GBT Dr. Whitten-Shurney "World Sickle Cell Day" Blog
Celebrating a Brighter Future for SCD with Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney
On Wednesday, June 19, GBT will host guest speaker Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, the CEO and Medical Director of the Michigan chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA), as part of our World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD) activities. This year, GBT will be supporting Sickle Cell Matters, a fundraising and awareness campaign, and the SCDAA’s awareness campaign, Shine the Light on Sickle Cell. As part of this, employees are encouraged to wear their special “Hope” t-shirts provided by GBT, which were designed by the Haitian artist and SCD activist, Hertz Nazaire.
Raising awareness around why sickle cell matters and shining a light on it is a cause that’s been close to Dr. Whitten-Shurney’s heart since childhood. Her father, Dr. Charles F. Whitten, a pioneer in SCD advocacy and education, formed the Sickle Cell Detection and Information Center in 1971 to teach Detroit-area children and families about sickle cell conditions and the importance of knowing their sickle cell trait status. He founded the SCDAA Michigan Chapter and co-founded the SCDAA national organization, and was influential in increasing widespread adoption of newborn screening for SCD. When Dr. Whitten passed away in 2008, his daughter, who is also a medical doctor, carried on his legacy by taking the reins of the Michigan SCDAA chapter. “My father told me in his later years that I needed to run the organization when he was no longer here,” she says. “Even though I’m a general pediatrician by training, I knew I had to fill that void.”
We talked to Dr. Whitten-Shurney about her work, what she wants people to know about SCD, and why she’s hopeful about the future for SCD patients.
Pictured Michelle Huckaby, SCDAAMI Community Health Worker, Kristal Cobb, SCDAAMI Administrative Assistant, Heather and Tracey Moorehead, Board Members, Anastasia Worthy, SCDAAMI Youth Ambassador and Kym Worthy, SCDAAMI Board Chair.
Myths about Sickle Cell Awareness
CW50 Intern Kristy Stanford talks with Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney,CEO and Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America – Michigan Chapter (SCDAAMI), and Street Beat host Amyre Makupson about Sickle Cell Disease. They discuss the top myths about the disease, the SCDAAMI Open House event on June 18th, the launch of the Give a High Five for Sickle Cell! Campaign, and their September fundraising walk.
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World Sickle Cell Day | American Black Journal Clip
Three women on the front lines in the battle against sickle cell disease: Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who is Board Chair of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America’s Michigan chapter; Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan; and Anastasia Worthy, Youth Ambassador of the Michigan Chapter of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Episode .
Our very own Board of Directors Member, Sharada Sarnaik, M.D., Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist at Children's Hospital of Michigan was presented HOUR Detroit Magazine's Excellence in Care Award at the 2018 Top Docs recognition ceremony last week. Dr. Sarnaik earned this award for her significant contributions to sickle cell research, and the Endari Clinical Trial.