Mary Lynn Morgan Lecture, 2007

2007 Dr. Kathy Parker

Kathy ParkerDr. Kathy Parker, codirector of the Emory Healthcare Program in Sleep, was selected as the ninth speaker in the Mary Lynn Morgan Annual Lecture on Women and Health. Her talk was presented on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. in Emory’s Miller-Ward Alumni House.

An expert in sleep disturbances, Parker is also the Edith F. Honeycutt Professor in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and holds a second appointment in Neurology at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Her research at Emory has made significant contributions toward achieving an increased understanding of the important interactions among sleep, health, and illness, both in normal and clinical populations. Parker is currently extending her research to include the study of sleep in cancer patients with pain. She is the director of the School of Nursing’s Exploratory Nursing Research Center as well as the Center for Research on Symptoms, Symptom Interactions, and Health Outcomes, which provides research and education opportunities for faculty and students.

She is one of five nurses in the country certified in clinical sleep disorders by the American Board of Sleep Medicine and was recently elected a Fellow of the America Academy of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing--the highest nursing honor.

Parker previously worked at Atlanta’s Veteran Affairs Medical Center as a nurse practitioner. She was primarily working with patients with kidney disorder, during which time she recognized that the majority of them reported sleep disturbances as a result of their renal disease. Parker quickly began to make the connection between sleep disturbances and the recovery of her patients. 

Now with more than twenty years of practice, Parker has dedicated her research to the study of sleep/wake-cycle disturbances in patients with chronic illness and to the development and testing of population-specific interventions. She discussed how sleep is a universal need and how her research has proved it essential for optimal health and well-being.