Phyllis Ballard was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to Beulah and Andrew Bates. Her father was the first African-American to work for North Carolina Employment Security Commission, and it was he, with a simple but strong belief in giving back to the community, who instilled in Phyllis the compassion to do the same. Years later with this inspiration taken to heart, Phyllis now states, “I have been very fortunate to have touched many lives in the community, teaching health promotion activities designed to assist individuals…to utilize that knowledge to change their habits and behaviors into healthy lifestyles.”
Phyllis has been a strong advocate for health education and prevention. Having worked as a charge nurse and in the Washington University Pediatric Research Unit, Phyllis has dedicated her life to health services. But it is her immersion in coordinating projects and promoting awareness within the community that illuminates her ethic of service.
Phyllis volunteers at the New Northside Baptist Church Day Care Center as a board member, where she has assisted in writing a successful grant for the BREATH Program. For nearly three years, this grant has provided funding for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose screenings as well as bi-monthly educational forums on topics such as HIV/AIDS.
In addition to her professional and church commitments, Phyllis serves her local school district and other projects as a member of the Drug-Free Schools Committee. She also has organized the Drug-Free Arlington School Parade. Additionally, since 1996, Phyllis has worked with the WUSTL Pediatric Infectious Diseases Department and has educated children and their families on HIV/AIDS treatment and resources through the organization Project ARK (AIDS Resources and Knowledge). To her many charges, Phyllis gives a personal, unique attention to the point where her nominator, Sylvia Donato-Moore, states, “she dazzles you with her smile and her unique ability to make you feel special.”
Donato-Moore also explains, “her goal is strictly to promote awareness and help anyone she can within her capacity, which to me seems immeasurable.” Phyllis was also a 2005 recipient of the NurseWeek Nursing Excellence Community Service Award, because she’s given so freely and tirelessly to the community she loves.