Assistant Professor of Practice
Ashley V. Parks, DrPH, MPH, MBA, MTech, CPH, MCHES, is an assistant professor of practice in public health. Dr. Parks has over 20 years’ of practice and research based experience working in community health and health services administration across acute, ambulatory, and managed care settings. Dr. Parks has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in public health and health services administration for over a decade and enjoys making “difficult concepts” accessible to students seeking to work in health services administration practice and research. Having obtained over a dozen public health and healthcare related certifications, Dr. Parks’ is passionate about teaching students how to apply key concepts in healthcare financial analysis, quality analysis and performance improvement, data reporting and information technology, health policy, health services research, and project management.
In 2016, Dr. Parks completed her Doctorate in Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and she worked as a Research Associate for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research from 2009-2017. Dr. Parks was awarded the Roemer Award in Social Justice and a dissertation fellowship for her work expanding access and implementing quality improvement efforts in a nationwide HIV referral network. Parks also received a Masters in Technology Management from Georgetown University as well as her Master in Business Administration from the Quantic School of Business and Technology and multiple certifications from the Harvard School of Business. Dr. Parks obtained her Master of Public Health degree and her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from California State University, Fresno.
Dr. Parks currently serves as the Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) Board Trustee for Professional Preparation where she works with faculty members across the nation to design and share curriculum and best practices for educating public health and health sciences students. Dr. Parks herself has multiple certifications in healthcare and public health including the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), Certification in Public Health (CPH), Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), Certified Professional Patient Safety (CPPS), Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB), Project Management Professional (PMP) and more. If you have questions about specific continuing education opportunities, graduate school, or certifications, Dr. Parks would love to share her experiences and learn about your interests as a student or prospective student. Dr. Parks looks forward to getting to know each student and their unique career interests and personalities as part of our learning community.
During her time as a public health leader and health services administrator prior to entering academia, Dr. Parks worked as a director of quality in inpatient healthcare facilities and as the director of managed Medicaid and Medicare health plans for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. In her role as a Research Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research from 2009-2017, Dr. Parks provided statistical analysis and grant writing workshops for the UCLA Health DATA Program and severed as a researcher and grant writer on community based participatory research projects on the topics of environmental justice, health services for older adults, and chronic disease prevention funded by the CDC REACH CORE program and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Dr. Parks has shared her research at multiple national conferences and enjoys partnering with students to prepare and submit research for presentation and publication. Her current research agenda includes healthcare quality topics such as patient experience in long term care settings, performance improvement, healthcare workforce preparation and mentorship, mental health, information technology, and telehealth. In 2023, Dr. Parks joined William Cleverley and James Cleverley as a co-author on the 9th edition of the Essentials of Healthcare Finance. Dr. Parks has also provided process improvement, data analysis, and grant writing consulting services to healthcare systems and local government organizations for over a decade. Aside from professional life, Dr. Parks enjoys spending time with her three children, traveling, and running and hiking in the Appalachian Mountains.
My research interests include public health workforce development, health equity, access to healthcare and telehealth in rural settings, emerging payment models and reimbursement practices, and quality improvement in healthcare.
My current projects are across the three domains:
- Telehealth and Technology Enabled Healthcare Solutions
Evaluating and supporting the use of health information technology, including telehealth, in quality improvement and access to efficient and effective health services.
- Health Equity and Access to Quality Health Services
Includes projects studying social determinants of health screening processes and provider engagement in the Appalachian region to improve screening and referral services necessary for addressing social determinants of health in a primary care environment.
- Workforce, Early Careerist, and Student Focused Projects
Includes research regarding early careerist competencies, mentorship needs of health services administration students, and workforce wellness.
