MACU Trustee Selected for ‘You FIRST’ Program Award

 In All Church of God, Colleges & Universities

Logo: Mid-America Christian University

James L. Phillips, M.D., a Mid-America Christian University Board of Trustees member is the winner of an award from the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) “You FIRST” Program.

The Baylor College of Medicine “You FIRST” Program recognizes outstanding customer service by staff and physicians throughout all BCM Clinic locations. Dr. Phillips is the senior associate dean and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and won recognition in the “Faculty and Staff” category.  Other categories include: Educational Administration/Professional, Research Administration/Professional, and Research Faculty, to name a few.

Among other accomplishments, Dr. Phillips has been credited with increasing medical student diversity among applicants of the college. In fact, under his leadership, the Baylor College of Medicine saw more than 900 under-represented students apply to the college in 2007, a threefold increase compared to the 240 who applied in 1993.

At Baylor, Dr. Phillips’ focus is to help minorities who are not receiving adequate medical attention. To accomplish this goal, “We are trying to find more students who are under-represented to consider a career in medicine and biosciences,” Phillips said. “Twenty percent of the country is comprised of Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans, but only seven percent of them are physicians. There’s great disparity in who gets quality medical care. For example, Hispanic doctors treat twice as many patients as non-Hispanics. African-American physicians treat six times as many African-American patients than non-African-American doctors.”

Phillips said both groups feel more comfortable with physicians who are familiar with their cultures. And in the case of Hispanic patients, a doctor who speaks their language is critical to ensure the patient understands the diagnosis and how to safely take any medicine. Information can be lost in the translation.

To encourage the next generation to consider a career in medicine, Phillips established Saturday Morning Science to reach out to underserved children. The program for 7th-12th grade students meets twice a month in the spring. As many as 200 students come to the Baylor College of Medicine, where they listen to lectures from faculty and discuss issues in small groups with medical students. Older teenage students are chosen annually to participate in the college’s research program.

Dr. Phillips joined the Mid-America Christian University Board of Trustees in 1996 and currently serves as the chair of the Academic Committee. He has been an active member of the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) since childhood.

Regarding his association with Mid-America Christian University, Phillips stated that he is also pleased with the growing cultural diversity he sees at MACU, and he hopes that students will reach out to each other for better understanding.  As the Mid-America enrollment has increased, students from many cultural backgrounds are pursuing programs on campus and online. “I’m impressed with what we are doing at Mid-America, and President Fozard has surely done a good job,” Phillips said.

Phillips is a member of numerous professional societies including the Texas Pediatric Society, Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, National Association of Medical Minority Educators, and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In addition to serving on the board at Mid-America Christian University, he also serves on advisory boards at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pa., and the Geriatric Center of Excellence, Huffington Center for Aging, Baylor College of Medicine.

He is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pa.; a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and he served his residency in pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital (RB&C), also in Cleveland.  He spent two years at the U.S. Navy Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Calif., worked with Kaiser Permanente medical care program in Cleveland and became an associate dean and an associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve Medical School. He joined the faculty of BCM in 1993.

Mid-America Christian University (MACU) offers a Christian liberal arts education through two dynamic colleges. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) offers undergraduate degrees to traditional residential and daytime commuting students at the main campus in Oklahoma City. The College of Adult and Graduate Studies (CAGS) makes college education affordable and accessible to busy working adults and graduate students. Programs are offered online, at the main campus, and through the north OKC location. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (800) 621-7440. Visit for additional information.

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