Sickle Cell Center
Since 1989, the Meharry Sickle Cell Center has served as the Reference and Confirmatory Laboratory for the State of Tennessee Newborn Screening Program, accumulating valuable information regarding the incidence of sickle cell disease and other hemoglobinopathies in Tennessee. Over the past fifteen years, the Center has found that the incidence for sickle cell disease has not changed significantly. However, as the population of the state diversifies, so has the presence of the disease in Tennessee’s ethnic and minority groups.
Facts about the Meharry Sickle Cell Center
- Meharry’s Sickle Cell Center is one of the oldest in the country, celebrating 45 years of service to the community in 2017. Although it was officially established in 1972, it had already been conducting blood screenings for at-risk populations since the late fifties, soon after the diagnostic techniques became available.
- In 2014, the center celebrated its 25th anniversary as the Hemoglobinopathy Confirmatory and Reference Laboratory for the State of Tennessee Department of Health’s Newborn Screening Program.
- The center is able to detect multiple hemoglobin abnormalities in the blood. Using isoelectric focusing electrophoresis; alkaline, acid, and neutral electrophoresis; high performance liquid chromatography; and DNA testing, the center can identify hundreds of different hemoglobinopathies, in addition to sickle cell and other blood disorders.
- The Meharry Sickle Cell Center tests literally thousands of blood samples a year for abnormalities. Not only are newborn hemoglobinopathy tests confirmed for the state of Tennessee, but also for other states and some foreign countries upon request. Individuals of all ages may contact the center directly for this type of testing.
The Sickle Cell Center at Meharry offers blood testing, genetic counseling, and education about sickle cell and other blood disorders.
- To make an appointment to see the newborn screening Follow-Up Nurse, please call 615.327.6763.
- To make a physician’s or nurse practitioner’s appointment for an adult sickle cell patient, please call 615.341.4383.
- To talk to someone about hosting an educational or screening event in your community, call 615.327.6763 or visit http://sicklecell.mmc.edu for instructions
- If you are a health professional seeking instruction for CMEs, call 615.327.6763.