Research Related to Teaching
I have had the pleasure of engaging in several research projects related to teaching and student mentorship (see research section), and I plan to continue to research student learning and mentorship preferences as well as advocate for the use of reality-based constructivist teaching approaches in our HCA program. One of the projects, a collaborative autoethnography developed with a group of online and in-person faculty at different universities, has provided me a broadened perspective on the value of student-faculty relationships. Another project in which I surveyed over 2,000 students on mentorship and learning needs has also informed my efforts to create a learning environment that spans outside of only the classroom. I also collected data on the impact on students (non-CBU students) from online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as key competencies for health administration graduates and presented on student centered research data and topics at three conferences (APHA, AUPHA, and NDCCC) in 2021 and two conferences thus far in 2022 (SOPHE and AUPHA). I collected data from over 1100 preceptors and hiring managers in health services and public health organizations in order to capture the most valued healthcare administration related competencies and build my courses to encompass these competencies (self-awareness, change management, verbal communication skills). My future goals include completing research on healthcare administration education pathways and conducting another 2022-2023 survey of the needs and preferences of healthcare and health science students across the nation. In addition to presenting research related to teaching, I also presented on different teaching methods and approaches I developed at the AUPHA and SOPHE conferences in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
- Doctorate in Public Health - Health Services Leadership (DrPH)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Quantic School of Business and Technology
- Master of Technology Management (MTech)
- Master in Public Health (MPH)
(Focus in Health Promotion)
California State University, Fresno
- B.S., Health Science: Community Health & Health Administration (Presidents Honors Scholar)
California State University, Fresno
- SOPHE Board of Trustees: Trustee of Professional Preparation 2020-2022, 2022-2024 Terms
- Professional development and professional preparation are two of my passions as a faculty member. While maintaining my multiple current healthcare certifications takes up a large part of my time available for professional development, the last three years I have also served on the Board of Trustees for the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)'s board in the role of Professional Preparation Trustee. In this role, I am responsible for working with public health faculty members across the country on best practices in curriculum development and also the primary board member and Committee Chair responsible for developing the SOPHE Student Health Edu-thon (our own virtual student case competition that occurred for the first times ever in March 2021 and March 2022 with a third student competition planned for March 2023). In addition to leading the Professional Preparation Committee and co-chairing the Student Health Edu-thon subcommittee, I have also served on the finance committee since 2021. Engagement with SOPHE has allowed me the opportunity to serve and collaborate with faculty across administrative, public health, and clinical occupations working to educate and empower patients, providers, and staff.
- Association for University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) Annual Meeting Planning Committee:
- In 2022-2023, I had the pleasure of participating on the AUPHA Annual Meeting Planning Committee for the 2023 annual meeting/conference. Each year I attend and share at AUPHA, and it has been a pleasure to work with the committee to plan the annual conference including speakers, accommodations, and logistics.
- Sakowski J, Parks A; Nunnery D.; Wear, A. (2023). Free and Charitable Clinic Telehealth Adoption and Utilization During the COVID-19 ERA: The North Carolina Experience. Telemedicine Reports.
- Parks, A., Lazari, M., O'Dell, B., Avalos, R. (2022). Provider and Staff Responses to Non-Facility Specific Patient Experience Feedback with Post-Acute Care Transitions. Journal of Quality in Health Care and Economics. doi:10.23880/jqhe-16000257.
- Parks, A., Lazari, M. (2022). Evaluating Self-Reported Patient Experience with Transitions from General Acute Care to Post-Acute Care Settings. Journal of Quality in Health Care and Economics. doi:10.23880/jqhe-16000258.
- Parks, A. (2019). "Best Practices for Preparing Students for the Workforce through Mentorship". The Chronicle of Mentoring.
- Parks, A. (2019). "Mentorship in the Health Professions". The Chronicle of Mentoring.
- Parks, A. (2016). "Running the Race: Quality as a Marathon". California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A. (2016). "Improving the Linkage to HIV Specialty Care: Referral and Authorization Process Redesign at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation". DrPH Dissertation available at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8r8260j7 .
- Parks, A., Lazari, M. (2015). "NAHQ Leadership Model Series: Communicating Effectively for Change and Improvement". California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A. (2015). "NAHQ Leadership Model Series: Communicating for Healthcare Quality with an Emphasis on Education". California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A. (2015). "Meaningful Graphs". Smith, James. California Association for Healthcare Quality Journal.
- Parks, A. (2014). "Our New Charge: Expanding the Quality Landscape by Cultivating a Culture of Adaptability and Inclusion". California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A., Lazari, M. (2014). "NAHQ Leadership Model Series: The Art of Data Management", California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A. (2014) "Our Iceberg is Melting" Kotter, John. California Association for Healthcare Quality Journal.
- Parks, A. (2013). "NAHQ Leadership Model Series- Resilience and Self-Restraint: Encouraging the Right Change", California Association for Healthcare Quality.
- Parks, A. (2008). “Gardasil vaccine attitudes and opinions survey of Central Valley, California mothers of girls 14 to 18 years old”. Thesis (M.P.H.) - California State University, Fresno.