Sickle Cell Awareness Blood Drive on Thursday, Sept. 15

A message from the Black/African/African American Employee Resource Group (ERG) at SMPH and UW Health

The Black/African/African American Employee Resource Group (ERG) is partnering with the Red Cross and UW Health Blood Services to host a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Health Sciences Learning Center from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. September is Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Awareness Month and a perfect time to consider how your donation could help those living with the disease. If you’ve never donated before, we encourage you to consider making a donation for the first time, in honor and support of those impacted every day by Sickle Cell.

SCD is particularly prevalent in those of African American/African descent, so blood donation from our communities has a special impact. Treatment for SCD can include frequent blood transfusions and finding the best match possible means increasing its effectiveness and decreasing the likelihood of reaction symptoms in the receiver. That’s why blood donation is one way to support those with Sickle Cell and other diseases that cause folks to need frequent blood product transfusions. It’s another powerful example of us being there for each other.

Former co-chair Jessi Kendall is a nurse on UW Health’s inpatient Hematology, Oncology, BMT and Palliative care unit:

“We have to remember that the time someone spends with us is only one small part of their life. The impact of Sickle Cell is so much more than the pain and tissue damage, it affects a person’s relationships, ability to work or go to school and more. The stress includes the trauma of living in persistent pain, the mental strain of seeing the way the disease is changing your life and the lives of those around you and the unforgiving stigma of the disease—a stigma that follows you even as you seek treatment from those you’d expect to know better.”

We must recognize both the devastation this disease can cause and the life-giving power of community. When we support each other, we are absolutely unstoppable.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment. For more info on SCD from the Red Cross click here.

If you are interested in learning more about the Black/African/African American ERG or other ERGs at UW Health, please visit the Office of Diversity and Equity Transformation intranet page or contact Afra Smith, DEI Consultant at

UW Health and SMPH are committed to being a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. Our Employee Resource Groups help support our commitment.