The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, has named Carmen Hamilton-Parks as the development director for the Go Red for Women campaign for women’s health in Little Rock.

Parks brings more than 30 years of healthcare and development experience to the role, which will have her leading the Go Red for Women campaign in collaboration with a team of community leaders. This will also align with local health and education initiatives aimed at educating Central Arkansas women about their heart health and overall well-being.

She was most recently a fundraising professional and events coordinator at Philander Smith College, where she garnered individual donor support and helped secure a major CDC grant for the Dr. Joycelyn Elders School of Allied and Public Health. Parks also was instrumental in raising Covid-19-related emergency funds for Philander Smith students.

Before that, she worked for 13 years as a claims and health liability specialist in Overland Park, Kan., and in Little Rock. Parks worked alongside hundreds of physicians, clinics and health care institutions across the Midwest and the South to assess and mitigate the effects of medical injuries on patients. She also worked seven years in the membership division and as the small business and diversity markets manager at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. The position gave her the opportunity to manage one of her favorite community offerings there, the annual Empowering Women’s Business Series.

She started her full-time position with the AHA in May, just in time for the 2022 Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon. Planning for the 2023 event is well underway.

“As someone whose mother had a stroke and as the mother of twin daughters, women’s cardiovascular health is very important to me,” says Parks.

“I’m well acquainted with the important, life-saving work of the AHA in this region and look forward to working in this leadership role at an important time in the history of the organization,” she added. “The Association will be 100 years old in 2024, and we have a hefty health equity goal, which is to advance cardiovascular health for all, including identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality.”

Kelly Wagner, senior vice president for development in the AHA’s SouthWest region, says she is thrilled to welcome Parks to the Little Rock team. “Parks’ experience and commitment to the community and to women’s health rounds out a dynamic team that will continue to make great impact throughout the communities served by the AHA in Central Arkansas,” says Wagner.

Parks was born and reared in Little Rock where she attended Hall High School. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Hendrix College in Conway and a master’s degree in business from Baker University in Kansas City, Mo. She sits on the board of the Arkansas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as the Arkansas Black Philanthropy Collective.

 

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