Tassy Parker, PhD, RN

Biography

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.  Dr. Parker serves the Albuquerque urban Native population as a member of the First Nations Community HealthSource Board of Directors. Her Board service spans 17 years and includes the position of President since 2013. 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 areas: Native American Student and Tribal Health Workforce Development, Public Health Education and Capacity Expansion, and Health Equity Research. Dr. Parker’s current NIH-funded collaborative research with colleagues at the University of Colorado and Washington State University addresses a broad range of persistent or emerging Native health issues.  Her current NIH funding includes seven grants addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, youth suicide prevention, hypertension disparity, diabetes prevention, opioid and other drug misuse, and COVID-19 epidemiology, research, testing, and services. Immediate past NIH funding includes research on the health inequities of adverse childhood experiences and pediatric obesity. Dr. Parker also has awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for two public health associates to provide education and technical assistance in CNAH’s priority areas. In addition, she serves on the Executive Advisory Committee of the International Association for Indigenous Aging’s CDC funded A Collaborative Approach to the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Road Map for Indian Country: Honoring Sovereignty, Culture, Diversity, and Tradition. Most recently, Dr. Parker joined the UNM ECHO Institute as co-Medical Director of the teleECHO Mental Health and Resilience hub. 

Undergrad: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, University of New Mexico

Graduate: Master of Arts in Sociology, University of New Mexico

Doctoral: Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sociology, University of New Mexico