Charles A. Phillips, MD, MSHP, is an attending physician with the Cancer Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition to his clinical work, he is involved in projects to help support clinicians and patient families by improving the quality of care through effective use of health informatics.
He chose to work in hematology/oncology because of the diversity of possible diagnoses – and the opportunity that creates to provide truly individualized care. “I believe all types of cancer and non-malignant blood disorders are interesting. Each patient and diagnosis is a little bit different and I enjoy tailoring care to meet the needs of each patient. It keeps the job new, fun, and rewarding,” he says.
Working with pediatric patients makes the work even more rewarding. “I like caring for patients who are critically ill while also being able to form long-term relationships with the patient and their family,” he says. “There is no better feeling than to have a teenager come back to clinic after undergoing significant medical treatment for cancer or a disease like sickle cell anemia and hear that they are about to graduate high school.”
Working in oncology is inherently difficult given the nature of the disease. For Dr. Phillips, that is all the more reason to work harder to ensure his patients not only get the best care but feel cared for.
“I want families to know we love their children, respect their family, and work as hard as we possibly can to provide the best care possible.” He says. “This sounds cliché, but it is true.”
“I work in a specialty that does not always have a good outcome, even if we do everything right,” he continues. “I cannot honestly tell a family that I will always cure their child of cancer or hemophilia or any number of significant conditions I treat. I can promise I will do everything in my power to give their child the best chance he or she has to lead a long, happy life.”
Dr. Philips earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. He also completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Vanderbilt’s Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital. He continued his training at CHOP, where he completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology as Chief Fellow. He also was a research fellow in CHOP’s Pediatric Hospital Epidemiology and Outcomes Training (PHEOT) Program. Dr. Phillips also earned a Master of Science in health policy research from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
He currently serves as an assistant professor for the Division of Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Phillips non-clinical work is focused on quality improvement and clinical informatics. “It is my job to help analyze the data generated in the electronic health record and get this information to doctors, nurses, and other care team members at the correct time(s) to positively impact patient care,” he explains. “I specialize in helping our health system provide care that is safe, timely, equitable, efficient, and patient-centered.”
He sees advances in the use of information technology as one of the most exciting developments in the healthcare field. “Information technology advances will help optimize care to provide the highest possible quality and safety to patients,” he notes.
He also noted that the medical community is learning more about how the immune system interacts with diseases. “I foresee many positive changes to come as we learn how to maximize the utility of the immune system to fight cancer and cure things like autoimmune platelet disorders,” he added. “Together, these two areas will intersect and help create individualized care plans for patients.”
Education and Training
MD - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
Pediatrics - Vanderbilt University, Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital, Nashville, TN
Pediatrics - Vanderbilt University, Monroe Carell Junior Children’s Hospital, Nashville, TN (Chief Resident)
Pediatric Hematology-Oncology - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA (Chief Fellow)
Research Fellow, Pediatric Hospital Epidemiology and Outcomes Training (PHEOT) Program - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA
Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics
Master of Science in Health Policy Research - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Titles and Academic Titles
Assistant Professor, Division of Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Departments and Services
Phillips, CA., Bailer, J., Foster, E., Dogan, P., Flaherty, P., Baniewicz, D., Smith, E., Reilly, A., and Freedman, J. Implementation of an automated pediatric malnutrition screen using anthropometric measurements in the electronic health record. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published online 10/5/18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.07.014. PMID: 30297315
Phillips, CA., Barz Leahy, A., Li, Y., Schapira, M., Bailey, L., and Merchant, R. The relationship between state-level Google online search volume and cancer incidence in the United States: a retrospective study. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2018 Jan; 20(1):e6 DOI: 10.2196/jmir.8870. PMID: 29311051
Broman, KK., Kensinger, C., Phillips, C., Fesseh, B., Fill, M., Borges, N., Mathisen, J., Allen, D., Land, E., and Patel, N. Characterizing the Clamor: An In-Depth Analysis of Inpatient Paging Communication. Academic Medicine. 2016 Jul; 91(7):1015-21. PMID: 26910895
Phillips, C, Huang, J, Razzaghi, H, and Bailey, C. : Retrospective study of age-adjusted growth patterns for height, weight and body mass index in pediatric acute leukemia and lymphoma. American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 Annual Meeting. June 2018.
Posters and Presentations
Phillips, C, Savani M, Green A: Novel Germline Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome Mutation in an Arab Patient. American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada (Poster Presentation) May 2017.
Phillips, C, Razzaghi H, Aglio T, Bailey C: Novel Computable Phenotype for Pediatric Leukemia and Lymphoma American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada (Poster Presentation) May 2017.
"Development and implementation of an automated malnutrition screen for pediatric oncology using electronic health record anthropometric data". The Nutrition Committee of Children's Oncology Group (COG) Fall Meeting. Oct, 2018.
Awards and Honors
2013, Housestaff Clinical Teaching Award, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2011, David R Freedy Memorial Award, Vanderbilt Medical School
2009, Finalist, Volunteer of the Year, West End Middle School, Nashville, TN
2007, Magna Cum Laude Graduation Honors, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2005, Dr. Charles Robert Thomas Scholarship Recipient, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
2003-2007, Dean's List, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Editorial and Academic Positions
2016, Ad Hoc Reviewer, JAMA Pediatrics
Academic and Institutional Committees
2017-present, Data Steward
2016-present, Oncology Nutrition Quality Improvement Project
2016-present, Team Leader, Oncology Nutrition Quality Improvement Project
2016-present, Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Health, University of Pennsylvania
2016-present, Associate Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania
2015-2018, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Committee
Leadership and Memberships
Memberships in Professional Organizations
2015-present, Children’s Oncology Group
2017-present, Pennsylvania Medical Society
2011-present, American Academy of Pediatrics
- 2017-present, Section on Hematology/Oncology
Patient Experience Ratings
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