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Home : Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center

Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center

Patients | Providers | Our Team | Services | Research | Advocacy & Outreach

We treat individuals of all ages living with sickle cell disease. Our job is to help you live up to your best self. The Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the MUSC Children's Health has two components – clinical care and research.

Clinical care
Patients of all ages with sickle cell disease receive care in the Rutledge Tower, 2nd floor clinic. The clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of board-certified pediatric hematologists, hematology nurse-specialists, and a clinical coordinator. Patient and family education is provided at the time of diagnosis and is incorporated into all clinic visits as part of comprehensive care. Our clinic provides both acute care for patients with pain, fever, or other complications of sickle cell disease as well as comprehensive, routine care, and disease-specific management.

Outpatient and inpatient specialty services
Because sickle cell disease is a complicated condition with various manifestations, a broad range of specialty services are required to meet the needs of children with the disease. Our patients have access to psychiatrists, general surgeons, orthopaedists, ophthalmologists, kidney doctors, heart doctors, and pulmonologists with expertise in the care of individuals living with sickle cell disease. All work closely with the Sickle Cell Center team.

For Patients

Newborn Screening and Education (PDF)
About sickle cell disease
Why do I need a transcranial Doppler? (PDF)

Important phone numbers 
Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center: 843-876-0444
MUSC operator: 843-792-2300
Dr. Kanter’s office voicemail: 843-876-8483

For Providers

Make a referral

Call our clinic coordinator, Jan Abar to make a referral at 843-876-0444.
For emergency consultation, call 843-792-2123 and ask to page the sickle cell doctor for children or adults.

Our Team

Julie K. Kanter, M.D.
Director, Lifespan Sickle Cell Clinic
Director, Sickle Cell Disease Research

Sherron M. Jackson. M.D.
Director, Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Shayla B. Bergmann, M.D., FAAP
Director, Hemophilia Program

Alyssa Schlenz, Ph.D.
Pediatric Psychologist

Lynn M. Manfred, M.D., Ed.D., FAAP
Adolescent and Adult Primary Care provider

Mary Johnson
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Debbie Disco
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Earleisha Felder
Lifespan Physician Assistant

Michelle Cooper
Clinic Nurse Manager

Kristen Brammer
Clinic Nurse

Donna Gallahorn
Clinic Nurse

Jan Abar
Clinic Coordinator

Ava Jones
Clinic Nurse

Arlene Schultz
Clinic Nurse

Services We Provide

Comprehensive Care
We have a team approach to provide comprehensive sickle cell disease care for individuals of all ages living with sickle cell disease. Call for routine health care by appointment: 843-876-0444.

Transcranial Doppler Ultrasounds
All patients with sickle cell anemia (that means specific genotype of HbSS or HbSBeta0) need an ultrasound of the brain every year starting at age 2 to 16 to make sure they are not at risk of stroke. We will help to coordinate this study with your regular sickle cell disease follow up.
More information about this test (PDF)

Transfusion Therapy
We provide specialized red blood cell matching for patients with sickle cell disease. Some patients require monthly red blood cell transfusion therapy to help prevent or treat sickle cell disease complications. Exchange transfusion therapy may be done in clinic or performed in our pheresis center.

Acute Care
Acute Care is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. If you require acute care, please call prior to coming to the Sickle Cell Clinic. Trained Sickle Cell Clinic doctors and staff, the same staff you see during your routine appointments, will treat you. If this is an emergency, please call 911. We provide IV pain medication, fluids, and support for individuals experiencing ACUTE vaso-occlusive crisis (painful episodes). Appointments cannot be scheduled ahead of time and are on a first come/first served basis. Patients must call PRIOR to coming to clinic (843-876-0444) to ensure we have available space.

Preoperative Management
Some patients with sickle cell disease require IV hydration or blood transfusion prior to surgery.

Sickle Cell Trait Counseling
Individuals living with sickle cell trait do not have clinical symptoms (pain) of sickle cell disease. All people with sickle cell trait should have a primary care provider they see every year. We provide counseling for babies and teenagers regarding sickle cell trait. Learn more about sickle cell trait (PDF).

Renal Medullary Carcinoma: this is a rare kidney tumor associated with sickle cell trait. People with sickle cell trait who have blood in their urine should see a doctor. Learn more about Renal Medullary Carcinoma (PDF).

Psychological Services
Children with sickle cell disease (from birth to age 21) can receive a range of psychological services with our team psychologist, Alyssa Schlenz, Ph.D., including the following:

  • Monitoring of early childhood development for children under the age of 5
  • Comprehensive evaluations for children of any age whose caregivers have concerns about their development, including concerns about speech, movement, learning, school performance, mood, or behavior
  • Comprehensive evaluations for children of any age who have experienced complications from sickle cell disease, such as stroke
  • Brief interventions for families who need assistance with behavior, sleep, or other difficulties related to sickle cell disease
  • Coordination with school personnel and other intervention services that the child may need

Research

Our sickle cell center offers many different clinical research trials to help improve the lives and find new treatments for those individuals living with sickle cell disease.

Our Team
Emily Warner:  Sickle Cell Research Program Manager
Joannie Hayes: Research Coordinator
Karen Hawkins: Research Nurse
Brandi Day: Research Coordinator
Katherine Williams-Turner: Sickle Cell State Coordinator
Carly Lauer: Research Assistant

Clinical Trials
For more information or to see if you are eligible for a clinical trial today contact Emily Warner at 843-876-8614 or sicklestrong@musc.edu.

Reset Trial:  Phase III study for children and adults to evaluate the use of a new IV medication (Rivapansel) to decrease pain and hospitalization in patients with sickle cell disease

EPIC Trial: Phase III study for children and adults to evaluate the use of a new IV medication (Vepoloxamer) to decrease pain and hospitalization in patients with sickle cell disease

HESTIA 1: Phase I/II study to evaluate the use of Ticagrelor for the prevention of pain and complications in children with sickle cell anemia

HESTIA 2: Phase I/II study to evaluate the use of Ticagrelor for the prevention of pain and complications in adults (up to age 30) with sickle cell anemia

FIRST: Phase III study to evaluate the use of a new iron chelator (Ferriprox) for patients with sickle cell disease and iron overload

HGB206: Phase I gene therapy and autologous transplant study

STRIDE: A bone marrow transplant study to evaluate outcomes in patients with sickle cell disease undergoing bone marrow transplant compared to standard of care

Point of care:  We are working with Biomedomics to evaluate a new point of care test, Sickle SCAN to improve the diagnosis of patients with sickle cell disease at the bedside

Advocacy & Outreach

The Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at MUSC Children's Health is working closely with our local foundations and national organizations to raise awareness and advocacy for sickle cell disease as well as to improve funding for this underserved condition.

SC2:  Sickle Cell-South Carolina
SC2 is a program funded through the Duke Endowment Foundation to create a state network for sickle cell disease to improve the care for individuals living with sickle cell disease throughout the state through increased access to care, communication between providers, and partnerships.

Our Team
SC2 Principal Investigator: Julie Kanter
SC2 Program Coordinator: Katherine Williams
SC2 Social Worker: Gary Link

Partners:
Camp Burnt Gin
Camp Victory Junction
Camp Rise Above
COBRA agency
James R. Clark Sickle Cell Foundation