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Latest News

Your gift offers more than just better health in our community

Parker Family Supports Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care Campaign

Parker Family Supports Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care Campaign


For Immediate Release

May 14, 2024

NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY – The Parker Family is locally known for many things – establishing both Partak Limited and Dalren Limited, serving as proud Rotarians, being friendly neighbours and supportive friends to name a few – but what they perhaps are more quietly known for is their generosity. This family has been long-time supporters of Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH), both as donors and volunteers, and most recently, has made a leadership level gift towards NHH Foundation’s Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care campaign.

“Michael always used to say, ‘there’s no point in having anything if you can’t share it,’” remembers Karen Parker when asked about the reasons that inspired her and her late husband to be such strong community-supporters.

As she speaks, two cardinals flutter outside her kitchen window. Karen explains her pleasure in seeing them as these birds hold significant meaning for her family – making her think of Michael as well as her daughter, Hope, who sadly both passed away in early 2023.

Karen and Michael met when they attended East Northumberland Secondary School (ENSS). These high school sweethearts went on to get married and move to Toronto before settling back in Northumberland County to start their family, which grew to include three children: Trenholm, Holly, and Hope; and eventually their children’s partners: Britt and Blake; and four grandchildren: Kamryn, Ryleigh, Hazel, and Willem.

While Michael’s career was spent primarily in industrial and commercial contracting, Karen went into the healthcare field, first as a Registered Nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, then serving as the first female Ambulance Attendant in Northumberland County, and finally a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room at the former Cobourg District General Hospital. The two both gave their time to support healthcare in their community, with Michael serving on the NHH Board of Directors, and Karen volunteering first with the NHH Auxiliary and currently serving on the Foundation Board of Directors – something she says has opened her eyes to the positive difference community support makes at NHH.

“When we were asked to consider a gift for the current campaign, the answer was an absolute yes,” shares Karen. “We wanted to do our part in helping ensure our hospital has the equipment required to care for our community. I think most of us hope not to have to use the hospital, but that’s rarely the reality. We are lucky to have this gem in our community and I hope others will see how important it is and offer their support at whatever level they can.”

In recognition of the Parker’s long-time support of NHH and their most recent donation, the new community flagpole, which was erected in the fall of 2023 will be named “The Michael Parker Family Community Flagpole.” Standing next to the hospital’s original flagpole, which flies the Canadian flag, this new flagpole is used to recognize special dates and initiatives under the direction of the hospital’s senior leadership and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee (EDIAC). The Parker family is proud to have their name and their support help advance important inclusivity efforts.

“Michael and Karen, and in recent years, their son Trenholm, have made giving of their time and resources to NHH a priority,” shares Rhonda Cunningham, NHH Foundation CEO. “I’m so pleased to see the Parker family name honoured in this way as a reminder of what they’ve made, and continue to make, possible for our community.”

“NHH is very grateful for the Parker family’s support,” said Susan Walsh, NHH President and CEO. “The recognition of that support with the naming of the Michael Parker Family Community Flagpole is very fitting. NHH has grown to the organization it is today because of generous families like the Parkers. Our Shared Purpose as an organization is People First. This is more than just words, it is a goal we strive for as a team every day. As we continue to work for health equity across Ontario, this flagpole serves as a powerful signal, publicly, that NHH exists to serve all people.”

For more information on NHH Foundation’s Exceptional Community, Exceptional Care priorities and ways you can support, please visit


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