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S. Epatha Merkerson has played Sharon Goodwin on Chicago Med since the beginning. Goodwin is the Head of Patient and Medical Services. She is fiercely protective of her staff but also takes following the rules very seriously. Like her character, Merkerson also has diabetes and is glad she could raise awareness of the disease while on the show.

Kristin Hager as Dr. Stevie Hammer and S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin in 'Chicago Med' Season 7. Goodwin smiles at Hammer.
Kristin Hager as Dr. Stevie Hammer and S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin in ‘Chicago Med’ Season 7 | George Burns Jr/NBC

S. Epatha Merkerson plays Sharon Goodwin in ‘Chicago Med’ Season 7

Sharon Goodwin is the Head of Patient and Medical Services at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center. Before she rose to this position, Goodwin was an Emergency Department charge nurse, which helps her see issues from both a medical and business perspective.

She is passionate about her staff and about doing the right thing. In Chicago Med Season 7, Goodwin investigates Dr. Matt Cooper, who she suspects of taking kickbacks from Vascom devices.

Merkerson also played an important character in another Dick Wolf series, Law & Order. Her character Lieutenant Anita Van Buren was the commanding officer of the 27th Precinct. Merkerson has also had roles in TV shows such as Here and Now, The Closer, and Deception, according to IMDb.

S. Epatha Merkerson raises diabetes awareness through her character

Sharon Goodwin has type 2 diabetes, which causes her trouble at times in the series. Early in Chicago Med Season 7 she discovered her glucose levels were high, and that she needed to increase her medication to keep things under control. Merkerson also has diabetes, and she is able to shed some light on the disease through her character.

“I come from a family where [type 2 diabetes] was never discussed,” Merkerson told Shadow and Act. “It’s important for me as an African American to speak on something that allows me to reach other people.

S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin in Chicago Med Season 7. Goodwin wears a patterned dress and looks concerned about something.
S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin in ‘Chicago Med’ Season 7 | Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

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“To bring the disease up in the show through my character allows us to see firsthand what people go through when they have type 2 diabetes,” she continued. “I think whenever you have the opportunity to voice something like that, it’s a public service to the community.”

Merkerson has also been able to return to the set of Chicago Med after filming remotely as a coronavirus (COVID-19) precaution last season. “I’m in that group of people who have comorbidities. I’m over 65 and I’m diabetic so my producers worked something out for me,” she told Shadow and Act.

“I shot from home for the entirety of last season, but this season I was only supposed to film four episodes from here. The great part is that it was comfortable for me, but the negative part is that I felt really isolated. After three episodes of filming at home, I asked to return to the set now that everyone is accustomed to the new protocols that are in place.”

Will Sharon Goodwin’s health be an issue in ‘Chicago Med’ Season 7?

In Chicago Med Season 7, Goodwin got the evidence she needed that Dr. Cooper and the Vascom reps were receiving kickbacks. Goodwin took this information to the FBI, despite being warned not to. A sneak peek shared by TV Insider shows Goodwin telling Dr. Daniel Charles she is worried about the hospital. She also checks her glucose levels, which appear to be elevated. Hopefully, Goodwin’s health won’t suffer under the stress of the investigation.

Chicago Med Season 7 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.