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Indiana increases funding for Sickle Cell care

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers are stepping up efforts to support people living with Sickle Cell Disease. The state is allocating more money to help people impacted by the condition.

Indiana is making a significant investment with an increased grant of half a million dollars over the next two years. About 1700 Hoosiers live with the disease throughout the state, and 87% of those with Sickle Cell are black.

The grant will help the Indiana Department of Health, Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, and other advocates in the Sickle Cell Community expand services. They hope to improve access to specialty care, mental health support, and telehealth services, as well as raise awareness.

According to Chris Roberson, chief research officer at the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, the funding boost amounts to a nearly 25% increase resulting from years of advocacy.

“We were very active during this legislative session. Fortunately, we had a strong ally in Rep. Greg Porter, who asked for an increased appropriation to the Department of Health to fund increased services for patients with Sickle Cell. So the community was extremely pleased there was an additional $250,000 to help support this Sickle Cell community,” said Roberson.

He adds resources will also go towards the Indiana Sickle Cell Consortium, which includes three community-based organizations in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and South Bend.