Homer G. Phillips Lecture

2020 Homer G. Phillips Lecture

Dr. Conseulo Wilkins

Guest Speaker

Consuelo H. Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Vice President for Health Equity at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Associate Dean for Health Equity at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, presented the 2020 Homer G. Phillips Lecture at the Eric P. Newman Center on the medical campus on October 25th. Her presentation was titled “Moving from Charity Care to Partnering with Communities to Improve Health.”

Dr. Wilkins leads the Office of Health Equity in connecting existing health equity initiatives while developing system-wide efforts to address disparities in health. Dr. Wilkins also serves as Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. Her primary responsibilities as executive director include developing and supporting collaborative initiatives and programs in biomedical research, community engagement and interprofessional learning.

Dr. Howard Venable


Howard Venable, MD is known for the revolutionary changes he made in the field of ophthalmology. In 1939, he attended medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit. Dr. Venable completed his residency at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and New York University. After completing his residency, Dr. Venable joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in 1958, as the first African American to work on the staff. He became an Assistant Professor Emeritus of Clinical Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Venable retired in 1987, and was well known for his desire to train young black students interested in ophthalmology.

Dr. Venable was a staunch advocate of civil rights. In 1956, he purchased a tract of land in segregated Creve Coeur and began building a home. After an outcry by the local white “citizen’s committee,” then Mayor John T. Beirne took the land by eminent domain and had it converted into a park, which still bears the Beirne name. A local movement is now underway to rename the park Venable Park in honor of Dr. Howard Venable.

Additional information on renaming Beirne Park 

The Mayor of the City of Creve Coeur is hosting a public meeting dedicated to a discussion about the racist actions taken by the City to exclude the Venables on November 6, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Danforth Plant Science Center. For more information and RSVP, please click here.