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Providing Technical Assistance to HRSA’s Hemoglobinopathies Coordinating Center


  • Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood condition with Black and Hispanic people bearing a greater burden
  • Abt is helping train HRSA grantees to provide evidence-based SCD care while addressing barriers to services.
  • Through the Hemoglobinopathies National Coordinating Center, the Abt team will help address systemic barriers to care.
The Challenge

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood condition that affects an estimated 100,000 individuals each year, a disproportionate number of whom are Black and Hispanic Americans. While newborn screening for SCD occurs in every state, there are still barriers to accessing comprehensive, high-quality care throughout a person’s lifespan, and many individuals with SCD—notably people of color--encounter barriers to accessing evidence-based care, new medications and therapies, and other supports. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), contracted with Abt Associates and partner the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ) to strengthen the SCD system of care and support.

The Approach

Abt will support MCHB’s Hemoglobinopathies National Coordinating Center (NCC) by helping train clinicians and fostering partnerships between providers, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in HRSA’s five regions— Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Heartland/Southwest, and the Pacific. This technical assistance (TA) will help SCD treatment demonstration program grantees—including community and federally qualified health centers—address structural and systemic barriers in their regions and implement evidence-based SCD care.

The Results

Through the project, Abt and partners will help strengthen health providers’ abilities to address structural and systemic barriers to evidence-based health care. The project aims to increase the delivery of known treatments that improve the quality of life for patients with SCD, and also to increase access to healthcare settings in which patients with SCD can receive high quality primary and other healthcare.