The Pennsylvania Department of Health reminded Pennsylvanians living with sickle cell disease (SCD) that there are treatments and supports available.
“Unfortunately, there is no cure for sickle cell disease, but treatment can help those with the disease live well and be healthy,” Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “If you are living with sickle cell disease, there is treatment as well as supports available for you.”
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease where an individual’s red blood cells take a crescent. This change in shape can create blockages that prevent blood from reaching parts of the body. As a result, people with sickle cell complications can experience anemia, gallstones, stroke, chronic pain, organ damage and even premature death. It is the most commonly inherited blood disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sickle cell disease affects approximately 100,000 Americans. This disease has a greater influence on African American and Hispanic populations but is also found among other races and ethnicities.
The Department of Health Bureau of Family Health established the SCD Community-Based Supports and Services (CBSS) grant.
The CBSS grants fund the following services:
· Care planning;
· Coordinating with various care systems and providers;
· Transition and planning for all stages of life;
· Educational and employment support;
· Developing and connecting to peer and community supports; and,
· Family and social support engagement.
CareStar and Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation are the CBSS grantees who are committed to serving individuals with SCD and their families, by improving systems function, increasing access to services, and providing equitable care.
CareStar provides services in the northwest and southeast regions. Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation serves the southwest, southcentral, and northeastern Pennsylvania.
“These grantees have been partnering with health care providers in their regions, through the PA Sickle Cell Network, the Department’s Newborn Screening and Genetics program, and many other resources,” Johnson said. “If you, or someone you know, has sickle cell disease, please know there are services available to help you.”