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Georgia Hospital Association Posthumously Honors Dr. Anthony Parker

Albany, GA | January 30, 2023 – The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) posthumously honored the late Dr. Anthony Parker with its Distinguished Service Award for his years of dedication to improving healthcare services in southwest Georgia. Dr. Parker served on the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Board of Directors from 2004-2008 and on the Phoebe Putney Health System Board from 2009 until his death last year, and Phoebe nominated him for the prestigious honor.

“When Dr. Parker spoke, people listened.  He didn’t talk just to talk. He always tried to make an impact and wanted to be sure that people were able to experience their full potential,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President & CEO. “We miss his leadership immensely, but we were blessed to have his guidance for as long as we did.”

During his 27 years as President of Albany Technical College (ATC), Dr. Parker was instrumental in seeing thousands of healthcare graduates through their education and into local employment. He helped structure the expansion of healthcare education in southwest Georgia, which grew into ten areas of study that are currently active at ATC, education the healthcare workers of tomorrow.

“He was a visionary leader who thought years ahead.  He didn’t look at next month, next week or next year. He would ask, what will the next five or ten years bring and what will we need to do to meet the needs of our students and our area’s business community,” said Dr. Emmett Griswold who worked closely with Dr. Parker at ATC and succeeded him as the college’s president.

When Steiner and Dr. Parker began talking about ways Phoebe and ATC could expand their partnership to address the critical shortage of nurses, Dr. Parker pushed for a bold and innovative project. “He said, ‘let’s go big.’” Steiner said. “He could see the future and he also knew what needed to be done in the present. The result of our conversations is our Living & Learning Community which will house an expanded ATC nursing program and allow them to go from around 50 nursing students to more than 200. That’s going big, and that’s what Dr. Parker wanted,” Steiner added.

In addition to vastly expanding ATC’s health education programs and serving on Phoebe’s boards, Dr. Parker was involved in many community activities and always encouraged strong partnerships that would increase access to education and healthcare and would improve the quality of life for the people of southwest Georgia. As a cancer survivor, he also supported and led efforts to raise awareness about cancer prevention and money to help cancer patients in the area.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented during the annual GHA Trustees Conference earlier this month.