an innovative national American Indian research network of satellite centers and initiated by her decades’ long relationships with colleagues at the University of Colorado and Washington State University. Study topics of her currently funded nine NIH grants include hypertension and cardiovascular disease, COVID-19 testing and vaccine hesitancy/mistrust, suicide prevention among young adults in primary care, opioid and other substance abuse as suicide risk factors, diabetes, several grants that address Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and development of a cadre of Native American early career scientists. Significant, tangible results of Dr. Parker’s community based participatory research include studies that resulted in the implementation of depression screening in American Indian primary care using the Patient Health Questionnaire, and the founding and development of the All Nations Wellness and Healing Center in the southeast quadrant of Albuquerque to address the social determinants of health for, predominately, American Indians experiencing homelessness, poverty, violence, racism and discrimination, under- and unemployment, food insecurity, and insufficient transportation.

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Tassy Parker