February 12, 2014

Meet Dr. Carol Lee Phillips – Heart of the Community Award Winner 2014

Posted in Awards, Board of Trustees Spotlight, Events, Residential, Volunteer Spotlight tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Lund

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips at her home in Burlington, January 2014.

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips at her home in Burlington, January 2014.

Dr. Carol Lee Phillips was the pediatrician for babies born at Lund for 20 years.  She started in 1966 when she was in the final year of her residency at Fletcher Allen and when her requirement was complete, she was asked by the Director of Lund to stay on.  Dr. Phillips would see the babies in the hospital and then visit them at Lund once a week, or when called to consult, until they were placed with adoptive families.   During this time she was also teaching at the UVM College of Medicine, working at the hospital and conducting research in pediatric infectious diseases.  When she became the first female Chair of Pediatrics in 1984, she had to reduce and finally stop her time at Lund.   After ten years as chair, she retired from medicine but remained involved in Lund by joining the board.  Dr. Phillips did not sever her link with the university either, serving on many boards and advisory councils and also used her vast medical knowledge volunteering in various capacities for the state.

Along with her illustrious career in medicine, Dr. Phillips is also a mother to four children who were all under the age of five when the family moved to Vermont in the mid sixties so she and her husband could finish medical school.  She attended part time – this means only 5 full days a week, no evenings and weekends!   The family had relocated from Texas and Dr. Phillips remembers weekends where she would help the children get all dressed up for the snow so that they could play outside and then help them peel off their wet coats, boots and mittens when they came back inside after five minutes of the frigid Vermont winter.  She would call her husband at the hospital so he could remind her why they moved from such sunny climes.  They all became accustomed to the weather, however, and Dr. Phillips has lived in Burlington ever since and two of her grandchildren currently attend college in Vermont.

Dr. Phillips is an inspiration to women everywhere who wrestle with the balance of work and motherhood.  She blazed a trail in the field of medicine where few women had gone before and opened up the way for so many other female medical students to follow.  Since her retirement, she continues to be an inspiration through her volunteer work  and active social life.  When asked what she likes to do in her free time, the first thing she said was, “I like to work with people.”

Everyone at Lund is so thankful for Dr. Phillips’ long and varied engagement with our organization and with the medical and academic communities in Burlington.  Congratulations Dr. Phillips on being one of our 2014 Heart of the Community Award winners.

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