Skip to main content
Emma Astrike-Davis, center, 2019 Salber-Phillips Award
Emma Astrike-Davis, center, 2019 Salber-Phillips Award Recipient

The Salber-Phillips Award

Through the Salber-Phillips Award, UNC medical students in their second through fourth years are recognized for their community-oriented projects that improve the health or well-being of older adults who are 65 or older.

The careers and lives of Harry Phillips and Eva Salber were epitomized by their empathy and compassion and the depth of their commitment to the health of all people, particularly those who are disregarded and underserved. Their work endeavored to address the social, political, and economic determinants of health and disease and was characterized by a broad community-based approach to health.

To foster and recognize these values in young physicians, Dr. Phillips established the Salber-Phillips Award in 1993.  Through the recognition of these students and their projects, the commitment of Eva Salber and Harry Phillips to the health of all people, especially those in rural and underserved communities, lives on.

The legacy has been carried on by the Phillips children since their father’s passing in 2004.

Recent Salber-Phillips Award Recipients

Natalie Richmond 2020 Salber Phillips Award
Ellen Roberts, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, with Natalie Richmond, 2020 Salber-Phillips Award Recipient

2020: Natalie Richmond

2019: Emma Astrike-Davis

2014: James R. Broughman II

2013: Christopher Edward Jensen, Lalitha Kundru

2012: Bryce Elizabeth Haac

2011: Anne Hardy Dunbar, Lauren Michelle Abbate

2010: Fortune Jamike Egbulefu, Victoria Paige Rollins

Who were the Salber-Phillips?

Eva J. Salber and Harry T. Phillips grew up and met in Cape Town, South Africa, where they both earned M.B.Ch.B. degrees (the equivalent of an M.D.in the U.S.) in 1938. They later earned post-graduate Diplomas in Public Health (DPH) and Doctorates in Medicine (M.D.) also from the University of Cape Town. They emigrated to the United States in 1956 with their four young children.

After teaching, conducting research, and directing community health centers in Boston, Massachusetts, Drs. Phillips and Salber moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1971. At the University of North Carolina Dr. Phillips became the Head of the Health Systems Agencies training program within the School of Public Health; and in 1979 he became the School’s first Director of the Program on Aging. He retired in 1983 as emeritus Professor of Public Health, but continued to teach as an adjunct professor, with a particular emphasis on gerontology and healthy aging.

Dr. Eva Salber and Dr. Harry PhillipsIn North Carolina, Dr. Salber was a Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine (1971–1982), where she directed a Community Health Models Program and established a community health facilitator’s training program. She had a special interest in social medicine, healthy aging, and the lives and values of rural elders living alone. She also enjoyed mentoring young medical students, particularly young women striving to manage careers and families.

Drs. Salber and Phillips were married for 51 years until Eva’s death in 1990. Dr. Phillips passed away in 2004, and until his death remained actively involved with the Salber-Phillips award ceremonies. The Phillips children are now continuing the legacy of Eva J. Salber and Harry T. Phillips by recognizing medical students who strive to improve the health and well-being of adults over 65.