Home Local News North Carolina Sickle Cell Syndrome Program marks 50th anniversary

North Carolina Sickle Cell Syndrome Program marks 50th anniversary

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina Sickle Cell Syndrome Program within the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services celebrates its 50th anniversary with an event Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the NC Museum of Art – West Building, 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.

Sickle cell disease primarily affects those of African descent. It leads to anemia, pain crisis, strokes and other problems. The mission of the NC Sickle Cell Syndrome Program is to promote the health and well-being of people with sickle cell disease through the reduction of morbidity and mortality and the heightened awareness of the disease and its complications. The program provides comprehensive services to people and their families affected by sickle cell disease and other hemoglobin disorders and offers genetic counseling and education to the general public.

“The biggest difference between today and 50 years ago from a patient perspective is hope and brighter futures,” said NCDHHS Section Chief for Women, Infant and Community Wellness Belinda Pettiford. “Through the implementation of a systematic, statewide approach to service delivery, the program provides infants, children, adolescents and adults affected by sickle cell disease with newborn screening follow up, care coordination, referrals to clinical and related services, and sickle cell educational materials and information.”


During the 50th anniversary celebration, people will be honored who significantly contributed to raising sickle cell awareness through the establishment of programs and services for those with sickle cell disease, sickle cell trait and related hemoglobinopathies. People living with sickle cell disease, including children and adults, will receive recognition for outstanding academic achievement and service to their communities. Awards will be given to staff for decades of service to individuals, families and the community.

The emcee of the event will be ABC11 anchor and reporter Tamara Scott. Media are invited to attend the event. If you are interested in covering, please RSVP to news@dhhs.nc.gov.

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