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In partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and its SEAL Subaward, Cayenne Wellness Center has been able to put together our first Webinar Wednesday of 2023: Long COVID and SCD: How much longer?. During this webinar the outcomes of COVID-19 and Sickle Cell Disease and Trait will be addressed, as well as what the scientific community currently knows about the virus.


Meet Our Speakers

Rakhi Prakash Naik, M.D., M.H.S.

Associate Director for Hematology, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, and Associate Professor of Medicine

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Dr. Rakhi P. Naik is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. She serves as Clinical Director of the Division of Hematology and as Associate Director for Hematology for the Hematology-Medical Oncology Fellowship Program. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biomedical & Electrical Engineering from Duke University, an M.D. with Honors in Research from Cornell University, and a Masters in Health Science (MHS) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hematology Fellowship training at Johns Hopkins, where she also served as Assistant Chief of Service (Chief Resident). Dr. Naik specializes in the treatment of adult patients with a wide-array of non-malignant hematologic diseases, including autoimmune cytopenias, coagulation disorders, hemoglobinopathies, and myeloid disorders.  Her primary research expertise is in sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. Dr. Naik serves as Chair of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Hematology-Focused Training Program Consortium, which aims to create innovative training pathways and curriculum to increase trainee recruitment into non-malignant hematology.

Lewis L. Hsu, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Pediatric Sickle Cell Program, and Professor of Pediatrics

University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Hsu Lewis is a pediatric hematologist who is dedicated to finding cures for sickle cell disease, and to improving treatment and education until cures can be found. He joined UIC as director of the Sickle Cell Center and Professor of Pediatrics in July 2011. He led large pediatric sickle cell programs at Emory University, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and Children’s National Medical Center. His clinical and translational research experience include multicenter landmark clinical trials of sickle cell stroke prevention and bone marrow transplantation, and contributing to understanding of inflammation and nitric oxide in mouse models of sickle cell disease. He has published over fifty peer-reviewed papers, mentored numerous physicians and graduate students, and contributed to four sickle cell websites devoted to patient education. He has also co-authored a book, now in its third edition, entitled “Hope and Destiny: The Patient and Parent’s Guide to Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Trait.” In addition to sickle cell disease, his clinical interests include thalassemia and adolescent transition. Among his research interests are sickle cell disease, health education, bone marrow transplantation, inflammation and vasculopathy, and health disparities. In addition to English, Dr. Hsu speaks Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), and a little Portuguese.

Meet Our Moderator

Carolyn Rowley, Ph.D.
Founder & Executive Director

Cayenne Wellness Center & Children’s Foundation

Dr. Carolyn Rowley is the Founder and Executive Director of Cayenne Wellness Center and Children’s Foundation (a non-profit organization dedicated to health and wellness). In her role as Executive Director, she specializes in nutrition (well known for her 3-4-4 nutritional program), health psychology and treating patients and their families with sickle cell disease.  She also began another non-profit organization in 2005, as a result of her missionary experience in Kenya, East Africa ( The Machao Orphanage Foundation ). Twelve years ago, Dr. Rowley responded to an immediate need – to house the original 13 children and many that were on the waiting list. Her first strategic plan: Strategic Plan I: Foundation, afforded her the vision to build the dorms, latrines and other buildings (2009); to provide clean water (2010); to put in solar panels (2011); to provide food by building a green-house and chicken coop (2012); and to put in solar irrigation (2014-2016).  Her second strategic plan: Strategic Plan 2: Impact, has led her to strategically take care of more orphans and have the orphanage be sustainable and economically self-reliant by the year 2020. Dr. Rowley holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University, a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a nutrition certificate from Trinity College. Dr. Rowley has teaching experience from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU-C), CSU Channel  Islands, Alliant University, and currently teaches at UCLA Extension. She is a committed environmentalist and vegan and has brought an understanding of the importance of nutrition in dealing with sickle cell disease. She has served as a panel member for a number of forums for the general public and for medical professionals regarding successful living with sickle cell disease.

You can also watch the recording on the following platform:


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