Pat Corley, RN: To Reduce Sickle Cell Rates, Youth Need to Learn About Trait

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The Sickle Cell Trait Awareness Campaign (STAC) offers promising possibilities of expanding sickle cell trait education across the country, Dr. Carolyn Rowley and Pat Corley, RN explain.

The only way to reduce the prevalence of sickle cell disease (SCD) in the US is by informing and educating all young individuals about sickle cell trait (SCT), Pat Corley, RN, Cayenne Wellness Center, said in an interview with HCPLive.

As a supportive resource for individuals living with sickle cell disease in California, the Cayenne Wellness Center identified the adolescent population as the target audience to make an impact on the increasing number of sickle cell disease diagnoses. Corley and Carolyn Rowley, PhD, Executive Director of Cayenne Wellness Center, explained that the new Sickle Cell Trait Awareness Campaign (STAC) launched in January to raise awareness of sickle cell trait.

"I think the only way we can do that is to impact those young individuals who will be making decisions about who their partners would be, and their reproductive actions related to those partners," Corley said.

An important motivation for this initiative is that sickle cell trait isn't discussed, and many people are unaware that sickle cell trait affects all populations, not only those that include people of color. Rowley shared that the launch of STAC has garnered attention from key members of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) suggesting promising possibilities for national expansion.

"Every single one of them said, 'we want to do this too.' So, that is soon to come–not right now because we just launched but, give us about 3-4 months... We'll be able to help other states to do this," she said. "That is exciting."

For more of the HCPLive interview with Pat Corley, RN, and Dr. Carolyn Rowley:

  1. Sickle Cell Trait is a Long-Overlooked Gap in Care for Adolescents
  2. Raising Awareness of Complications Associated with Sickle Cell Trait
  3. Carolyn Rowley, PhD: Exhaustion is Expected with Sickle Cell Trait