Ryan Patrick Parker
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick, N.J.
Ryan Patrick Parker is the chief diversity and inclusion officer at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, one of New Jersey’s leading academic medical center and health systems. “My job places me in a position to transform the ways RWJ leverages the diversity of our employees, patients and leadership to drive business impact, improve population health and adapt to the changing landscape of health care,” he says.
Parker has a proven track record for leading innovative strategies for increasing access, engagement and opportunities for underrepresented and underserved individuals in healthcare. His reputation as a diversity strategist has led him to distinctive roles at organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Pittsburgh Magazine and The New Pittsburgh Courier named him one of that city’s top 40 professionals under the age of 40. His work extends to the communities served by the institutions he works for, as efforts are made to ensure “that all disparities — from the workforce to health care delivery and outcomes — are identified, and strategies are implemented to ensure full engagement and equality.”
A “Renaissance man” with extensive experience in entertainment, Parker is a trustee of Crossroads Theatre Company, in New Brunswick, N.J., whose repertoire celebrates the culture of the African Diaspora. A former public school teacher, he derives the greatest joy from mentoring others — through “stretching people and watching them work through their perceived limitations”— and considers himself on a mission to “change the profile” of African-American young men, in deference to the lives cut short. “For their parents, we are your sons. Their legacy lives on through us,” he states.
An Alabama native, Parker holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in music, from Jacksonville State University and currently is pursuing graduate studies in organizational leadership.