In Memoriam: NCMS Award Recipient James Parke, Jr., MD

James C. Parke, Jr., MD, a Charlotte pediatrician who was awarded the E. Harvey Estes, MD, Physician Community Service Award by the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) in 2012, died on March 23 at age 89.

Dr. Parke’s career has had an enormous impact in the Charlotte community and beyond for many pediatricians and their patients. He trained two generations of pediatricians, blazed trails for infant care and conducted research that has benefited children worldwide. He was awarded the E. Harvey Estes award for his exemplary service to the community, which reflected most positively on the medical profession.

Born in Conway, NC, Dr. Parke grew up in Northampton County. He was a graduate of both UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate (1949) and Medical School (1954). He began his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (Charleston, SC) and received specialty training in Pediatrics at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.  He practiced general pediatrics in Hartsville, SC and Charlotte, NC. In 1968, he became Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Carolinas Medical Center, as well as the Director of their new Pediatric Residency Training Program.  During this time, he was named clinical professor of Pediatrics at the UNC-CH School of Medicine.  His last 10 years at CMC were spent as Director of Pediatric Research.

In the 70’s, he founded the Parke Cytogenetics Laboratory and clinical Genetics Program as Charlotte’s first geneticist. In the 80’s, he was actively involved in pediatric vaccine research, including the development of the HIb meningitis vaccine that is now part of all standard infant care. As Charlotte’s first neonatologist, he worked tirelessly to help create Intensive Care Nurseries in all Charlotte area hospitals.

Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Dr. Parke’s family and friends. A memorial service will be held on April 7, 2018 at 4:30 pm at his church, First Christian Church, 1200 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC.  A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to First Christian Church, 1200 East Blvd, Charlotte, NC, 28203, or to the Pediatric Education Foundation Fund, Carolinas Healthcare Foundation, PO Box 32861, Charlotte, NC. 28232-2861:  http://www.givecarolinas.org/get-involved/donate/research.

 
 

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