Comprehensive Thalassemia Center
The Comprehensive Thalassemia Center at Rady Children’s and UC San Diego specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of thalassemia. We care for approximately 90 children in San Diego and the surrounding area with alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia, including patients who require chronic transfusions.
Our multidisciplinary team includes board-certified pediatric hematology/oncology physicians, a hematology nurse practitioner, nurse case managers, social workers, nutritionists, clinical psychologists and child life specialists. Meet our team.
Early comprehensive treatment has changed thalassemia from a fatal pediatric disease to one in which patients live longer, productive lives. Our care is based on the most up-to- date guidelines, including the Thalassemia Management Checklists, which were developed by the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation as part of a grant project supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Education & Advocacy
Our program works with the local Cooley’s Anemia Foundation chapter to continue to provide patient education and advocate for patients in our community with thalassemia.
We are part of the Thalassemia Western Consortium, a regional network of 11 thalassemia treatment centers that aim to collaborate on thalassemia guidelines of care, collect data on thalassemia services and outcomes, and expand the network of hematologists following thalassemia standard-of-care guidelines.
Our center was awarded the Cal State University of San Marcos School of Nursing Community Engagement Grant in 2018, in conjunction with UCSF Oakland Benioff Children’s Hospital, to establish community support for our families with thalassemia.
Transition to Adult Care
Through partnering with an adult-care hematologist at UC San Diego, Dr. Srila Gopal, we are creating a transition program for our patients that starts at age 12 and continues through adolescence and young adulthood. The program aims to educate our patients about thalassemia and how to manage their disease.
Thalassemia Case Managers: Beth Shehee and Xochitl Cisneros