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Hub & Spokes of (SC)2

The Hub

The Hub of the (SC)2 network is the Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. 

Our center treats 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 Medical University of South Carolina 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.

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.

The Spokes

The Infusion and Sickle Cell Center at Palmetto Health has been established for adults and provides services for persons with sickle cell disease who live in the greater metropolitan Columbia and South Carolina Midlands areas. The Center was established initially to provide services focused on pain management, but is being enhanced with our collaboration to (SC)2. Under the leadership of the new medical Director, Dr. Damon Daniels and in collaboration with Dr. Julie Kanter we are enhancing the capacity to provide comprehensive care for adult individuals living with SCD. Patients will now be able to be seen and managed for their sickle cell disease and will also be able to see Dr. Daniels for primary care. The center has a large infusion capacity including 18 infusion chairs and 5 exam rooms. The goals of the Sickle Cell Center within the clinic are to provide comprehensive care including regularly scheduled outpatient visits, screening for hydroxyurea eligibility, iron chelation, transfusion therapy, genetic counseling, pain management, education, and social services. We will be initiating individualized pain management programs to improve care outcomes. The center is fully staffed to provide acute care treatment for patients with SCD and transfusion therapy.

The Center’s nurse manager, Ms. Schondra Christianson has full time nurses, nurse practitioners, and staff devoted to the care of persons with sickle cell disease. The clinical team addresses acute and chronic needs of patients on a daily basis and serves as liaison to other medical specialties throughout the hospital. The Center has a strong relationship with the emergency department and refers patients in times of severe illness or for patients that require ongoing care outside the times of the clinic. The clinic will shorten patient waiting times and provide patients an opportunity to establish continuity of care in the sickle cell clinic.

Palmetto Health is a 5 hospital system in the Midlands region of South Carolina, with a total of 1,429 beds. With components of the system established more than a century ago, Palmetto Health has a staff of over 11,000 and is the largest employer in the region. Annually, there are more than 150,000 Emergency Department visits, more than 5,500 deliveries, and close to 500,000 patients receiving care annually through the system. Palmetto Health is home to an expansive physician practice network, dozens of affiliated clinics and specialty care practices, as well as a physician quality collaborative with over 700 physicians, dedicated to providing the highest quality, coordinated, proactive care. Palmetto Health serves as the main teaching hospital for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and together with the University, is home to 22 residency and fellowship programs. 

Pediatric patients at Palmetto Health will continue to be seen and followed by Dr. Carla Roberts in the comprehensive program at the Aflac clinic.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine was established in 1977. The School of Medicine is also home to the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Science, several Masters programs and a certificate program. Residency training programs are co-sponsored with Palmetto Health, the Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center and The South Carolina Department of Mental Health. With over 40,000 square feet of laboratory space and 68 basic science faculty, along with over 200 clinical faculty, the medical school serves more than 560 students enrolled in these programs annually.

Tidelands Health System 
Tidelands Health System is currently establishing a Sickle Cell Center for adults within the current infusion clinic. This will be a dedicated service for patients with sickle cell disease living in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Medical Director, Dr. George Wilkinson in collaboration with Dr. Julie Kanter and the (SC)2 network are building the clinic to provide complete comprehensive care for individuals living with SCD. The clinic will include both a SCD medical home as well as acute care for patients enhancing the capacity to provide comprehensive care for adult individuals living with SCD. The center has a smaller infusion capacity including 6 infusion chairs and 3 exam rooms. The goals of the Sickle cell program within the clinic are to provide comprehensive care including regularly scheduled outpatient visits, screening for hydroxyurea eligibility, iron chelation, transfusion therapy, genetic counseling, pain management, education, and social services. We will be initiating individualized pain management programs to improve care outcomes. The center is fully staffed three days a week for acute care treatment for patients with SCD and transfusion therapy with a plan to extend to five days a week.

The Center’s nurse manager, Ms. Danette Miller has full time nurses, nurse practitioners, and staff devoted to the care of persons with sickle cell disease. The clinical team addresses acute and chronic needs of patients on a daily basis and serves as liaison to other medical specialties throughout the hospital. The Center has a strong relationship with the emergency department and refers patients in times of severe illness or for patients that require ongoing care outside the times of the clinic. The clinic will shorten patient waiting times and provide patients an opportunity to establish continuity of care in the sickle cell clinic.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital
Plans are already in process to designate Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) as the next Sickle Cell Care Center (SC)2 spoke in South Carolina. BMH is the largest hospital between Charleston and Savannah and will offer surrounding patients the opportunity to remain in their community for care. We are working to hire designated care providers and identify a location for both a comprehensive clinic and infusion space at BMH. While these are in process, we are assembling individual care plans for patients within the (SC)2 network to expedite assessment and treatment in the emergency room and enable more individualized care. Similar protocol development is also underway in the inpatient service at BMH to enhance care for patient with SCD.

BMH has entered into an affiliation agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina Health System (MUSC Health) to provide clinical trials through the National Cancer Institute-designated Hollings Cancer Center. The agreement allows qualifying cancer patients to participate in cutting-edge clinical trials locally.

The hospital also transitioned from its 15-year cancer services affiliation agreement with Durham, North Carolina-based Duke Medicine, citing a need to build a stronger relationship with MUSC Health, a tertiary medical center where many local patients already travel for specialty providers and treatments. “As the need for more specialized care grows, it only makes sense for us to enter into arrangements with the best medical providers closest to home,” BMH President and CEO Rick Toomey said. “Many of our physicians and patients have had strong ties to MUSC Health for years, and this affiliation helps to both formalize our relationship and provide greater access for the community.”