Mark V. Parkinson (born June 24, 1957) is the president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 45th Governor of Kansas and a member of the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate.
A businessman and former legislator, Governor Parkinson is a native Kansan with roots in Scott City, where the Parkinsons still own the family farm. Born in Wichita, Kansas, Governor Parkinson attended Wichita Public Schools and graduated from Wichita Heights High School before going on to graduate summa cum laude from Wichita State University in 1980. He graduated first in his class from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1984. Parkinson then entered private practice, forming his own law firm in 1986. He also served as president of the Johnson County Bar Foundation.
Parkinson served as chairman of the Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce board in 2004, and in 2005 was the “Chair of the Chairs” of the nine Chambers of Commerce in Johnson County.
Mark Parkinson was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1990 as a Republican. Two years later, he was elected to the Kansas Senate. While in the Legislature, Governor Parkinson was known as someone who bridged party lines.
In May 2006, Governor Kathleen Sebelius announced that Parkinson had switched parties and was her running mate for her reelection campaign, succeeding retiring lieutenant governor John E. Moore (also a former Republican who had switched parties shortly before he joined a ticket with Sebelius). Parkinson's business experience and track record of working with both Republicans and Democrats were the reasons Sebelius gave for choosing him.
In March 2009, Barack Obama announced Governor Sebelius as his nominee for U.S.
Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sebelius resigned following her confirmation April 28, 2009, and Parkinson was sworn in as Governor of Kansas the same day. Parkinson stated he would not be a candidate for Governor in 2010.
In late 2010, Parkinson was honored by the Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC) for his work in elder care. Governor Parkinson received the organization’s second annual Caring Award, which is given to recognize exemplary contributions of leadership in providing quality care for frail elders and persons with disabilities in Kansas.
Parkinson is currently president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), which represents more than 11,000 for- and not-for-profit nursing homes, assisted living residences, and facilities for the care of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
Married to his wife, Stacy, for more than 25 years, the Parkinsons are active in community and charitable organizations, including co-chairing the successful Sunflower House Capital Campaign which raised $4.2 million to support the child abuse assistance agency. They also completed a $6.7 million Capital Campaign for SAFEHOME, one of the most comprehensive domestic violence agencies in Kansas.
Both involvements led the United Community Services of Johnson County to name the Parkinsons 2006 Co-Citizens of the Year. They are parents to three children: Alex, Sam, and Kit. They belong to the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.