Crist dominates the Democratic gubernatorial race and is the only candidate in either party focused on specific policies that improve the quality of life for Floridians.
BY JODI YONDER, Contributor
TALLAHASSEE — U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg) has proposed legislation to step up life-saving research and loan repayment for those joining the fight against Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
SCD is the result of genetic mutation that reduces the ability of blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Considered a childhood disease where individuals did not survive until adulthood, patients now live longer and are at high risk because of the lack of research. Approximately 100,000 people live with sickle cell disease in the United States, the overwhelming majority of whom are Black Americans.
“We have the opportunity to save lives by broadening the research against sickle cell. We need specialists to wage that war, and we will encourage that through the Sickle Cell Care Expansion Act,” Crist said.
The National Health Service Corps would be expanded to provide scholarships and loan repayment assistance for those studying benign hematology, the SCD specialty. The legislation also provides for the creation of competitive grants to increase SCD awareness and the resources available to those with the disease.
This legislation is endorsed by the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the American Society of Hematologists.