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Our Vision

A World Without Sickle Cell Disease

Our Mission

Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana (SCASL) is a nonprofit organization that serves individuals living with sickle cell disease in the southern region of Louisiana. SCASL is committed to providing support and resources to those living with sickle cell disease as well as their caregivers through innovative and creative programs.

History

The idea of an organization was conceived in early 1974. Head Start had been mandated to provide hematocrits or hemoglobin on each child registered in the Head Start Program. After learning of some simple ways to provide basic tests for children, it was decided that we would provide the sickle cell test for children at McKinley Head Start. Of 230 students, 60 came back positive. 

Mrs. Jessie Douglas, a nurse at the Head Start Center, requested direction for doing follow-up with the children who tested positive, and a meeting with medical personnel at Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital was scheduled. As a result of that meeting, one doctor agreed to administer the electrophoresis hemoglobin test on the blood samples to determine if the positive ones were a result of the sickle cell trait, sickle cell disease, or some other variant. 

During the course of gathering data on the affected children, Mrs. Douglas realized the need for an organization that would support and assist people challenged with sickle cell disease. Thus, began The Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Inc. 

The Baton Rouge Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization governed by a board of directors and serves 11 parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, and Tangipahoa. There are over 600 people living with sickle cell disease in our service area. 

The Foundation is proud of its ongoing efforts to meet and exceed its established mission by bringing innovative and creative programs to provide financial and advocacy support services to persons diagnosed with sickle cell disease; to provide treatment support to enhance the quality of life for those suffering from sickle cell disease; and to educate the general public about sickle cell disease.

The vision of Mrs. Douglas and the many others who provided strong leadership and the basis for the organizational structure has allowed us to serve our community for over 47 years. 

In 2018, then CEO, Lorri Burgess, changed the name of the Foundation to the Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana, Inc. (SCASL) to expand its services to individuals living with sickle cell disease across the southern portion of the state. SCASL still operates on the financial assistance from public and private donations in order to provide services to our clients. All donations are tax deductible.

Lorri Burgess was the Chief Operating Officer of SCASL for over 19 years. She fought as a staunch advocate for those battling sickle cell disease. Under her leadership, SCASL annually increased its number of participating clients and earned national recognition as the most improved sickle cell foundation in the United States. Lorri extended the reach of the foundation through her unique and innovative fundraising initiatives such as the annual Ryan’s Run (honorary chair, former Superbowl Champion Ryan CLark) and the annual John Chavis/Eric Reid Golf Tournament. Because of her passion and desire to provide a voice for the sickle cell community, SCASL now serves the New Orleans and Lafayette communities along with Baton Rouge.

SCASL Coverage Area

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© 2008-2021 The Sickle Cell Association of South Louisiana is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to bring hope to families in south Louisiana affected by this devastating disease.

Volunteers Needed

  • Clerical Assistance, Tutoring, Mentoring, Special Event, etc WORKPLACE GIVING
  • Provide an opportunity for employee giving through payroll deductions.

Sponsor An Event

Consider sponsoring an event at your church, school, or business to raise funds for sickle cell disease.