Full Steam Ahead: Moving to Enhance Care in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

Friday, Sept. 27, 2019


Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
The Saban Research Building Auditorium
4661 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Parking | Full Directions

Parking is located below the main hospital building at 4650 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027.

Conference Objectives

This conference is intended for pediatric and adult nurses and nursing students who care for or are interested in the management of patients with sickle cell disease.

  • Differentiate between the acute and chronic complications of SCD
  • Describe the different SCD genotypes
  • Understand the psychosocial implications of living with SCD
  • Describe the stages of change and their link to the “Spirit of Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Discuss the “Spirit of MI” and the reasons for resistance to change
  • Identify MI techniques and tools to assist patients with “motivational enhancement”
  • Describe the role of autonomic changes in microvascular blood flow in pain onset in sickle cell disease
  • Describe how anxiety related to pain could potentially worsen vaso-occlusive pain in sickle cell disease
  • Understand novel pathways for treatment of pain in sickle cell disease
  • Identify stages of child development
  • Identify specific ways that sickle cell disease can impact development
  • Identify strategies nurses can use to support healthy development in patients with sickle cell disease
  • List main differences b/w adult care and pediatric care for SCD and how to socialize this to patients
  • Describe the complex pathophysiology of SCD and how it affects different organs over time as patients age
  • Identify steps that can be implemented by nursing to improve patient understanding of their disease and self-efficacy
  • Gain further insight to child life’s mission, values, and goals
  • Understand the role of child life when working with the sickle cell population
  • Learn how to utilize child life/family centered care skills in your daily practice to enhance effective collaboration and promote positive coping techniques
  • Understand how adhesion and cell-cell interaction contribute to vaso-occlusion in sickle cell disease
  • Discuss and review historical timeline of treatment options available in sickle cell disease
  • Review new therapeutics/ treatments in the management of acute vaso-occlusive crisis in patients with sickle cell disease


  • $50.00 Student With Lunch
  • $65.00 Health care professional With Lunch


Friday, Sept. 27, 2019

7:00 – 8:00 a.m. 
General Registration and Visit with Exhibitors
Breakfast provided

7:30-8:00 a.m.
Pre-conference Lecture - The ABCs of SCD: Overview of Sickle Cell Disease
Trish Peterson MSN, RN CPNP
Nurse Practitioner III
Sickle Cell Program
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

8:30-8:40 a.m.
Welcome & Announcements
Debbie Harris MN, RN, CPNP
Trish Peterson MSN, RN CPNP

8:40-9:40 a.m.
Motivational Interviewing – Effective Communication with Chronic Illness
Mari Radzik
Clinical Psychologist
Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Keck School of Medicine of USC

9:40-10:40 a.m.
Pain in Sickle Cell Disease- Is it a Phenomenon of Microvascular Autonomic Dysfunction
Saranya Veluswamy MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

10:40-11:00 a.m.
Break and Exhibits

11:00-12:00 p.m.
Patient and Family Panel: Impact of Sickle Cell Disease on Everyday Life and the Important Role of the Nurse
Leigh Hunter, RN, MSN, CPNP,
Pediatric Hematology Nurse Practitioner
Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach

12:00-1:30 pm
Excellence in Service Awards
Luncheon and Exhibits

1:30-2:30 pm
Life after Transition: The Challenges of Adulting in Sickle Cell Disease
Ify Osunkwo MD, MPH
Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Enterprise
The Levine Cancer Institute/Atrium Health
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
Child Life: Supporting the Families of Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease
Kelsey Cramer, MS, CCLS
Child Life Specialist
Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic
Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 3:30-3:45 p.m. Break

3:45-4:45 p.m.
A Sticky Situation: Role of Selectins and Adhesion in Sickle Cell Disease
Erin Benekos, MSN, RN, NP-C, CPHON

4:45- 5:00 pm
Evaluations and Closing

Planning Committee
Diane Batham
Erin Benekos
Susan Carson
Debbie Harris
Trish Peterson
Lisa Pullens
Leigh Wacha Hunter

* Please bring a canned food donation as part of the West Coast Sickle Cell Nurses Group community outreach program. These items will be distributed during the holiday season to families affected by sickle cell disease.


Mail in registrations to:

Nathan Smith
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Division of Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation
4650 Sunset Blvd., #54
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Please make checks payable to: “Children’s Hospital Los Angeles”

For questions, please contact: Debbie Harris or Trish Peterson at 323-361-5507 



About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Founded in 1901, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is the oldest freestanding pediatric hospital in California. Ranked fifth in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of children’s hospitals, it is the only hospital on the West Coast to make the list. The world-class medical staff at Children’s Hospital work in multispecialty teams to provide patients with the very best in family-centered care. The hospital is also home to The Saban Research Institute, one of few freestanding research centers in the U.S. where the power of scientific inquiry and clinical care are combined, and devoted exclusively to children.