Here are some we can help with :
Testing and Consultation
Working with UPMC Pinnacle, we can arrange free testing for Sickle Cell Trait (SCT), and free follow-up testing in the event the initial test result is positive Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) or SCT. SCT means that you carry a gene for SCD.
Most people with SCT tend to do well, but, usually do NOT know they have SCT unless they have been tested for it. Couples planning to have children should know their SCT status because, if both parents have it, each pregnancy would have a 1-in-4 chance of producing a child with SCD.
A comprehensive psychosocial assessment is given to all prospective clients during the intake visit to develop an appropriate service plan based on the individual’s strengths and challenges. Clients undergo an annual follow-up assessment each year.
Research indicates that sickle cell patients experience severe psychosocial distress in the areas of employment and finances, sleeping, eating, and performance of normal daily activities. Plus, fear and anxiety regarding body deterioration, and lack of assertiveness in social relationships were, also, found. And, the findings suggest that depression may be a common problem among sickle cell patients.
Social Work Case Management
Our Social Worker collaborates with clients, and parents of clients, to develop a complete support service plan, which involves assessing the needs of the individual, or family, as well as, connecting clients with services that can help address their needs. Such services may include assistance with housing/shelter, food stamps, and bus vouchers, as well as mental health, physical health and employment services. Our Social Worker may, also, collaborate with multidisciplinary treatment teams including medical doctors, nurses and psychiatrists in order to advocate for needed medical care on the client's behalf.
Individual counseling is a process through which clients meet one-on-one with our Social Worker in a safe, caring, and confidential environment - to explore their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, work through challenges, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, help with understanding themselves and others better, setting personal goals, and working toward desired outcome. Additional counseling links are listed under Other Services.
Advocacy & Educational Resources
As a support service organization, we assist our client-families with personalized support, advocacy, and SCD-related educational materials. We offer emotional support and help find resources, as needed, to enhance, and/or, maintain their health and well-being. We also assist with filling out paperwork.
Our Support Groups:
I Am Not Alone
Can You Hear Me Now?
Client Family Day
Support groups are a great resource for people to maintain control over their lives, to give and take from wisdom and experience that comes from living with a devastating illness like Sickle Cell Disease. We offer support groups to help adult, and youth clients, their families, and caregivers develop tools to regain a sense of control over their lives.
Penn State Hershey Pediatric Sickle Cell Program
Extensive planning began in January 2004 between the South Central Pennsylvania Sickle Cell Council and the Pediatric Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at Penn State Children’s Hospital. While some physicians at Penn State Children's Hospital at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center had been caring for children and young adults with sickle cell disease for decades, the need for a comprehensive clinic to provide the best care possible for pediatric SCD patients in our region (Central PA) was clear.
The Pediatric Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Clinic is held at the University Physicians Center on the campus of Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA on the first and third Fridays of each month. The clinic is specifically for regularly scheduled comprehensive visits and checkups; however, children can be seen for acute “sick visits” during sickle cell clinic days, during other clinic days, and evenings or weekends in the Emergency Department for urgent care. Patient care is also provided at Penn State Children’s Hospital for those sickle cell disease issues that require hospitalization.
The enhanced relationship between the South Central Pennsylvania Sickle Cell Council and the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Penn State Children’s Hospital has driven the development of the comprehensive clinic. This clinic allows us to provide well deserved and much-needed care for children and young adults in our region with SCD, in addition to providing assistance and support for their families. We are very excited about the growth of the clinic. We hope that persons with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait and the medical community will take advantage of this specialized comprehensive clinic so your child/family can receive optimal care.