We have continued to impact the lives of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) by providing educational support services including educational advocacy, school work retrieval while the child is absent from school and loaner laptop computers to prevent children from falling behind when their illness interrupts their education.
We have the only Learn2Swim program for children with SCD in the USA. This program eliminates the barriers that are associated with swimming for persons with SCD. The pools are heated and monitored closely; we have medical professionals on site and offer a light meal and plenty of water to maintain hydration. This program is offered at the Children’s Institute on Saturdays and at the Greater Pittsburgh YMCA Allegheny on Sunday afternoons from May through October.
We are the leaders in sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait education in the community and make the largest impact in western Pennsylvania raising awareness of SCD! Our outreach efforts include offering education and screening opportunities in the community during health fairs, events and blood drives. We are gearing up for a statewide awareness campaign to kick off in June 2010!
The strength of CSCF is our great collaborative partnerships. Among our partners are Children’s Hospital of UPMC Sickle Cell Program, Children’s Institute, and Central Blood Bank. We are especially excited about our newest partnership with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. We have launched a new Young Adult Transition Program with a Public Ally First Year Apprentice, a program that provides young adults with the training to successfully meet the challenges of becoming an adult while addressing some specific issues related to having sickle cell disease. We look forward to expanding our Family Support Program into the Hill District and launching our “Living Well with Sickle Cell” Handbook series with the generous support from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. How exciting!