Harry E. Wilkins, III, President & CEO of Gift of Hope


Harry E. Wilkins, III, MD, MHCM is the President and CEO of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, a position he began in October 2020. Dr. Wilkins is a Chicago native raised in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side where he lived with his parents and 5 brothers. He attended high school at then Mendel Catholic High School in the Roseland Community before attending Northwestern’s Honor’s Program in Medical Education completing his Doctor of Medicine Degree from Northwestern Feinberg University School of Medicine in 1986. Upon graduation, he completed an internship in internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York and returned to Chicago to complete a surgical residency at the Columbus Hospital Surgical Program. Upon completion of his surgical residency, he completed a fellowship program in trauma and surgical critical care at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland. Following completion of his fellowship in 1994, his career took him to Tyler, Texas, Overland Park, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri where he served as attending trauma surgeon and Medical Director of trauma centers and regional advisor to two statewide trauma systems (Texas and Missouri). In 2010 he joined Quincy Medical Group and the staff of Blessing Hospital where he practiced for 19 years before retiring from the clinical practice of surgery. In 2009, Dr. Wilkins received his Master of Science degree in Healthcare Management (MHCM) From T H Chan Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Wilkins’ involvement in organ donation began in surgical residency and continued throughout fellowship and surgical practice through caring for patients who ultimately became organ donors. He became more actively involved in shaping policy relating to the medical management of organ donors through his involvement in the National Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative process beginning in the early 2000’s receiving the HRSA Medal of Honor for his work as co-faculty. He served as the Medical Director for Midwest Transplant Network in Kansas and the Medical Advisor to the Association of Organ Procurement Organization (AOPO). In addition to these positions, Dr. Wilkins teamed with Hedi Aguilar, RN to produce a workshop to assist OPOs in engaging hospitals and physicians to further organ donation and have provided training to over 25 OPOs and hundreds of staff over the last decade. The two co-authored The Art of Effective Physician Communication which is a text used by organ donation professionals throughout the country. Dr. Wilkins has also been involved in working with The Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance as co-faculty for National Donation Summits as well as a co-author of the Organ Donation Advanced Seminar for Standardized Clinical Education (ODASSCE) Course.


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