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  National Sickle Cell Collaboration Announced At Children’s National
October 8, 2008

For Immediate Release: October 8, 2008

Child Health Advocacy Institute joins forces with Bobby Engram Foundation

Washington, DC— Leaders from government, business, healthcare and professional sports joined last night to applaud a new national sickle cell collaboration announced by the Child Health Advocacy Institute (CHAI) at Children’s National Medical Center. Children’s National treats over 1,100 patients each year with sickle cell disease and is home to the largest pediatric sickle cell program in the country.

The announcement was the centerpiece of a first anniversary celebration dinner held in the main atrium of the hospital recognizing the CHAI’s establishment as a center of excellence at the hospital in 2007.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Bobby Engram, wide receiver for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. Engram is founder of the Bobby Engram Foundation and father of a 10-year-old daughter with sickle cell disease.

At the event last night, Engram, on behalf of his Foundation, announced the intention to collaborate with CHAI supporting activities on behalf of sickle cell families including outreach to underserved communities, lobbying the federal government for increased funding for research and treatment and legislative action to achieve universal coverage for treatment for all patients suffering from sickle cell.
“Sickle cell disease is an underserved and under-researched disease, and tonight we vow to change all that,” said Dr. Joseph Wright, Executive Director of the CHAI.

“The ultimate goal is to find a cure for this debilitating disease,” Engram said.

In his remarks, Engram pointed out that 80,000 people in the U.S. suffer from sickle cell disease, and only 5 percent of those people have access to sickle cell centers designated by the National Institutes for Health.

Contact: Emily Dammeyer/Susan Muma, Public Relations, 202-476-4500

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Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is proudly ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit Children’s Research Institute, the academic arm of Children’s National Medical Center, encompasses the translational, clinical, and community research efforts of the institution. Learn more about our research programs at