Genice Nelson, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC of UConn Health’s New England Sickle Cell Institute (NESCI) received the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) President’s Award.
The SCDAA President’s Award was presented to Nelson for his hard work and immeasurable dedication to the sickle cell community helping to advance the understanding, education and awareness of sickle cell disease across the country.
Nelson was honored on October 14 at the SCDAA’s 50th Annual Convention “Coming together for our Future” held almost. The annual meeting brings the sickle cell community together to share progress made in outreach, treatment, and research while focusing on future developments.
“Our goal is to inform our constituents as well as the public, about the progress and continued importance of improving access to quality care. This is through expertise and dynamic leadership, as in you, that our community can achieve this goal,” shared Regina Hartfield, SCDAA president and CEO, in her award letter to Nelson.
Nelson is a board-certified nurse practitioner. He rejoined UConn Health in 2019 as program director for its New England Sickle Cell Institute.
For more than two decades, Nelson has provided voice, respect, and high-quality care to sickle cell patients.
“I found that patients with sickle cell really needed a voice,” shared Nelson. “I felt that voice was me.”
Nelson previously worked at UConn Health from 2012 to 2015. He worked closely with leader Dr. Biree Andemariam to build from scratch the sickle cell clinic and lay the ground work for NESCI today. It is home to the first of its kind and only dedicated outpatient center for sickle cell patients in the region. The comprehensive Institute opened in August 2016 at UConn John Dempsey Hospital.
NESCI allows for both scheduled outpatient comprehensive care visits as well as same-day urgent care for the management of sickle cell disease exacerbations such as severe pain, dehydration and worsening anemia. It has a large patient care area with private acute care suites, exam rooms, and two specialized blood transfusion rooms. Also, the Emergency Department and the hematology inpatient care unit are conveniently located in the same building for any critical care patient needs. The sickle cell program at UConn Health had just 20 sickle cell patients when it first started and has now grown to provide comprehensive and streamlined care all in one location for more than 300 Connecticut sickle cell patients.
Nelson and the NESCI team at UConn Health are also conducting ongoing research and clinical trial investigations to find improved therapies and a future cure for sickle cell disease.
Prior to rejoining UConn Health, Nelson spent three years at the University of Texas at Dallas and created a comprehensive infusion care area to serve the city’s 750 sickle cell patients. He also previously worked at Yale. She holds her masters in nursing from the Yale School of Nursing and her doctorate in nursing from the School of Nursing at UConn.