September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and at Tulane University School of Medicine, we have a center that serves the Sickle Cell community.
The Sickle Cell Center of Southern Louisiana (SCCSL) grew out of a sickle cell clinic initiated by Gerald Williams and Maeola Jones in 1979. Mr. Williams was the Director of the New Orleans Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation at the time and Ms. Maeola Jones was the pediatric nurse for sickle cell. Patients were initially seen at the routine weekly pediatric and adult hematology clinics at Charity Hospital, where Ms. Jones provided particular attention to sickle cell issues. In 1984 the adult and pediatric clinics were combined, and the Sickle Cell Center of Southern Louisiana was established, which has been providing comprehensive care for patients with sickle cell disease from birth into adulthood since. The impact of comprehensive sickle cell care is reflected by a significantly improved life expectancy. While the life expectancy of someone with sickle cell disease was estimated to be in their 20s in the 1970s, we now take care of individuals well into their 60s and beyond. We continue to be aware and committed to advancing the care of our patients.
The SCCSL has partnered with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc. to shine a light on sickle cell and how it affects the everyday life of sickle cell patients and how the SCCSL treats their patients.