First Lady Melania Trump held a roundtable to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) with patients of various ages, advocates, researchers and medical professionals. President Trump formally recognized September as SCD awareness month. The chronic condition affects 100,00 Americans on average per year, and disproportionately affects African and Hispanic-Americans to a higher degree.
In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the administration made finding new treatments, and eventually a cure, for SCD a priority.
“We have made progress in treating this disease – early identification and new life-saving therapies can help. The President has signed a bill that funds research and treatment, and the Administration has launched a program to provide new training for healthcare workers. But there is still much more to do,” the First Lady said. “Through leadership from HHS and Admiral Giroir, the Administration announced funding to increase the use of recommended medications for children. HHS has also partnered with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to publish the ‘Strategic Plan and Blueprint for Action’ to address Sickle Cell Disease in the United States. And today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is releasing a new National Sickle Cell Disease Infographic that will provide important information to both doctors and patients and improve the quality of care across the country.”
President Trump signed the “Sickle Cell Disease and Other Heritable Blood Disorders Research, Surveillance, Prevention, and Treatment Act” into law in 2018, authorizing initiatives for SCD prevention treatment and additional research programs. HHS also rolled out the Sickle Cell Disease Training and Mentoring Program (STAMP), which takes aim at giving comprehensive training to primary care providers on SCD evaluation. The administration has turned SCD research into a top-tier priority during President Trump's first term in office, after patients suffering from SCD were previously put on the back burner.