UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland’s Dr. Elliott Vichinsky to Receive Pioneer Award from Sickle Cell Disease Association of America
August 22, 2013, Oakland, CA – Dr. Elliott Vichinsky, Medical Director of Hematology/Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, is one of two recipients of this year’s prestigious “Pioneer Award” from the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA). This award recognizes Dr. Vichinsky’s outstanding contributions to the research and treatment of Sickle Cell Disease, including the development and implementation of universal newborn screening, and his unflagging dedication to improving the lives of those affected by the disease.
Dr Vichinsky will receive the award during the SCDAA’s 41st Annual Convention. The conference will be held in Baltimore, MD from September 24 - September 27, 2013. Dr. Vichinsky will also be giving the Clarice Reid keynote lecture on “The Future of Sickle Cell Research” on Friday, September 27 at 8:30 a.m.
Sonja L. Banks, President & COO of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America says, “Dr. Vichinsky is truly deserving of this award because of the commitment he has displayed over the years to the sickle cell disease community. SCDAA could not have chosen a better and more honorable leader for this high achieving award.”
"The courage of people with sickle cell disease and the SCDAA's efforts to improve the lives of sickle cell patients have deeply influenced my personal life and professional career,” says Dr. Elliott Vichinsky. “Since the mid-1970s, Clarice has personally mentored me and has been an inspiration to everyone in the sickle cell community. It is one of the greatest honors in my life to give the Clarice Reid keynote lecture, and receive the Pioneer Award.”
Past recipients of the Pioneer Award include: Clarice Reid, MD, Marilyn Gaston, MD, Congressman Danny Davis (IL), Congressman Bill Young (FL) and Michelle Puryear, MD.
Dr. Vichinsky is the Director of Hematology/Oncology at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Professor at University of California San Francisco, as well as the Director of the Northern California Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Centers. He has had many honors, including lifetime achievement awards from the National Sickle Cell Disease Association and Cooley’s Anemia Foundation.
In 2007, he received the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America's Chairman's Award, and was also selected to present the SCDAA's Charles F. Whitten, MD Lecture. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology; Chairman of the Thalassemia Clinical Research Network, and Director of the Cooley’s Medical Board. Dr. Vichinsky has published over 300 articles and several books. His career has focused on translational research in hemoglobinopathies. He has been principal investigator or co-investigator on many of the key translational studies, including understanding the mechanism and treatment of neurologic injury in sickle cell disease; iron trafficking and iron overload in hemoglobinopathies, and new therapies to change the pathophysiology of sickle cell biology.
About UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland:
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland is a premier, not-for-profit regional medical center for children in Northern California. Children’s Hospital Oakland is a national leader in many pediatric specialties and sub-specialties including hematology/oncology, neonatology, cardiology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and neurosurgery. The hospital is one of only two solely designated California Level 1 pediatric trauma centers with the largest pediatric inpatient critical care unit in the region. Children’s Hospital has 190 licensed beds, 201 hospital-based physicians in 30 specialties, more than 2,700 employees, and an annual operating budget of more than $350 million. Children’s is also a premier teaching hospital with an outstanding pediatric residency program and a number of unique Pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs. To learn more about UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, go to www.childrenshospitaloakland.org.
Research efforts at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland are coordinated through Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). CHORI’s internationally renowned biomedical research facility brings together seven centers of excellence that are devoted to clinical and basic science research to treat and prevent disease. CHORI has approximately 300 staff members and an annual budget of about $50 million. The National Institutes of Health is CHORI’s primary funding source and CHORI is ranked among the nation’s top 10 research centers for NIH funding to children’s hospitals. The institute is a leader in translational research, bringing bench discoveries to bedside applications. These include providing cures for blood diseases, developing new vaccines for infectious diseases and discovering new treatment protocols for previously fatal or debilitating conditions such as cancers, sickle cell disease and thalassemia, diabetes, asthma, HIV/AIDS, pediatric obesity, nutritional deficiencies, birth defects, hemophilia and cystic fibrosis. For more information, go to www.chori.org.
The vision for a national coordinated approach to addressing issues related to sickle cell disease was unveiled in 1971 when representatives of 15 community sickle cell organizations met at "Wingspread," a Racine, Wisconsin conference center, as guest of the Johnson Foundation. Out of that meeting, the National Association for Sickle Cell Disease was created. The name was changed to Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. in 1994. Our mission, however, remains the same: "To advocate for and enhance our membership's ability to improve the quality of health, life and services for individuals, families and communities affected by sickle cell disease and related conditions, while promoting the search for a cure for all people in the world with sickle cell disease."