Dr. Erica Phillips has been a tireless advocate for community-engaged research over her entire career. Over the past 20 years as a PI or Co-Investigator on several university-wide and NIH-funded grants, she has played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for establishing trust and strong ties with community residents, organizations and providers.
Currently, Phillips continues to build community-based health education programs that bring needed resources and screening to Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods incurring disproportionate burdens of disease. These programs’ foundation is based on training community residents as peer health educators, which allows for greater trust and sustainability. One of the newest projects will recruit Black men to participate in a Citizen Scientist program where they will be trained on the benefits of screening for lung cancer which can also detect silent heart disease.
Philips treated patients on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic; and, once the vaccine became available, she joined forces with the NYC Department of Health and became one of their trusted physicians delivering community-based education talks for communities of color about the safety of the vaccine and why they should be vaccinated.
She is also intimately involved with an elementary public school in Brooklyn where she has written several grants on their behalf to develop agriculture and life science curriculum and helped launch the schools’ first health and wellness newsletter.