5th Annual Thalassemia Adoption Clinic: July 2017
Wendy Murphy, LCSW
by Wendy Murphy, LCSW
Social Worker, Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Center
On July 13th and 14th, 2017, the Northern California Comprehensive Thalassemia Center hosted the Fifth Annual Adoption Clinic. The first clinic was held in July 2013 to accommodate the needs of families who had recently adopted a child from China or India with transfusion-dependent thalassemia. Our center decided to have the five families come on the same day for a comprehensive clinic visit and the chance to meet the other families. It was a successful day filled with activities for the children and a lunch talk for the parents with Dr. Nancy Curtis of the International Adoption Clinic at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.
We have continued to host the Adoption Clinic since July 2013. In 2015, we expanded the program to two days as well as including a dinner talk. With the most recent clinic in July 2017, the following experts presented at the dinner talk for the parents:
- Dr. Ellen Fung - "Bone Health in Patients with Thalassemia"
- Dr. Nancy Olivieri - "How Thalassemia as a Disease has Changed in Developing Countries over the Past Decade"
- Dr. Elliott Vichinsky - "Updates on New Therapies in Thalassemia"
The families appreciated hearing from these experts and having the opportunity to ask questions. It was also very important for the families to have the chance to socialize with each other. Most of the families come from states other than California, and many live in a community where their child may not know any other children with thalassemia.
We are looking to expand the clinic this coming year and we hope that more families will be able to attend the dinner talk. The dinner talk will be on Wednesday, July 18th. More details are to come about the presenters. We welcome suggestions and would like to hear from the families to better understand their needs.