HANOVER, Md.—The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America will hold its 49th annual national convention virtually this year from Tuesday, Oct. 12, through Saturday, Oct. 16. The five-day multidisciplinary convention addressing sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait draws hundreds of health care professionals, patients, families, community-based organizations, leaders and advocates.

“Our lineup of world-class speakers will present innovative and current best practice strategies and inspire and challenge our thinking about management and care and the latest scientific and clinical information about sickle cell disease,” said Beverley Francis-Gibson, president and CEO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. “There’s something for everyone at our convention this year.”

The keynote and honor lectures will be delivered by:

  • Dr. Kim Smith-Whitley is executive vice president and head of research and development at Global Blood Therapeutics, and Teonna Woolford is founder and CEO of The Sickle Cell Reproductive Health Education Directive. Woolford lives with sickle cell anemia. Smith-Whitley and Woolford will present the Charles F. Whitten, M.D., Memorial Lecture: “Sickle Cell and Access to Reproductive Health Services: An Advocate’s Perspective.”
  • Dr. Gary H. Gibbons directs the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Gibbons will present the Clarice D. Reid, M.D., Lecture: “Accelerating Innovative Treatments for Sickle Cell Disease.”

Additional convention events include business and grant meetings, exhibit hall presentations, advocacy lectures, clinical trial updates, educational workshops, medical reports, panel discussions, award presentations and social events. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and interact virtually with health care leaders and professionals and gain new relationships, knowledge and resources.

To learn more, see the convention program or register, visit www.sicklecelldisease.org/get-involved/events/annual-national-convention.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease causing red blood cells to take a sickle shape, which leads to blockages that prevent blood from reaching parts of the body. As a result, people with sickle cell complications can experience anemia, jaundice, gallstones, stroke, chronic pain, organ damage and premature death. No universal cure exists. (sicklecelldisease.net)

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America advocates for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empowers community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure. The association and more than 50 member organizations support sickle cell research, public and professional health education and patient and community services. (www.sicklecelldisease.org)

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