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Donors Make New Sickle Cell Center Possible

Mike-Conley2-250

For more than 1,600 people in Memphis suffering from sickle cell disease, excruciating, ongoing pain is a fact of life. Today, thanks to donors like you, there is a special place that can provide the advanced, appropriate, and expedited care that sickle cell patients need and deserve.

After years of planning and hard work, the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center opened in September to deliver the most advanced clinical treatment for patients.

"This Center is really filling a huge unmet need in our community," said Mark Yancy, manager of operations for the Center. "I hear from so many of our patients how grateful they are to have this resource."

The clinic is the only one of its type with a specifically designed nine-chair infusion unit within a 300-mile radius and under the leadership of Dr. Owita Mays, Medical Director, and Mark Yancy, Manager of Operations, the Center will operate as an outpatient clinic to provide preventative health maintenance specific to sickle cell disease in a primary care setting and an infusion unit offering sickle cell pain crisis management.

"It’s really a one-stop medical home for sickle cell patients who have had no where to turn," says Paula Jacobson, Methodist Healthcare Foundation President. "I am so proud that we were able to leverage private contributions to help make this Center possible."

Methodist partners with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and existing resources such as the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee to provide comprehensive preventative outpatient disease management weekdays from 8am-5pm for adults and teens transitioning from pediatric care.

Fundraising began in 2010 with a $250,000 gift from local mortgage banker Jim McGehee. In April 2011 the Methodist Healthcare Foundation received a $1 million challenge grant from the Plough Foundation to establish an endowed chair in hematology. That challenge grant was recently met by the Foundation and a total of $3 million has been raised to date.

Many thanks to all the caring donors and volunteers who lent their time and support to make the Center possible. To take a tour or learn more, contact Mark Yancy at Mark.Yancy@mlh.org.

Photo Caption:
Memphis Grizzlies player Mike Conley (right) toured the newly opened Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center with Mark Yancy, manager of Operations at the Center. Conley is a long-time supporter of sickle cell patients and hosts an annual Bowl-n-Bash fundraising event to help support the work of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center.