Meet The Team
Meet the African American Transplant Access Program Team
Dinee Simpson, MD
Dinee Simpson, MD, is the first Black female transplant surgeon in Illinois. After completing medical school at New York University, Simpson moved to Boston for a medical residency through Harvard Medical School and completed her transplant surgery fellowship training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Simpson’s clinical focus includes liver and kidney transplants. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Simpson sits on the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois, and is the diversity, equity and inclusion adviser for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), as well as chair of the ASTS Boldly Against Racism Task Force. Dr. Simpson has a passion for establishing equity in access to transplantation among minority populations through outreach, education, advocacy and policy work, and for disparities research.
Dr. Simpson created AATAP because of her observation that the African American population does not have equitable access to transplantation, an observation that is backed by research in the medical literature.
Under Dr. Simpson’s leadership, AATAP is committed to eliminating disparities for underserved populations in relation to transplant care for kidney and liver disease. Through the development of a deeper understanding of the historical barriers and cultural concerns of the Black community, the program aims to overcome these obstacles through community collaboration and community-based participatory research.
John E. Franklin, MD
John E. Franklin, MD, MSc, MA, a transplant psychiatrist and diversity expert at Northwestern Medicine, is an adviser to the African American Transplant Access Program. Dr. Simpson works with Dr. Franklin to provide support for patients’ behavioral health needs throughout their transplant journey.
Dr. Franklin is a professor of psychiatry, behavioral sciences and organ transplantation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, as well as the school’s associate dean for diversity, inclusion and student support. A practicing psychiatrist for more than 35 years, he has written extensively on issues in addiction medicine, organ transplantation and health disparities. Dr. Franklin’s expertise is foundational to Northwestern Medicine’s organ transplantation programs. His clinical expertise and ability to provide racially and culturally concordant care make him an invaluable member of the AATAP team.
Shimere Harrington, LICSW
Shimere Harrington, LICSW, is the social worker in the African American Transplant Access Program. She partners closely with Dr. Simpson to understand patient needs and develop strategies to help overcome barriers that Black patients are likely to face when navigating the transplant evaluation process.
Shimere has been part of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital team since 2018, previously working in the Emergency Department and Cardiology. Her extensive clinical background includes more than 12 years working with diverse populations, including children, homeless individuals and patients with chronic illness — giving Shimere a unique ability to connect with a variety of patients and families. Her knowledge, experience and resources help Shimere educate and provide services to families in the African American Transplant Access Program.
Zaundra Boyd is a health literacy specialist and consultant with a master’s degree in training and development. She has 20 years of extensive experience with adult literacy deliverables, including tutoring and coaching for major community adult literacy initiatives that embrace the design, development and presentation of educational programs for professional and medical health audiences. Using her expertise, positive attitude and tireless energy, Boyd promotes wellness literacy in underserved, diverse and senior populations with limited access to self-care prevention opportunities. Outside of her clinical work, she is the co-author and designer of Literacy Chicago’s program guide for volunteer tutors and author of the soon to be published Aha! Healing from the Inside Out: Approaching Integrative Health through Spirituality, Health, and WellBEing.
Sherita Holman, BSN, RN
Sherita Holman, BSN, RN, is a transplant nurse coordinator and outreach liaison at Northwestern Medicine who works with the African American Transplant Access Program. In this role, she partners with Dr. Simpson to help patients set up their first appointment for transplant evaluation in the Oak Lawn clinic.
Holman has a strong background in hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and patient education. She also is responsible for traveling to outpatient dialysis units in the Chicago area to provide transplant education to patients and staff.
The Northwestern Medicine Organ Transplant Center is the region’s leading kidney transplant center and one of the largest transplant programs in the Midwest. Our surgeons have performed more than 5,500 kidney transplants and 2,200 liver transplants, and we have one of the largest living donor kidney transplant programs in the nation.