Tuesday, September 20, 2016

USA Sickle Cell Center Hosts Grand Opening of Learning Resource and Development Center

The University of South Alabama Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center held a grand opening for its Learning Resource and Development Center on Sept. 12, 2016.

At the event, pediatric patients had the opportunity to learn about the new center and its resources, as well as meet medical staff, including new adult nurse practitioner Jessica King.

The Learning Development and Resource Center (LRDC) is part of the Sickle Cell Center’s Pediatric to Adult Care Transition Program (PACT), which bridges the gap between pediatric and adult health care for patients with sickle cell disease. PACT currently serves 47 clients. Dr. Johnson Haynes, director of USA’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center, said that patients in the program are “prepared when they transition from the pediatric world of nurturing to what the world expects them to be, independent and effective in their own right.”

“There has always been a very strong group of pediatric professionals, but there has been a shortage, not just locally, but nationally, in terms of doctors and allied health professionals who have been willing to care for sickle cell patients.” said Dr. Haynes, who is professor of internal medicine at the USA College of Medicine. He wants clients in transition from pediatric to adult care to understand the complexities of adult health care and the insurance industry so that they have the best tools to create confidence as adult patients.

The LRDC will give PACT clients tools to empower them to succeed not just in their health, but also in the work force. “We will facilitate resources for their academic development and expose them to things such as college prep or vocational services that may provide support in their career paths,” Dr. Haynes said. “For many, it will be a matter of providing them something that we take for granted, and that’s access to computers to do schoolwork, apply to colleges, or submit job applications. We want to be a resource and facilitate individuals with sickle cell disease to become whole adults in terms of being prepared to deal with their adult lives.”

The resources available from PACT and the LRDC complement services provided by the community-based sickle cell organization, the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America- Mobile Chapter.

Dr. Haynes is grateful for community support. “I’d just like to say thanks to the community, because the LRDC would not exist without their emotional and financial support.”

For more information about PACT, contact coordinator Tshemika Perryman at 251-470-5893. Click here to learn more about USA’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.

View more photos from the grand opening here.

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