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Alabama-Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region


Sharon Jaksa
Vice President, Central Blood Services Division

Sharon Jaksa has more than 28 years of American Red Cross experience serving in various roles including: medical technologist, laboratory processing coordinator, senior technologist, assistant director of Technical Services, director of Manufacturing, chief operating officer and CEO of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. In 2012, she was promoted to the Great Lakes Blood Services Division vice president role. In November 2013, she was appointed as the vice president of the Central Blood Services Division, including 15 blood services regions and seven shared management teams. She resides in Michigan and holds a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University. She is also an adjunct professor for Michigan State University, teaching in the Master’s Program for Laboratory Operations.

Jerry J. K. Tillery Jerry J. K. Tillery
Chief Executive Officer, Southern, Alabama and Central Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico Blood Services Regions

Jerry J. K. Tillery joined the American Red Cross as CEO of the Southern Blood Services Region in March 2013.

Tillery most recently served as vice president of operations at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia., where he was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of multiple clinical and non-clinical departments and facility oversight for the 3 million square foot campus. Tillery also acted as lead for all growth and business development initiatives, including the opening of a 108-bed patient care tower and the creation of a systemwide neuroscience service line.

With more than 15 years of health care management experience, Tillery previously served in several operational roles at WellStar Health System, and in marketing and strategic planning positions at Emory Healthcare. He began his career as an administrator in several medical practices.

Tillery earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Georgia and master’s in business administration and health administration from Georgia State University. He is also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is involved in multiple non-profit organizations and currently serves as the president of the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives. He is a 2013 graduate of the Leadership Georgia Hospital Association and a 2010 graduate of LEAD Atlanta.


Kenneth McMilin, M.D., Ph.D.
Medical Director, Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Region
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, Central Blood Services Division

Dr. Kenneth McMilin joined the American Red Cross in July 1999 as medical director for the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast Blood Services Region. During his tenure with the Red Cross, McMilin also served as the chief medical officer for the Southeast Blood Services Division, and now serves as assistant chief medical officer for the Central Blood Services Division.

McMilin, who has a courtesy academic appointment in the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is licensed to practice medicine in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina. He is board certified in transfusion medicine and in clinical pathology and received fellowship training in transfusion medicine in California with Dr. Ross Herron, Dr. George Garratty and Dr. Emanuel Ferro. McMilin received his residency training in pathology at Oregon Health Sciences University, earned his medical degree at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonia and his doctorate in biology at the University of Oregon.

McMilin has published numerous research articles and review articles as author/co-author on a variety of topics, including transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease; allogenic transplantation and the risk for transmission of genetic disease; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and the risk for transmission of inheritable malignancy; the clinical outcome of microdeletion in the long arm of chromosome 2; cytogenetic nomenclature; molecular characterization of a dinucleotide repeat polymorphism and the mechanism of recombination in bacteriophage lambda.

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