Dignity Health | St. Rose Dominican | Reach | Fall 2019

4 StRoseHospitals.org Champions for change One mother, a hospital, and a community unite for better sickle cell care How will the law help? AB254 creates a state registry for people with sickle cell disease. Gathering data on these cases will raise awareness among patients and medical caregivers, as well as allow experts to measure the number of patients in Nevada and identify trends by tracking the number, type, and severity of incidents. The measure also requires all newborns susceptible to SCD to be screened at birth. Each biological parent may also be screened, as many people are unaware if they carry the sickle cell trait. Hospitals and medical labs that screen for SCD will be required to report findings to the state. The new law went into effect on Oct. 1. It began as a challenging conversation — a hospital executive talking with an exasperated mother advocating for her sick child. It ended with the forging of a partnership and a new law. Gina Glass is the mother of Gia, her “Warrior,” a brave and beautiful 4-year-old girl. Gia has sickle cell disease, or SCD—a rare, hereditary group of disorders that affects hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells throughout the body. People with this condition have atypical hemoglobin molecules, which can distort red blood cells into a sickle, or crescent, shape. Gia’s SCD was diagnosed at birth. It was then that her mother dreamed up the name “Dreamsickle” for an organization she wanted to start that would help children and their parents manage the condition. When the Glass family moved to Nevada and discovered a lack of resources in Las Vegas for the sickle cell population, Gina decided it was time to turn her idea into reality. Shining a light Gina is now executive director of the Dreamsickle Kids Foundation, whose mission is to advance education and awareness of SCD in Nevada. “I want to help educate people on sickle cell, the trait, and why more awareness and better resources for the sickle cell community should be important to us all,” Gina says. “While Nevada may have a small population