Philip M. DeChavez, M.D., M.P.H. passed away on June 4, 2012 at his home in Pennsylvania. Philip was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on November 2, 1967. He rendered useful every second of the forty-four years he spent in this world. From childhood, he displayed uncommon intelligence and incomparable drive, determination, and perseverance. After graduating from John Jay High School, he enlisted in the army and served in Operation Desert Storm as a combat medic. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree from Morgan State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude as valedictorian. Dr. DeChavez completed his medical degree and internship at the University of Pennsylvania where he received the Helen O. Dickens Award for service to the minority community. He developed and researched educational programs aimed at increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in higher education throughout his career. After completing his residency in Family Medicine, Philip completed his M.P.H. at Harvard University as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health Policy. Subsequently, Phil served as the medical director of MCI-Framingham, a medium-security correctional facility for female offenders in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. He was also on faculty at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and Public Health. Despite his success, Philip never forgot his roots, never hesitated to help someone in need. He was a humanitarian, a voice for the voiceless, a champion for the underdog. Philip is survived by his parents Robert DeChavez and Fay Craney, stepfather Jim, fiancée Jenia, daughters Alejandra and Madeline, brothers Mark and Carl, sister Yvette, and numerous friends. Though his life was brief, his work lives on, and so will our love for this generous man who brought such happiness to our lives. Like you, Philip, we will never give up, never give in, and always hold on to what we believe in. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at Castle Ridge Mortuary from 6:00-9:00 pm with a rosary to be conducted at 7pm. The funeral service will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church at 10 am on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 followed by Interment at Resurrection Cemetery at Cordi-Marian.
Published in Express-News on June 11, 2012