The Council is excited to introduce you to one of our newest staff members, Donna Parks Hill. Donna joined us earlier this month as Project Coordinator for Overdose Response and HIV Education for Partners in Health and Wholeness. Read more about Donna:
Hi! I am Donna Hill with Partners in Health and Wholeness, a North Carolina Council of Churches initiative, as the Project Coordinator for Overdose Response and HIV Education. I am excited and privileged to be your new contact for overdose response and HIV education.
I am a longtime resident of Wilkes County, N.C. I come from the world of public health. I have spent over a decade on substance use work in public health and non-profit settings. I have worked with, and led, community coalitions addressing opioid and substance use (youth prevention and community level). I have written and overseen grants associated with youth prevention and initiation of substance use, and intervention and harm reduction. These include work on connection to care for individuals with substance use disorder and mental illness, developing peer support specialists and programming, building post-overdose response teams, creating and enhancing syringe service programs, working with justice-involved individuals, and Narcan/Naloxone distribution, education and training. I have also had the pleasure of working alongside several North Carolina Certified Peer Support Specialists that are in recovery from substance use disorder and mental illness, which I have learned many things from. I believe prevention to harm reduction, education, advocacy, and training is all crucially important work. Seeing success in any of these areas is what drives my passion and belief that each of us can make a difference.
I have a strong passion for this work and for helping others. I have a prevalent family history of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and have seen first-hand how this can affect families and communities. This work is truly so important and, as a Christian, we must do our part to help in any way we can. With my new position here at the North Carolina Council of Churches, I am so excited to be working with such a broad network of partners across the state. I hope to make a difference and impact through providing education and advocacy, in addition to continuing to learn from so many valuable partnerships.
I have served as Social Action Coordinator for the Appalachian District United Methodist Women from 2017-2021 and have served in a lay servant role for the United Methodist Church since 2015. I am also co-founder of Wilkes Rescue Group, a non-profit 501(c)(3) dog rescue in Wilkes County that was founded in 2018. I am an Appalachian State University alumni and love to cheer on my Mountaineers during football season. I spend my spare time working with Wilkes Rescue Group, volunteering in other capacities (as able), as well as spending quality time with good friends and my husband and four rescue dogs.
I am available to offer my assistance with anything that you may need. Also, please add me to any listservs that you would feel are beneficial. Do not hesitate to reach out to me for anything. I look forward to meeting and working with you in the near future.