MUSC opens expanded Sickle Cell Center

Sickle Cell Center Laura Grant
Laura Grant hangs a picture of her daughter at the Sickle Cell Center named in her honor.

In Jan. 2022, MUSC opened a new expanded Sickle Cell Center, named in honor of a remarkable woman who made her mark with the SC legislature. The namesake of MUSC’s new Rena N. Grant Sickle Cell Center was known for being so dedicated to her job with the South Carolina House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee that she kept working even when she was in the hospital being treated for pain crises caused by sickle cell disease (SCD).

After Grant’s death, legislators allocated $1 million to MUSC for the development of a comprehensive approach to SCD treatment in the state. The goal is to raise SCD awareness, study ways to cure the disease, and educate the state’s health care providers about the inherited disorder and the pain it causes. The funding also will establish a Rena N. Grant Endowed Chair for Hematology.

MUSC Health CEO Patrick Cawley, M.D., called the center’s opening a natural and much-needed development. “Hospitalization is very high among sickle cell patients, particularly adults. These funds will support a center of care focused on people with this disease. That'll help us to No. 1: provide more outreach to rural and underserved areas; No. 2: increase service access for people in need of specialized care; and No. 3: address some of the health disparities we see among people with sickle cell disease, he said.”