How It's Inherited
College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati
"I am nominating Dr. Cheedy Jaja because he is passionate, committed and dedicated to improve outcomes for individuals and families living with sickle cell in his home country Sierra Leone. In addition to promoting wellness for children with sickle cell, Dr. Jaja is leading training healthcare workers and enhancing the public in Sierra Leone's understanding of sickle cell disease, which perpetuates social stigma and myths about disease causation and results in few people seeking appropriate treatment."
HEALTHCARE ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
CHEEDY JAJA, PHD, MPH, MSN, MN, PMHNP-BC, RN
"What we’re doing in Sierra Leone is promoting the mission of the university by encouraging both faculty and students to be global citizens and to provide care to marginalized patient populations globally."
- Cheedy Jaja
When you think of the perfect healthcare provider, you think of someone who is compassionate, charismatic, and dynamic. This is Dr. Cheedy Jaja. Cheedy has over ten years experience in providing clinical and psychosocial care primarily to patients with sickle cell disease in ambulatory healthcare settings.
“Dr. Cheedy Jaja because he is passionate, committed and dedicated to improve outcomes for individuals and families living with sickle cell in his home country Sierra Leone. In addition to promoting wellness for children with sickle cell, Dr. Jaja is leading training healthcare workers and enhancing the public in Sierra Leone’s understanding of sickle cell disease, which perpetuates social stigma and myths about disease causation and results in few people seeking appropriate treatment.”
In 2014, during a visit to his birth country Sierra Leone, Cheedy was approached by an advocacy group called Sickle Cell Carers Awareness Network or SCCAN. At the time Sierra Leone did not have a facility to screen for people living with sickle cell disease. “He was asked if he could help provide care and medication for a group of approximately 2,000 people who showed signs of SCD” (UC) After receiving start up funds, Cheedy launched a clinical research program. The Sierra Leone Sickle Cell Disease Project, in partnership with Sickle SCAN, provides patients with free comprehensive medical screening with a simple finger prick that will diagnose sickle cell disease immediately. Cheedy states that patients will be examined for different aspects of sickle cell disease. “They will also be provided with medication.”
As an investigator, Cheedy’s interests include, sickle cell disease pain (acute and chronic) and analgesic pharmacogenetics. “Our vision ultimately is to use genetic information on drug-metabolizing enzymes as a standard of care to improve quality of life in medically vulnerable patients," Jaja said. "The converging synergy between our studies will further analgesic selection for sickle cell disease pain management."
Before his clinical endeavors with sickle cell disease, Cheedy risked his life to help and treat those affected by the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, in which ten doctors and 300 nurses died. “Dr. Jaja is a sincere and honest man, strong willed and persistent in his search for and construction of a better world. This noble character supports and underlies his intellectual and humanitarian pursuits.”
Cheedy currently hold leadership positions in the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), the International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Physician Assistants (IASCNPA), and the Network of Minority Research Investigators (NIMR). Additionally, he serves on the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Sickle Cell Disease Coalition Group and the Global SCD Issues Working Group.
More about Dr. Cheedy Jaja:
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