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About Community Health Coalition

Since 1989, North Carolina's Community Health Coalition (CHC) has connected passionate leaders and doers in the fields of medicine, education, mental health, faith organizations, law, finance, the military, and social advocacy to achieve one united goal; health equity for EVERYONE, beyond today's racial and socioeconomic barriers. 


Serving Durham County and the surrounding areas, CHC strives to create a society in which all people live healthy, active, and purpose-driven lives.


Our main areas of focus are:

  • Awareness of diseases and issues like diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insurance issues, and organ and tissue donation

  • Decreasing obesity among minorities within our community

  • Educating the community on the dangers of tobacco and general substance abuse

  • Highlighting and improving mental health services.


We believe it is the health system's responsibility to educate and treat the entire community - including the disadvantaged and under-served populations.

Understanding Health Equity

Listen to Dr. Ruth Gilliam Phillips discuss health advocacy with Dr. Veita Bland


Dr. Ruth Gilliam Phillips in green.jpg

Dr. Ruth Gilliam Phillips, DPM, MS

CHC Executive Director

Dr. Phillips, affectionately called Dr. Ruth, relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina, in 2008 from Baltimore, Maryland.


Ruth received her Bachelors and Masters degrees at Morgan State University and her Doctorate in Podiatry at the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine. 

My motto is to choose L.I.F.E. when advocating for yourself and for the well-being of others.

     L. Listen

     I.  Investigate

     F. Follow-up

     E. Engage

As Executive Director of Student Health and Counseling Service at North Carolina Central University, Dr. Phillips developed programs, partnered with national organizations, collaborated with fellow campus departments and student groups in an effort to generate change not only for students, but faculty and staff as well.

In 2020, Dr. Ruth was named Executive Director of Community Health Coalition to continue founder Dr. Elaine Hart-Brothers' legacy of compassionate and visionary leadership. 

In addition to her role at the Community Health Coalition, Dr. Ruth serves on the National Our Health Matters Task Force for Jack and Jill of America Incorporated, the Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Governor’s Task Force, the American Heart Association Triangle Board, the American Cancer Society Central and Eastern Northern Carolina Board, the Diabetes Research Foundation Board and the American Cancer Society Advisory Board.

Dr. Elaine Hart-Brothers, MD, MPH

CHC Co-Founder, Past Executive Director

Dr. Hart-Brothers received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) at Tufts University School of Medicine and a Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) at Harvard University School of Public Health. She worked in General Internal Medicine and Community & Family Medicine at Duke Primary Care.

Seeing patients was the most rewarding part of her job, but she could only see one patient at a time. In 1989, Dr. Hart-Brothers and the late Mr. John Mickle founded Community Health Coalition to serve many more lives by educating the public about health and addressing the needs of NC communities.

Dr. Elaine Hart-Brothers

My interest in community medicine is simple … the more people I reach, the more lives I help save. If I convince you to take an active role in your own health, I've fulfilled my mission.

She believes this kind of outreach is part of our health system's responsibility to educate and treat the entire community—including the disadvantaged and under-served populations, but in the end it all comes down to the one-to-one practice of medicine.

In 2020, Dr. Hart-Brothers retired from CHC after 31 years of service. 

Board of Directors


La’Toria Jallah, M.Ed., CCC-SLP, CBIS

Interim Board President 2022

Clinical Research Coordinator/ Speech-Language Pathologist, 

Duke University School of Medicine

Elaine Hart-Brothers, MD, MPH, FACP

Past Board President

Co-Founder & Past Executive Director, 

Community Health Coalition

General Internal Medicine,

Community & Family Medicine,

Retired, Duke Primary Care

Edward Clemons, DDS

Board Vice President & Chair of Finance

Private Practice - General Dentistry, Durham

Makeba Tate McDaniel

Board Secretary

Executive Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist,

AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical

William G. Smith, BS
Board Treasurer

Development Officer,
Director of Development, BRITE



Venice Alston 

Community Health Advocate

Evester Bailey, MS

Behavioral Health Administrator

Cameron Belton, JD

Attorney at Law, Law Offices of

James D. Williams, Jr.

Carolyn Clemmons

Community Health Advocate

Arnett Coleman, MD

Retired Internist, Duke Primary Care

Tricia Howard, MHA, BSN

District Lead Nurse, Durham Public Schools

Brenda Jamerson, PharmD

Adjunct Professor, Duke University School of Medicine

Desiree Palmer, DMD

Private Practice - General & Cosmetic Dentistry, Durham

Ruth Gilliam Phillips, DPM

Executive Director, Community Health Coalition

Evangelist Ervin Wilson

Community Health Advocate

Community Partners

Thank you to our dedicated partners and networks who are helping us reach our goal of Healthy People 2030.

Doctor's Appointment

Become a Partner or Grantor

Please help support our mission by funding our important programs.
Contact us today.

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