The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced that they will be expanding their sickle cell and hematology program to include outpatient services in the Chattahooche Valley, beginning March 27.
The Columbus Sickle Cell Clinic will be operated by the Aflac Cancer Center’s pediatric hematologists and nurses. The new program was created “with the goal of better serving children and families in the Columbus area.”
Funding for the new clinic has been provided by the Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation through the Ben Koon Pediatric Oncology Endowment Fund. Named in honor of Ben Koon, grandson of Robert and Joyce Koon, the fund was established to “benefit others in need.”
The clinic was founded in April 2018 with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Piedmont Columbus Regional to further “high-quality pediatric care.”
“Our family experienced pain, struggle and expense due to the lack of treatment in Columbus and we know there are other sickle cell patients with no pediatric hematologist available to treat them,” said Robert Koon. “This clinic will provide support, treatment and hope for many children in the Columbus region. Our grandson would be very pleased to know he was the motivation to make this clinic possible.”
The outpatient clinic, located at 705 17th St., Ste. 406, across from Piedmont Columbus Regional Midtown Campus, will provide comprehensive quality clinical services for the more than 150 patients in the Columbus area, according to their press release.
Four primary hematologists will operate the clinic, and staff will communicate with the patients’ primary care and hospital doctors to coordinate care locally and with services in the Atlanta hospitals – including transfusions, surgery and special tests – when needed.
“We are excited to expand our services to current Aflac sickle cell and hematology patient families living near Columbus who have been making the long trip to and from our Atlanta clinics,” said Karen Wasilewski, M.D., Medical Director of the Aflac Cancer Center and one of the four hematologists on staff in the Columbus clinic. “This clinic increases access to high-quality preventative care and health-maintenance essential to the well-being of our patients with sickle cell disease. We are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of new patients and families in the area who were previously not able to commute to meet with our sickle cell care team.”
The clinic is set to operate on the fourth and fifth Wednesday of each month between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.