The Rare Disease Report Podcast: Sickle Cell Disease

February 28, 2021
Jonathan Alicea

Jonathan Alicea is an assistant editor for HCPLive. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree with English and minors in Linguistics and Theater. He spends his free time writing plays, playing PlayStation, enjoying the company of his 2 pugs, and navigating a right-handed world as a lefty. You can email him at jalicea@mjhlifesciences.com.

In this first episode, Kim Smith-Whitley, MD, discusses the history, presentations, and research status of sickle cell disease.

“When I think about sickle cell disease, I can’t help but think about sickle cell in a historic perspective,” said Kim Smith-Whitley, MD,  Executive Vice President-Elect of Global Blood Therapeutics, in the inaugural episode of the Rare Disease Report podcast.

The history of sickle cell disease is the history of healthcare disparity—as it primarily affects individuals of color and historically under-resourced populations.

Even more, the sickle cell story involves the push for increased universal screening, improved therapeutic options, and perhaps more pertinently, the need to develop effective ways to manage pain crises.

To understand sickle cell care in the United States is to appreciate the diagnostic and treatment milestones, while acknowledging the remaining—and urgent—gaps that need to be addressed by healthcare professionals and researchers.

Drawing from her clinical experiences as a pediatric hematologist, Smith-Whitley painted a detailed and comprehensive portrait of the reality of sickle cell care, the toll the disease can take on families, as well as the current and future state of research.

She emphasized the importance of trust between patients, their families, and their care team, which can ultimately prove foundational to improving patient quality of life.

HCPLive® and Rare Disease Report® are proud to present the first installment of a new podcast series that will provide a platform for experts and advocates to share their knowledge, tell their story, and augment the discussion surrounding diseases that have—for too long—fallen beneath the radar.


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