Enhancing the workforce of clinicians who are knowledgeable about sickle cell disease is a key priority of the California Sickle Cell State Action Plan.
The NCSCC is building new alliances and expanding partnerships with healthcare professions organizations and schools to create and implement curricula and certificates in SCD evidence-based care. Here are some of our partners:
- California Academy of Physician Assistants
- Charles R. Drew University
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Los Angeles Chapter
- UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland
- MLK Outpatient Adult Sickle Cell Clinic
NCSCC invites licensed clinicians to participate in training to enhance their knowledge of evidence informed SCD diagnosis and treatment. Education formats will include short intensive on site SCD ‘boot camps’, shadowing SCD clinics, online courses, and live tele-education with experts. CME credit is in process. A full calendar is coming soon!
Community Health Worker Training
The NCSCC Project supports workforce development that directly impacts communities across the State of California through the training of community health workers (CHW). There is considerable evidence that CHWs are an effective and versatile workforce that can improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs for diverse groups and health conditions. CHWs have a unique capacity to serve as bridges between communities and the health care system, to foster greater trust between patients and providers, and to enhance the health system’s ability to provide higher-quality, culturally centered care that results in improved health.
Community Health Workers across California will find, refer and assist individuals with SCD with enrollment in clinical care at the clinic sites developed through the NCSCC. They will be responsible for conducting outreach for each site and to health organizations that do not provide specialty care (i.e. – Federally Qualified Health Centers) to promote linkage to a hematologist with an expertise in SCD. Our CHWs will also introduce providers not knowledgeable about best practices in SCD care to take advantage of state-wide tele-mentoring or other learning opportunities. Partner community sites will also launch their own adolescent transition programs, guided by the SCDF.
Each CHW will be required to participate in a comprehensive training program developed by the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation. Tina Coleman, MPH and Deborah Green, SCDF Director of Education have an extensive background in SCD education.
The CHW training program introduces individuals to the philosophy and practice of community health promotion. Students are immersed in a participatory experience whereby they collaborate on topical themes that strengthen participants’ leadership for facilitating critical dialogue, as well as to actively involve individuals, employees, families, and agencies in building healthy communities. The secondary specialty training program prepares CHWs to function as members of a clinical care team, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, with a case management approach to patient care. Additionally, all community health workers will be trained by the SCDF through the Newborn Screening Hemoglobin Trait Follow-Up Program.
The CHW Training Program is tentatively scheduled to begin April 20, 2020. The course will be 10 weeks (on-line and in-person instruction).
Newborn Screening Hemoglobin Trait Follow-Up
Pursuant to the California Health & Safety Code § 125000, as part of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Newborn Screening Program (NBS), the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation shall provide counseling, education and training services for heritable or congenital hemoglobin disorders, including, but not limited to Sickle Cell Disease to residents of California.
The laboratory test used in California’s Newborn Hemoglobinopathy Screening Program identifies healthy infants who are carriers of a gene for a potentially serious hemoglobin disorder in their offspring. In California, 1 in 14 African American newborns have sickle cell trait. Sickle cell trait also occurs in approximately 1 in 200 Hispanic births. In addition, hemoglobin traits are also common among people of African, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean and South and Central American origins. Carriers usually have no symptoms with rare exceptions for sickle cell trait. Carrier follow-up is important because of the potential for couples who are both trait carriers to have a future child with SCD, a serious chronic disease. Carrier follow-up is also needed because of the potential for detecting previously undiagnosed hemoglobin disorders in individuals in these families.
In collaboration with the CDPH NBS, the SCDF will offer training Modules I and II to health care providers and those in the community interested in receiving certificates of completion for sickle cell education. For individuals interested in providing hemoglobin trait follow-up counseling the SCDF will provide training Modules III & IV and continuing education.
Hemoglobin Trait follow-up and counseling services will help people with SCT or at-risk couples make informed reproductive decisions. Following the protocols established by the NBS the SCDF, in conjunction with the CDPH NBS Program will develop state-wide multi-level messaging and communication re: screening; raise public awareness about SCT and SCD through strategic partnerships; and increase SCT and SCD education.
The first training was held in November 2019. The next training is scheduled in Northern California.