The founder of ARCH Institute came to St. Croix in 1995 as part of the FEMA recovery efforts with Hurricane Marilyn. Her passion for being of service to those most in need motivated her to return to St. Croix and continue her FEMA work on her on dime and her own time. After retiring from the federal government, Dr. Parker utilized her federal government contacts and experiences to establish partnerships and collaborations with key stakeholders to bring resources into the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) focused on substance abuse (SA) and HIV Prevention services for youth and their family members. This effort emerged as Access to Racial and Cultural Heath Institute, Inc. establishing itself as a USVI corporation in 2002 (in addition to its District of Columbia corporation established in 2000).
Dr. Parker is a retired Adult and Child Psychiatrist, with over forty years of experience in community mental health, administrative psychiatry, substance abuse and HIV prevention addressing ethnic and cultural health issues. In December 31, 1999, Dr. Parker’s retired from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention (CSAP) and founded two nonprofit organizations, Access to Racial and Cultural Health Institute, Inc. (ARCH Institute) and Bridging Resources in Communities Inc. (BRIC, Inc.). As the President and CEO of ARCH Institute and the Founder and Board Chairman of BRIC, Inc., Dr. Parker served as the Project Director of the CSAP Minority Substance Abuse Prevention and HIV Prevention Services Program – the CAYA Media Project from 2002 - 2008.
Dr. held multiple senior level positions while working at CSAP (January 1992 – December 1999). From 1998 - 1999, Dr. Parker spearheaded a racial and ethnic interactive exchange among representatives from 200 community organizations, regional and national cultural institutions, research facilities, university administrators, foundations, trade associations, and Federal agencies to develop one of the most comprehensive strategic thinking processes on minority health. As part of her responsibility to ensure CSAP’s compliance of the Presidential Executive Orders for Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Hispanic Serving Institutions, Dr. Parker established public and private liaisons with several HBCUs and TCUs. This experience served as the foundation for the development of ARCH Institute.
Dr. Parker has served in various administrative mental health and clinical positions throughout her professional career within the metropolitan areas of Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including the positions of Director, Children and Family Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, at the former North Central Mental Health Center in Philadelphia and Administrator of the District of Columbia Mental Health Services Administration. She also maintained an adult and child psychiatry private practice for thirty years.
Dr. Parker received her Bachelor of Science degree from Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan and her Medical Doctoral degree from Howard University's College of Medicine, Washington, D.C. She completed her medical internship at D.C. General Hospital, her adult residency training at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and her child psychiatry fellowship training at Children’s National Medical Center - Hillcrest Center, Washington, D.C. and Fairfax Falls Church Mental Health Center, Falls Church Virginia.
In August 2017, Dr. Parker fully retired and transitioned the day to day operations of ARCH Institute to her daughter, Attorney Rosalind M. Parker.