ith 29 years of work and advocacy as a pediatrician specializing in treating Detroit-area children with sickle cell disease, Wanda Whitten-Shurney of Children’s Hospital of Michigan at Detroit Medical Center will have a role in addressing national policy around Sickle Cell Disease.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institute of Health, appointed Whitten-Shurney to its Sickle Cell Advisory Committee. The 15-member committee sets goals and policy for the continuing campaign to tackle Sickle Cell Disease, and includes a number of distinguished physicians from across the country.
Whitten-Shurney is a second-generation pediatrician focusing on Sickle Cell Disease. Her father, Dr. Charles Whitten, also was a Children’s Hospital of Michigan pediatrician and a Wayne State University School of Medicine professor.
“As a physician who has spent most of her medical career helping to treat sickle cell patients, I am greatly encouraged and energized by this appointment to the NHLBI advisory committee,” Whitten-Shurney says in a press release. “Thanks to that appointment, I will now have a seat at the [policy-making] table- and a voice in helping to shape research goals for my patients.”
Whitten-Shurney says one of her first priorities as a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Sickle Cell Advisory Committee will be to advocate for better communication and better educational outreach to the minority communities who are most often affected by Sickle Cell Disease.
“I’m quite passionate about that aspect – and I will continue to be inspired by my father’s pioneering role in this area once I join the committee and get to work.”
Whitten-Shurney will be formally installed as a member of the committee in June.