The Sickle Cell Sabbath Program
was created to increase African-American awareness about sickle cell disease (SCD) and the importance of blood and cord blood donations in helping individuals affected by the disease. The original concept for the Sickle Cell Sabbath operated as an educational model to increase awareness about SCD in the African-American faith community. The program was modified to include an education session, a donor-directed blood drive and sickle cell trait testing components. In addition the donor-directed blood drives honor the contributions of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American physician who pioneered modern blood banking techniques. Sickle Cell Sabbath blood drives are unique in that the blood drives are set-up to screen donors as potential matches for patients with SCD. In addition, donors have the opportunity to receive sickle cell trait testing to determine their individual trait status. The educational session discusses SCD, the importance of blood and cord blood donation, and the significance of knowing personal sickle cell trait status. The Sickle Cell Sabbath Program is generally implemented between February (Black History Month) and June (birthmonth of Dr. Charles Drew). Following implementation, the program is evaluated within 60 days of the last drive of the Sabbath season. An annual report of each year of the Sickle Cell Sabbath Program is prepared for dissemination to programmatic stakeholders and partners.