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Dalio Center for Health Justice

Sickle Cell versus Healthy Cell

Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited blood disorder that predominantly affects Black people. In the US, sickle cell disease occurs in approximately 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births. Sickle Cell Disease has long been neglected, resulting in limited improvement in mortality in the last four decades. However, exciting new technologies and medicines with great potential are currently being studied to combat the disease. Our new enterprise-wide program aims to provide innovative, compassionate, patient-centered care.

Areas of focus include:

  • Standardizing clinical pathways
  • Expanding access to virtual care
  • Providing seamless transitions from pediatric to adult care
  • Enhancing access to advanced therapies
  • Supporting multi-center clinical trials

Dalio Center for Health Justice Work

At the Dalio Center for Health Justice, we follow a set of core initiatives aimed to help us optimize care and patient experience for those with Sickle Cell Disease.

These include:

Care Optimization

  • Using electronic medical records to standardize care and improve communication between healthcare providers
  • Supporting a clinical workgroup to develop best practice
  • Investing in the transition from pediatric to adult care
  • Analyze key patient metrics
  • Creating sickle cell-specific patient registries to assess patient progress

Patient Experience

  • Improving patient and caregiver education and resources
  • Investing in education for healthcare providers
  • Hosting patient experience days and educational symposia

Andrew Eisenberger, MD

Andrew Eisenberger, MD

Director – Benign Hematology Service

Adult Hematology, Program Clinical Lead – NYP-Columbia Sphere

Care of individuals with sickle cell disease has been a major part of Dr. Eisenberger’s practice for two decades. Early in his career he was a team member at Newark Beth Israel’s Comprehensive Sickle Cell Care Program, where he learned the importance of integrated multidisciplinary care. Several years ago he spearheaded efforts to create a dedicated inpatient adult sickle cell service at Columbia. Led by two nurse practitioners, the adult sickle cell service strives to provide seamless inpatient and outpatient expert management, fostering patient trust in the medical team. Dr. Eisenberger is currently focusing on developing an enterprise-wide sickle cell disease program, with an eye on ensuring that patients have adequate access to clinical trials of medications in development and curative stem cell transplant therapies.

Shipra Kaicker, MD

Shipra Kaicker, MD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Director of the Comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at New York- Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital at Weill Cornell Medicine

Pediatric Hematology, Program Clinical Lead – NYP-Cornell Sphere

Dr. Shipra Kaicker is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Director of the Comprehensive Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at New York- Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Kaicker brings with her two-decades of clinical experience in taking care of children with sickle cell disease. Prior to joining the Department of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Kaicker was one of two pediatric hematologists at the Infant and Children’s Hospital at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY where she took care of a large population of children with sickle cell disease. Upon joining Weill Cornell Medicine in 2015, Dr. Kaicker built up and expanded the comprehensive pediatric sickle cell program with patients now being referred for care from adjoining NYC boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Through the Dalio Center for Health Justice’s enterprise-wide sickle cell initiative, she and her team hope to provide the necessary infrastructure required to overcome any social deterrents to care and to provide patients access to clinical trials and newer curative therapies.

Margaret T. Lee, MD, MS

Margaret T. Lee, MD, MS

Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Pediatric Hematology, Program Clinical Lead – NYP-Columbia Sphere

Dr. Lee joined the faculty of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 1998, focusing her career in the care of children with sickle cell disease. She is currently the Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at Columbia. She served as the site Principal Investigator and contributed to the publications of several landmark national multi-center clinical trials in stroke prevention in children with sickle cell disease, including the STOP I/II, SWiTCH and TWiTCH trials, all of which have profoundly led to advancements in the care of children with sickle cell disease. Dr. Lee’s current research is focused on the effect of vitamin D on the respiratory complications of sickle cell disease. Her current clinical focus is to develop an integrated comprehensive program for transitioning pediatric sickle cell patients to adult medical care at Columbia by providing a structured transition service with reliable community health navigation and support to ensure the best outcomes for individuals with sickle cell disease. Along with the Integrative Therapies program at Columbia, Dr. Lee is also exploring the use of acupuncture for treatment of sickle cell pain. As a testament to her dedication to patients with sickle cell disease, the Sickle Cell-Thalassemia Patient Network honored Dr. Lee with a Distinguished Service Award in 2019.

Cheryl Mensah, MD

Cheryl Mensah, MD

Assistant Professor and Attending, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology

Adult Hematology, Program Clinical Lead – NYP-Cornell Sphere

Cheryl Mensah, MD is the site lead for the adult sickle cell program at Weill Cornell Medicine at New York Presbyterian. In this role she collaborates with the patient navigator to provide comprehensive care to adult sickle cell patients. Dr. Mensah is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weil Cornell School of Medicine and Assistant Attending Physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Mensah is part of the Weil Cornell Hematology and Medical Oncology Non-Malignant Hematology Program. Dr. Mensah cares for patients with non-malignant hematologic diseases with a special interest in sickle cell disease and thalassemia.