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Full Biography for Jim Parker
My father was a steelworker and my mother was a nurse's aide. My Dad worked in the mills of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 19 years before they told him to go home one day, just like they told thousands of other guys to leave and to NEVER come back. That was my first introduction to the word ECONOMY. He built the towboats that pushed the barges down the Ohio River where the Ohio River began. After he lost that job, he never really recovered.
He always had time for his children. He served his country in the late 1960's during one of the most trying times in American military history. He smoked Lucky Strikes and drank Iron City Beer. He had many friends and everybody liked him. He always made people laugh and helped them to forget about their problems for awhile. He was a great man. I received a phone call in my office one morning that he had died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 48.
I have lived a life of poverty and hard work. I was once a Medicaid patient but I only used the card one time. Nothing in my life ever came to me without effort. (Kind of like this Congressional campaign... I am gaining the reputation of being the hardest working candidate in Ohio history all throughout the communities of Southern Ohio.) I have personally knocked on the doors of more than 1,000 families who voted in last year's special election. If you are reading this right now, you might be one of those people. If so, thank you for sharing a part of your life with me. It is an honor to have met so many people who live in Southern Ohio.
I graduated from high school at 17 and finished college four years later. Then, I went on to complete 2 Masters Degress by the time I was 23 years old. I was the youngest member of my graduating class. I completed my Master of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business. But more importantly, I completed my Master of Health Administration at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. My education was funded by student loans, grants, and part-time jobs. I paid my last semester of tuition with a credit card.
I sent 4,300 resumes all over America to get my first hospital job. During the time that I was searching for employment, I temporarily replaced a woman who went on maternity leave as a Hospital Director of two departments. This was an internship during which I was paid $30 a day, 3 meals and a bed. I slept in a hospital room every night. That was where I learned that I love healthcare. I spent hours talking with patients and families every evening. I saw firsthand, how the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs were so important to the people that live in the United States of America. Under my leadership, these programs will forever be protected.
Healthcare is my passion. The American healthcare system is the greatest in the world and it is at the very center of the American economy. If elected, I will save Medicare as we know it for the baby boom generation. If nobody does, it will be gone.
In the early 1990's, I went on to work for Appalachian Regional Healthcare in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky and West Virginia. I was quickly promoted to Assistant Administrator of their Division of Home Health Services. This was a 4,000+ employee hospital chain with 11 hospitals, 18 home health agencies and 17 homecare stores in three states.
Then I was asked to interview for (and was awarded) the Assistant Administrator position at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital in Whitesburg, Kentucky. This hospital, although located in one of the poorest communities in the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky has been listed in the top 100 hospitals in America 4 times. There are more than 5,000 hospitals in America. When you are the Assistant Administrator of a hospital, you are essentially responsible for several departments within the organization. At Whitesburg, I learned the details behind the American healthcare system. I know more about Medicare than most of the United States Congress. Hospitals are second only to nuclear facilities in the amount of regulation that they must successfully undergo on a continuous basis. At Whitesburg, we were one of the best hospitals in America because we worked together like a family. We loved our patients. We gave them the best healthcare possible by working together, despite all adversity, to guarantee that EVERY patient was accepted regardless of his or her ability to pay. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. It was an honor to hold such a responsible position at such an early age. You learn to take life seriously really fast when you work as a healthcare leader.
I met my wife when I worked with that hospital chain. She is beautiful and kind and dislikes politics. I understand. It is a thankless profession. I wouldn't even care about it myself except that somebody has to end the war, save Medicare and provide health insurance for every child in America. She is my life and without her, none of what I have been doing for the people of Southern Ohio would be possible. Two of our children were born in the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital when I was the Assistant Administrator. Our oldest, my stepson, was born in another hospital in the Appalachian mountains.
My wife is originally from Ohio and she wanted to live closer to her family. I am originally from the north so I wanted to move to Ohio too. After an exhaustive search, we left Kentucky because I was awarded the Assistant Administrator position at Pike Community Hospital in Waverly, Ohio. I worked there from 1998 until 2004. During that time, we built one of the most successful patient discount programs in the state of Ohio in, again, one of the poorest counties in the state.
Throughout my professional career, I have created more jobs and balanced more multi-million dollar budgets than any of the candidates in this election. And I understand the intricacies of healthcare financing better than most members of the United States Congress. My ideas for saving Medicare and providing health insurance for every child in America are necessary in this country right now. If somebody like me isn't there to accomplish these objectives, who will? I once stood on a stage with Paul Hackett and he called me his personal healthcare expert.
Our children are enrolled in the Waverly, Ohio school system in Pike County. Our oldest played football for a few years and runs track. He is a good kid. He got his driver's license a year ago. He recently started his first job at a local restaurant. Our daughter won the third AND the fourth grade spelling bees. She even competed against fifth graders this year. Our youngest is smart, funny and kind. We have great children and I have very much missed spending time with them since this campaign began.
In 2004, I was hired by a neighboring hospital and now work with their physican practices every day. During my interview, I told them that we live in Waverly, Ohio and want to live here for the rest of our lives. My current organization is also one of the top 100 hospitals in America. That only happens when lots of people work together, despite their differences, to serve their patients and their community. We don't care about politics in healthcare; we care about people. I am very fortunate to work for AND WITH some of the nicest people that I've ever known.
But not everybody is as fortunate as me. That's one of the main reasons that I have been a candidate for US Congress two times in the last year. I have spoken with thousands of people who live in Southern Ohio and have asked them to believe in me because they deserve to know that somebody is willing to fight for them instead of only fighting for the rich and privileged. They need a Congressman who is willing to stand up against the oil companies, the health insurance companies and the prescription drug companies that have been robbing American families blind for years. In the America that I believe in, no person will ever be left behind.
I have worked tirelessly and long into the night on many days during this past year to offer a message of hope to the families of Southern Ohio. My only regret is that I didn't have the chance to meet every family that lives in our District. (I would have if I could have but I ran out of time.) If I did, I'd be their Congressman for the next 30 years. And their lives would be forever better because of my efforts. Instead, I'll either be the best Congressman they'll ever have or the best Congressman they'll never have. We will find out on May the 2nd...
I could write alot more but I think that I've said enough. Now you know more about me than most of the people that I work with everyday. And if elected, I will be a Congressman that you can always be proud of... And you will never have to question my honesty. And you will never have to wonder if your Congressman is fighting for you because I always will. You see, this is not about me. It is about the people of Southern Ohio and I am honored to be one of them.
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Created from information supplied by the candidate: April 26, 2006 11:36
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