Howard University College of Medicine Receives Grant to Support Youth with Sickle Cell Disease

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Pediatrics and Child Health in the Howard University College of Medicine has received a $42,000 grant from the Walter Brownley Trust Bank of America, N.A., Trustee to support children with sickle cell disease and their families. There are approximately 1,500 children and youth with sickle cell disease in the Washington, D.C. region.

The project supported by the grant, entitled “LIFE (Learning Is Fundamental for Everyone) with Sickle Cell Disease,” will focus on increasing educational and other support services for school-age children with sickle cell. Services include education and advocacy training, transportation assistance, special informational workshops for families, and distribution of other needed resources.

“Most sickle cell disease patients have low socioeconomic status, lack social support, and face many barriers for achieving optimal medical care and educational achievement,” says Dr. Sohail Rana, professor of pediatrics in the College of Medicine and lead administrator of the “Life” project. “The condition can also result in brain complications that place youth at high risk for limited educational achievement. This grant will help us ensure that children and youth with sickle cell disease are fully connected to available resources in the school system and in the larger community.”

In the pediatrics department, the “LIFE” project and will be supported by Patricia Houston, project coordinator, and Cynthia Gipson, a family advocate.

Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic disease in the United States and primarily affects African Americans. It leads to anemia, pain crisis, strokes and other problems. The Howard University College of Medicine, the Howard University Center for Sickle Cell Disease, and Howard University Hospital, have long served as the major center for medical care, research, and other resources to people with sickle cell disease in the Washington region.

For more information about the project, please contact Patricia Houston at phouston@howard.edu or 202-865-4578.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

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Media Contact: Sholnn Freeman, sholnn.freeman@howard.edu