treatment treatment sickle-cell-disease medicine adult;adult-pediatrics s true

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center

Our approach is to create a true medical home where patients and their families can feel seen and heard. We understand the complexities of sickle cell disease and our comprehensive team has the experience to care for you and your family.
Sharl Azar, MD
Sharl Azar, MD
Sharl Azar, MD, Medical Director, Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center

Explore the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center

Overview

Sickle cell disease touches so many aspects of life both in and out of the hospital. Our approach is to create a true medical home where patients and their families can feel seen and heard. We understand the complexities of the disease and our comprehensive team has the experience to care for you and your family. We are deeply committed to you and want to advocate for you within the healthcare system. We have the abundant resources of a general hospital to care for you and to help you manage your disease and its symptoms.

Lorrie Bertrand and Ellen Silvius
Lorrie Bertrand, LCSW, Sickle Cell Disease Social Worker (left) and Ellen Silvius, RN, Sickle Cell Disease Nurse Navigator (right)

Our team is adept at the management of adults with sickle cell disease and are readily available to help you transition from pediatric to adult care. You are the most important member of the medical team and you’ll be joined by our group of experts to develop and coordinate a comprehensive treatment plan for you.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease is an inherited, life-threatening blood disorder, affecting approximately 100,000 Americans. In the United States alone, 4,000-5,000 pregnancies annually result in some variant of sickle cell disease. The disease is most commonly seen in the black and brown population where the gene frequency for sickle hemoglobin (HbS) is 4%. As a result of newborn screening, immunizations, treatment of infections, disease modifying agents like hydroxyurea, and improved supportive care, the survivability has markedly improved over the last ten years. The greatest impact on the management of sickle cell disease comes from the establishment of a multidisciplinary care team that can meet patients where they are and provide them with the resources needed to live healthy lives. With new therapies on the horizon, we have good reason to be hopeful about the future.

Innovative Treatment Options

Our Center has created a unique model where our patients are seen jointly by both hematologists with specialized expertise and primary care providers because we know that sickle cell disease touches all aspects of health. We are equipped with the latest disease modifying agents for sickle cell disease including voxelotor, L-Glutamine, and crizanlizumab. We have partnered with our colleagues in stem cell therapy to provide expertise in stem cell transplant. We strive to bring the latest medical treatments and clinical trials to our Center so that our patients can have access to the most innovative approach to treating their disease. In addition to medical therapies, all of our patients have access to integrative modalities including acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, and medication. We have a dedicated sickle cell disease chaplain for spiritual care and if you need to be admitted to the hospital, our unique partnership with palliative care allows us to holistically treat your pain and symptoms.

The Mass General Difference

Sickle cell disease is best managed through a care model that integrates multiple disciplines to help patients tackle the many facets of an illness that spans a lifetime. Attention to the physical, psychosocial, and financial impacts of the disease are key to providing good care for patients and their families. At Mass General, we have the abundant resources to care for you and to help you manage your disease and its symptoms.

NASCC logo

National Alliance of Sickle Cell Centers

The Mass General Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center is proud to be a member of the National Alliance of Sickle Cell Centers (NASCC). NASCC is committed to providing support, education, and other resources to sickle cell centers across America in order to enhance the quality of patient care and improve outcomes for patients and the centers alike.



Patient Resources

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease

Learn more about Sickle Cell Disease in this special issue of the Bay State Banner.

Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Assoc.

Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Assoc.

Dedicated to advocating for & providing support services to patients and families.

oneSCDvoice

oneSCDvoice

We connect, educate, and empower the sickle cell disease community of care.

New England Pediatric Sickle Cell Consortium

New England Pediatric Sickle Cell Consortium

A regional cooperative group of New England Pediatric Hematology programs devoted to SCD.

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

MassGeneral Hospital for Children

Learn about the Pediatric Blood Disorders Program at Mass General.

Mass General Primary Care

Mass General Primary Care

Mass General provides comprehensive primary care and medical specialty services.


Mindfulness and Meditation for Sickle Cell Patients

View our series of mindfulness and meditation videos for sickle cell patients, led by Lisa Leung-Tat, yoga and meditation instructor.


Building Bridges with the Greater Boston Community

In our effort to learn from and partner with the sickle cell disease community in Boston, we partner with the Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association and the New England Sickle Cell Consortium. We work with our colleagues at other sickle cell programs throughout the commonwealth and transition pediatric patients from both the MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Boston Children’s Hospital.

News

Importance Of Black Blood Donors For Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

Dr. Sharl Azar, Director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center at Mass General Hospital, spoke with Dr. Mallika Marshall at WBZ Boston about the importance of getting blood donations from Black Americans. “When I think about my patients living with sickle cell disease, they are going to be needing blood transfusions repeatedly over the course of their lifetime. It is important for us to be able to match that blood to them as closely as possible,” said Dr. Azar. Watch the video from WBZ Boston here.

Be Healthy Winter 2002 cover image

Bay State Banner: Be Healthy Winter 2022 Edition

Learn more about Sickle Cell Disease in this special issue of Be Healthy from the Bay State Banner. The issue features interviews with Mass General's Sharl Azar, MD and David Sykes, MD, PhD, and includes articles about living longer with sickle cell disease, transitioning to adult care, patient stories, recipes, and much more.

View the digital issue here.

 

Ellen Silvius, RN awarded inaugural Department of Medicine Equity Award

Congratulations to Ellen Silvius, RN, nurse navigator for the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center, who was awarded an inaugural Department of Medicine (DOM) Equity Award. These awards recognize DOM members who have exemplified the Department's commitment to equity by going above and beyond to: combat bias or discrimination; respond to the social needs of patients or promote equity for patients or coworkers on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, religion, or national origin.

Ellen is a tireless advocate for the patients she serves and goes above and beyond to help patients receive the care and resources they need. She has exemplified a passion for helping address the social needs of the patients she serves including helping patients navigate issues of transportation and food insecurity. Congrats, Ellen!

 

"I learned the most about medicine from my dad’s death"

In a powerful piece paying tribute to his father, Gleeson Rebello, MD, pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center team member, shares lessons that his father’s death taught him about the medical field and how personal loss has made him a more thoughtful physician. Read his story.

Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center

Our approach is to create a true medical home where patients and their families can feel seen and heard. We understand the complexities of the disease and our comprehensive team has the experience to care for you and your family.