Meet the African American Transplant Access Program Team

Meet The Team

Meet the African American Transplant Access Program Team

Dinee Simpson, MD

Dinee Simpson, MD

Dinee Simpson, MD, is Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s first female, African-American transplant surgeon. She is the only black, female organ transplant surgeon in Chicago. After completing medical school at New York University, Simpson moved to Boston for a medical residency through Harvard University.

Dr. Simpson founded the African American Transplant Access Program (AATAP) because of her strong belief that the African American population has a disadvantage to transplant access because of social issues and genetic predispositions. She understand that she can provide more awareness and assistance because she is part of and very involved with this specific population.

View her complete profile here.

John E. Franklin, MD

John 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

Zaundra Boyd 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.