Bridge Clinic

A Smooth Transition from Childhood to Adult Care of Sickle Cell Disease

The Bridge Clinic for young adults with sickle cell disease provides a smooth and coordinated transition for patients moving from pediatric to adult sickle cell care. Both our pediatric and adult sickle cell teams at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center are committed to making this transition as stress-free as possible for all patients.

Factors Involved in Transitioning

For a young adult with sickle cell disease, part of the transition from youth to adulthood includes preparing for a change in health care providers. Other factors involved in transitioning sickle cell care from childhood to adulthood include:

  • Learning how to take care of yourself, and balancing:
    • School
    • Work
    • Money
    • Social life
    • Family life

Providing Uninterrupted Care

Transitioning to adult sickle cell care can be difficult for many patients. However, University Hospitals’ goal of transition is to provide health care that is:

  • Uninterrupted
  • Comprehensive
  • Coordinated
  • Appropriate

Transition of care is a process that occurs over time. Planning and preparation for this transition involves providing young adults with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve successful transition.

Moving to Adult Care Providers

When preparing young patients to transition to adult care providers, our clinic offers education on:

  • Sickle cell disease, its treatments, complications and best preventive care
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Finding a primary care provider
  • Balancing school and work
  • Insurance coverage and options after age 18
  • Skills for managing medications and managing pain
  • Medical documentation for school and vocational training, work, or supplemental security income (SSI)

BEATS Music Therapy Program

The BEATS (Build, Educate, Advance, Transition in Sickle cell disease) Music Therapy Program uses music to empower young adults with sickle cell disease with the skills necessary for living well with sickle cell. BEATS sessions occur once a month for patients ages 18 to 23 with sickle cell disease. During BEATS sessions, young adult patients participate in hip-hop, drumming, songwriting, rapping, and studio recording as a way to learn skills for managing sickle cell disease.

Coping Kit

The Adult Sickle Cell Disease Team provides Coping Kits for young adults with sickle cell disease in the Bridge Clinic. This Coping Kit includes things to help patients manage sickle cell disease and cope with hospitalizations. The Adult Sickle Cell Disease team provides this book bag along with a thermometer and a pillbox. The music therapist provides recorded music in the Coping Kit to help patients learn and manage pain.

Contact Us

Call the Adult Sickle Cell Disease Clinic at 216-844-1582 with questions or for an appointment.