Life After Pro-Sports

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(Wilkerson—from bone-jarring hits to a healing environment).

Is there life after football? Of course; just ask former NFL star, Daryl Wilkerson.

From a profession characterized with bone-jarring hits, leading to sometimes season-ending injuries, Wilkerson is now in the healthcare profession. The former pro-player has joined the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York as a Vice President of Support Services.

Wilkerson’s work affects 1,100 workers, from entry-level employees to high-level executives and board members. He oversees food services, housekeeping, waste management, laundry services, patient transportation, and others. “My vision for Mt. Sinai is for us to be the best support service department in the country,” he says.

Wilkerson has spent the last 18 years in various healthcare and educational facilities around the country, managing budgets ranging from $1 million to $10 million. His most recent position prior to joining Mt. Sinai was as the Executive Director of facilities and securities at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where he spent five years.

Mt. Sinai, located in the Upper East Side, under the tutelage of CEO Dr. Kenneth Davis, now enjoys financial stability, a strong turn around from just a few years ago. Wilkerson says he is impressed by the hospitals “partnership with unions.” He refers to himself as a “team player.”

A graduate of the University of Houston, Wilkerson spent six years as a professional athlete, playing for such teams as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Colts as a defensive end. He joined Mount Sinai this past summer. He advises other pro-athletes to be broad-minded. “You are only as good as your last game,” he cautions.

He concedes that in moving from the Windy City to the Big Apple, security issues did come to mind because since 9/11 –the focus of much news coverage. However, the “opportunity to manage more departments and broaden my scope of responsibilities,” outweighed any fears, he adds. Wilkerson says he looks forward to future growth opportunities at Mt. Sinai. “There is plenty of opportunity,” he says.

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