The Marian Anderson Comprehensive Sickle Cell Care and Research Center was established at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in 1991 to provide children with medical care, psychological, and social services. The Center coordinates acute care, routine follow-up care, and treatment with the anti-sickling medication hydroxyurea. Additionally, referrals for curative bone marrow transplantation, as well as genetic counseling, patient and family education, and counseling are offered. School and vocational assistance for children of all ages with sickle cell disease are also available.
The Center is one of three regional referral centers licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to treat newborns diagnosed with hemoglobinopathies. It also serves as a regional referral center for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Active collaborations exist with clinical and research programs at Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University, A.I. duPont Children’s Hospital, Albert Einstein Medical Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Services through the Marian Anderson Comprehensive Sickle Cell Care and Research Center include:
If a child has pulmonary problems, it could exacerbate sickle cell complications; therefore, we have a twice a month combined pulmonology-sickle cell clinic. During this clinic, patients with sickle cell disease are seen by a hematology provider and a pulmonologist. Also incorporated into one visit are pulmonary function tests and routine laboratory studies.
Hydroxyurea is the only medication proven to modify the course of sickle cell disease and prevent many of serious complications. Research studies have demonstrated the safety of hydroxyurea therapy for young children and infants with sickle cell disease. The goal of our Hydroxyurea Program is to educate our families about hydroxyurea, coordinate a dose adjustment schedule, laboratory monitoring, and provide necessary support.
During the transition period we ensure that our teens are familiar with their disease and treatment plan. Our social worker will help families to connect with support services, including career development, vocational rehabilitation, and life skills development. We provide them with the opportunity to meet adult providers in order to learn about and compare different sickle cell centers in and around Philadelphia.
Our parent support group meets monthly to discuss current issues and advocacy effort. Our staff members regularly meet with the families and provide education. Annually we offer support for parents to attend regional sickle cell education events.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (215) 427-5096 or (215) 427-5336.