FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Phyllis L. Rodgers
Phyllis L. Rodgers is the Founder and CEO of Peer Plus Education and Training Advocates, a registered 501(C)(3) in Illinois. Since its inception in 2002, Peer Plus has engaged 4,500+ participants through community events, seminars hosted by various medical providers and clinical staff as well as health fairs, screenings and educational programs. As a nonprofit, Peer Plus is financially supported through fundraising, donations and philanthropic giving.
Peer Plus began when Ms. Rodgers became a case manager—the first and only person of color on the clinical team—at the former Sable/Sherer Clinic at Cook County Hospital. She successfully managed a caseload of 300+ ex-offenders from the county Department of Corrections and the general population. In later years, she supervised a team of 25 HIV-positive adults through the Volunteer Services at the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center and reintroduced them to their communities as health workers and advocates for others who were HIV-positive. She has served on the board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and as the coordinator of the AIDS Walk for all Cook County employees.
Ms. Rodgers' vast experience as a community and patient advocate laid the foundation for Peer Plus. A cancer survivor, she has committed her talents to change patient experiences and to create much-needed conversations and outcomes. In 2016 she was certified as an Ambassador with the Washington-based PCORI (Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute) and in 2017 became a member of the Patient Brigade with the University of Illinois Cancer Center. In honor of Black History Month 2020, Peer Plus forged an historic partnership with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and collaborated to co-host a community forum, “A Conversation about the Facts, Figures and Cultural Diversity in Oncology,” which underscored the urgent need for people of all colors to participate in clinical trials.
To improve skills that serve communities disproportionately impacted by the Corona virus, Ms. Rodgers has also completed the ASTHO training for Contact Tracing for COVID-19. Known as the “go-to” person on healthcare information, she makes it a priority to stay current on healthcare issues through trainings and workshops for herself and Peer Plus volunteers.
Peer Plus enjoys several valued partnerships, which include Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, AARP Foundation Experience Corps, Aetna Insurance, Walgreens, JenCare, Oak Street Health, Amgen, Humana Health, and the University of Chicago Friend Health Center. Married to her high school sweetheart for 48 years, Ms. Rodgers loves to garden and spend quality time with her beloved granddaughter and family.
* Recipient of the annual "Go Red Award" presented by University of Chicago Friend Health
Center (February 2020).
* Completed Training as a Contact Tracer for COVID-19 (June 2020).
2014 - 2019
* African American Dementia at Chicago Research Advocacy (2019)
* Pastors4PCOR Health Research Ministry (2019)
* "Go Red" award in Honor of Barbara Hubbard and presented by "Senior Talk with
Clara Hubbard" (February 2019)
* The University of Michigan Human Subjects and Behavioral Sciences Module (2018)
* Northwestern University (IRB) Community Research (2018)
* Virginia Wagner Woman of the Year Award from Soroptimist Illiana (2018)
* Baptist State Convention (2017)
* Certified as A PCORI Ambassador for (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) (2016)
* Inducted into the Hall of Fame at Wendell Phillips High School (2016)
* Beauty In Beauty Out (2016)
* Walgreens Community Support Award (2016)
* Ray & Joan Kroc Salvation Army (2015)
* Georgia Doty Award (2014)