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Learn about:

  • The fertility, pregnancy, and other sexual health issues and challenges individuals with Sickle Cell Disease face;
  • Policies and processes that need your advocacy for change;
  • How to improve access to overall reproductive health care; and
  • Resources available for support.

Meet our Moderator

Dr. Kim Smith-Whitley

A board-certified pediatric hematologist, Dr. Smith-Whitley focuses on research and clinical work centered on Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait. She’s passionate about addressing the needs of the Sickle Cell Community and developing therapies for this underserved patient population.

Meet our Speakers

Teonna Woolford, Co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, The Sickle Cell Reproductive Health Education Directive.

As a Sickle Cell Warrior herself, Teonna knows very well the physical, mental, and emotional tolls Sickle Cell Disease can have on a person, but she’s not letting it define her or limit her life. Taking her experiences, she advocates for better health care to improve the lives of all Sickle Cell warriors.

Dr Mindy Sue Christianson M.D., Reproductive Endocrinologist, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics

She was born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with undergraduate and medical degrees. She completed her Gynecology and Obstetrics (OB/Gyn) residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She recently joined the faculty after completing fellowship training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Christianson has an active clinical practice in infertility, reproductive endocrinology and reproductive surgery. Her clinical areas of expertise include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility treatments, fertility preservation for cancer patients, and surgical treatment of reproductive issues such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis. She also sees patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian failure and those experiencing severe menopause symptoms.

Dr. Lydia Pecker, Pediatric Hematologist, Baltimore.

She cares for young adults with sickle cell disease. She serves as director of the Young Adult Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Sickle Cell Center for Adults. Dr. Pecker received her undergraduate degree in Africana studies from Brown University and earned her M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

She completed her general pediatrics residency at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and performed a fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at Children’s National Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Pecker joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2017.Her research interests include reproductive health and ovarian reserve in young women with sickle cell disease; and barriers to care, social determinants of health and risks for early mortality in young adults with sickle cell disease.

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