Children's Hospital Media and Press Relations
Department of Pediatrics Newsletter Archive
Community Invited to Attend Town Hall Meetings on Sickle Cell Disease
June 8, 2011
Media Contact:
Jeremy Rush (615) 322-4747

The Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease is hosting a pair of informative town hall meetings for families coping with sickle cell disease on Thursday, June 9, and Saturday, June 11, at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center. 

The presentations, titled "Sickle Cell Disease and Our Community," will be an opportunity for community members to ask questions, voice concerns and offer feedback about issues related to sickle cell disease and the future of long-term medical and nursing care for Middle Tennessee patients. 

Local specialists who care for both pediatric and adults with the disease will participate in these meetings, including the Center's director Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPH, J.C. Peterson M.D., Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology, an internationally renowned sickle cell disease researcher. 

The meetings are free and open to families affected by Sickle Cell Disease and other interested parties. Door prizes, onsite parking, childcare services, food and refreshments will be provided. 

WHAT:  "Sickle Cell Disease and Our Community" town hall meetings

WHEN:  Thursday, June 9, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. to noon. 

WHERE:  Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center
                  1035 14th Avenue North
                  Nashville, TN 37208

The Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease was established by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Meharry Medical College and the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.  The Center works closely with community physicians to provide quality, lifelong care to children and adults with sickle cell disease.  Partners include Tennessee Oncology, Centennial Pediatrics and primary health care physicians across Middle Tennessee.

Sickle cell disease is one of the most common genetic diseases in the United States, occurring in one in 400 births in African-Americans. The disease affects the red blood cells, causing the cells to become permanently deformed with an appearance of a sickle, interrupting the flow of blood in the smallest of blood vessels. Approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States have Sickle cell disease and are at risk for chronic disease including heart, lung and strokes as a result of the disease.



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