CHARLESTON, S.C. — A landmark $5 million gift from the Parker’s Community Fund will establish the Roper St. Francis Foundation Parker’s Community Impact Fund, which will support community health initiatives and the caregivers of Roper St. Francis Healthcare across the metro Charleston, S.C. area.
The Parker’s Community Fund was created by Parker’s convenience store founder and CEO Greg Parker and Parker’s in 2020 and awards grants to qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations demonstrating positive, measurable impact in one or more of the following focus areas: Healthcare, Education, Hunger and Heroes.
The Parker’s Community Fund investment – the largest gift in the history of the Roper St. Francis Foundation – was announced at the 17th annual Roper Xavier Society Gala on Saturday at the Charleston Gaillard Center as donors, leaders and caregivers celebrated the spirit of generosity and mission of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.
“At Parker’s, we think it’s extremely important to give back to the community and to be a force for positive change,” said Greg Parker, founder and CEO of Parker’s and Parker’s Kitchen. “We are truly honored to support the patients and caregivers at Roper St. Francis Healthcare and are inspired by the healthcare system’s vision for the future. Parker’s and Roper St. Francis Healthcare share a commitment to the Lowcountry community and to improving lives.”
Greg Parker opened his first convenience store in Midway, Ga. in 1976. Today, he leads a nationally acclaimed company that was named the 2020 Convenience Store Chain of the Year and is widely known for high-quality food service, strategic growth, the cleanest stores in the industry and cutting-edge technology. An advocate of giving back to the community, Parker established the Parker’s Community Fund in 2020. Over the years, Parker’s has donated more than $30 million to support charitable causes across coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
“We are deeply grateful to Greg and the Parker’s Community Fund for helping to fuel programs that support our community and caregivers,” said Dr. Jeffrey DiLisi, president and chief executive officer of Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Greg sees what a healthcare system can do to enrich care, not just within our hospital walls, but in all corners of our community. This transformational gift will help us expand upon the work we are already doing to increase access to care in the Lowcountry.”
In recognition of the gift, Roper St. Francis Healthcare will name its six existing emergency rooms in honor of the Parker’s Community Fund. This includes four acute care emergency rooms at Roper Hospital, Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, and two freestanding emergency rooms at Roper Hospital Diagnostics and ER – Northwoods, and Roper Hospital Diagnostics and ER – Moncks Corner Medical Plaza.
The Parker’s Community Impact Fund will support programs at the core of Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s not-for-profit mission. This gift will enhance numerous existing priorities including:
- Greer Transitions Clinic
- assistance for uninsured and underinsured patients
- debt-free degree programs and career development services for Roper St. Francis Healthcare teammates
- youth apprenticeships
- on-the-job training for historically marginalized communities
- emerging initiatives to help Roper St. Francis Healthcare meet its 2030 vision.
“Ensuring teammate success and serving our patients and community are central to Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s mission of ‘healing all people with compassion, faith and excellence,’” said Stacy L. Waters, president of the Roper St. Francis Foundation. “We are extremely thankful for this incredibly generous gift from the Parker’s Community Fund. This historic and visionary gift will have an extraordinary impact for generations to come.”
In addition, this landmark gift will also establish the Parker’s Community Fund Healthcare Hero Award, which will be announced annually at the Foundation’s Roper Xavier Society Gala.
“The award will honor the Roper St. Francis Healthcare caregiver who demonstrates the core values of our mission and will be anchored by our Honor Your Caregiver program, a platform for patients to express their appreciation to their caregiver,” Waters said.
Parker’s previously endowed the Parker’s Emergency and Trauma Center at Memorial Hospital in Savannah, Ga., made a record $5 million donation to create the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University and named Parker’s House, the first facility for unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness in coastal Georgia. The company’s Fueling the Community charitable giving program has donated more than $1.8 million to support area schools in South Carolina and Georgia.