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      UAMS Opens Sickle Cell Clinic

      (KATV)-The Arkansaslegislature approved a sickle cell disease task force in 2009. Born of thattask force is a sickle cell disease clinic now at the University of Arkansasfor Medical Science.

      {}The third clinic will beheld Wednesday, which helps to educate and assist patients with the disease.

      {}There is also a callcenter with a panel of nurses at 1-855-Sic-Cell (742-2355). The call center canhelp with rural patients and doctors.

      "We have a call centerthat patients can call 24 hours a day seven days a week. Providers can call 24hours a day seven days a week. They get a panel of nurses," said Robin Devan, adoctor at UAMS.

      There will also be atransition clinic to help children with sickle cell to transition to adultmedical care. Germaine Johnson of the Sickle Cell Support Services group has hadsickle cell disease since birth.

      "My heart is overwhelmedthat someone said hey let's help these people get to a better position,"Johnson said.

      Sickle cell is an inheriteddisease in which the red blood cells are mis-shaped. It can be painful anddebilitating and those with it have shorter life spans. The registered nurse atthe sickle cell clinic knows of this all too well.

      "I have two boys that have sickle cell. One who's21 who that has ST disease. And one that's 11, that has SS sickle cell. So Ilive sickle cell daily on a daily basis," said Stella Bowers, the registerednurse at the UAMS clinic said.

      The most recent sicklecell data is from 2009. The clinic will also create an up to date registry ofpeople with the disease.

      "With the registry to findout where everyone is, that's going to be key, too," said Johnson.