JOSEPH D. WILKINS
President, Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, Chesterfield County
In Halifax County, where Wilkins grew up, people took care of one another, he says. That compassionate culture, plus seeing his father go through rehab after a car accident, inspired him to become a physical therapist. But Wilkins wanted to do more to help people be well and safe, so he went back to school to earn his master’s degree in health administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. That enabled him to serve in leadership positions at health care systems all over Virginia, including a stint as the first Black CEO of LifePoint Health in Wytheville. He also serves on the state’s Health Workforce Development Authority board, which addresses staffing shortages in health care.
As head of Bon Secours’ St. Francis Medical Center in Chesterfield County, Wilkins has to deal with a lot of spreadsheets and data, although he also helped out as a physical therapist to fill staffing gaps during the pandemic. “My duty,” he says, “is to get them the care that they deserve.”
Making strides: Virginia Business 2023 Black Leaders Award winners