Ifeyinwa (Ify) Osunkwo, MD, MPH

Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Enterprise

Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health

Dr. Ify Osunkwo is a hematology specialist and Sickle Cell Disease expert at Levine Cancer Institute. Dr. Osunkwo makes it her mission to improve the quality of life for Sickle Cell patients. 

Originally from Nigeria (where 150,000 babies are born with Sickle Cell Disease each year), she is intimately aware of the African American struggle with Sickle Cell Disease.

Upon her arrival at Atrium Health in early 2014, she has created a comprehensive Sickle Cell center in Charlotte with doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and nurse managers. 

Along with Carolinas Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC), Dr. Osunkwo is the driving force behind the Carolinas Sickle Cell Collaborative. This initiative attempts to match about 2,000 Sickle Cell patients in our community with blood donors who have similar blood characteristics.

Video Appearances

What Can Communities Do To Eliminate Disparities in Sickle Cell Disease?

Program bullet points:

Communities can eliminate disparities in SCD by taking away the shame and stopping the blame.

Treat SCD patients with respect and dignity.

Increase knowledge of SCD throughout the whole community such as physicians and clinics, as well as lay people in the school, financial and disability systems

What Is Your Sickle Cell Disease Management Plan?

Program bullet points:

Disease Management Plan: No matter the genotype All patients with sickle cell disease should have a treatment plan in which they are engaged.

"Severe" Sickle Cell Disease: There is a common misconception that without a lot of pain, your SCD isn't as severe as those who suffer with more pain.

What Novel Tools Are Being Used to Treat Sickle Cell Disease?

Program bullet points:

Important Approval: Voxelotor (Oxbryta)

Next Chapter in Sickle Cell: Curing sickle cell before long-term organ damage

Worldwide SWAY Survey: Sickle Cell Disease Deeply Impacting Patient Lives

Program bullet points:

SWAY Study: Ongoing international survey asking patients how sickle cell disease impacts daily life

QOL Impacted: Psychosocial and emotional well-being highly impacted. No matter what genotype, many patients still experiencing pain

What's Next? Results can help researchers target quality of life issues for SCD patients

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