GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) East Carolina University’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program has been named one of five distinguished grantees of the Global Blood Therapeutics 2020 Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients Grant Program.

GBT is a biotech company that is dedicated to life-changing treatments of underserved communities, starting with sickle cell.

It’s ACCEL program was established to support non-profits that serve patients with sickle cell disease and their families.

This year the grant has awarded a total of 250,000 to five non-profit organizations serving the SCD community.

“Individuals living with sickle cell disease face significant challenges every day, including accessing quality healthcare in their communities. These challenges are greater than ever given the impact of COVID-19 and the healthcare disparities the pandemic has brought harshly to light,” said Jung E. Choi, chief business and strategy officer, and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We selected this year’s grant recipients based on their potential to make an outsized difference on improving access to care for patients. With the additional funding from the ACCEL program, these organizations have the opportunity to speed the development and amplify the reach of their programs.” 

Accesses to quality health care for these individuals with SCD has been more of a challenge with healthcare disparities the pandemic has produced.

The 2020 ACCEL grant recipients are:

  • Atrium Health Foundation for “Expanding Access to Care for Pediatric Sickle Cell Patients by Educating and Empowering Their Primary Care Providers (PCPs)”
  • Augusta University Sickle Cell Transition Program for “Transition to Adult Sickle Cell Disease Care in Rural South Georgia”
  • East Carolina University Comprehensive Sickle Cell Program for “Improving Transition Education and Facilitating Access to Care for Underserved Youth with SCD”
  • OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for “Enhancing Rural Sickle Cell Outreach Clinics and Easing Transition to Adult Care”
  • University of Rochester for “Improving Transition from Pediatric Specialty Care to Adult Health Care for Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease”