Genice Nelson, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC of UConn Health’s New England Sickle Cell Institute (NESCI) has received the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) President’s Award.
The SCDAA President’s Award was presented to Nelson for her hard work and immeasurable dedication to the sickle cell community helping to advance the understanding, education and awareness of sickle cell disease nationwide.
Nelson was honored on October 14 during the SCDAA’s 50th Annual Convention “Joining Forces for our Future” held virtually. The annual meeting united the sickle cell community to share the progress that has been 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 ongoing importance of improving access to quality care. It is through expertise and dynamic leadership, such as yours, that our community will be able to achieve this goal,” shared Regina Hartfield, president and CEO of SCDAA, in her award letter to Nelson.
Nelson is a board-certified nurse practitioner. She rejoined UConn Health in 2019 as the program director for its New England Sickle Cell Institute.
For more than two decades, Nelson has been providing a voice, respect, and high quality care to sickle cell patients.
“I saw that patients with sickle cell really need a voice,” Nelson shared. “I felt like I could be that voice.”
Nelson previously worked at UConn Health from 2012 to 2015. She closely collaborated with leader Dr. Biree Andemariam to build from the ground up the sickle cell clinic and lay the ground work for today’s NESCI. 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 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, conveniently located in the same building is the Emergency Department and the hematology inpatient care unit for any critical care patient needs. The sickle cell program at UConn Health had just 20 sickle cell patients when it first started and now has 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 is also performing ongoing research and clinical trial investigations to find enhanced therapies and a future cure for sickle cell disease.
Just 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. She also worked previously at Yale. She holds her masters in nursing from Yale School of Nursing and her doctorate of nursing from the School of Nursing at UConn.