RARE Daily

GBT Foundation Opens 2022 ACE Grant Program, Providing up to $250,000 to SCD Community-Based Organizations

March 4, 2022

The GBT Foundation, a not-for-profit primarily funded by Global Blood Therapeutics, said it is accepting proposals for the Access to Care Empowerment for Sickle Cell Grant Program, which provides funding for community-based organizations to accelerate the development of sustainable access-to-care programs for people living with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects more than 100,000 people in the United States, and millions of people throughout the world, particularly among those whose ancestors are from sub-Saharan Africa and people of Hispanic, South Asian, Southern European and Middle Eastern ancestry. SCD is a lifelong inherited rare blood disorder that impacts hemoglobin, a protein carried by red blood cells that delivers oxygen to tissues and organs throughout the body. Due to a genetic mutation, individuals with SCD form abnormal hemoglobin known as sickle hemoglobin in which red blood cells become sickled – deoxygenated, crescent-shaped and rigid. The sickling process causes hemolytic anemia (low hemoglobin due to red blood cell destruction) and blockages in capillaries and small blood vessels, which impede the flow of blood and oxygen delivery throughout the body, which can lead to life-threatening complications, including stroke and irreversible organ damage. Complications of SCD begin in early childhood and can include neurocognitive impairment, acute chest syndrome, and silent and overt stroke, among other serious issues.

The 2022 ACE Grant Program will award five grants worth up to $50,000 each. The GBT Foundation will accept proposals from U.S.-based nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) dedicated to sickle cell disease (SCD) to fund programs supporting SCD patient care, including patient empowerment, peer-to-peer education, healthcare navigation for patients and caregivers, and organizational capacity building.

The ACE Grant Program is a new extension of the ongoing Access to Excellent Care for Sickle Cell Patients (ACCEL) Grant Program, which will now be led by The GBT Foundation and has provided funding since 2019 to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and institutions that serve patients with SCD and their families and seeks to improve their access to high-quality healthcare. Based on feedback from the SCD community, The GBT Foundation is separating its funding for U.S.-based nonprofit organizations into two programs: the ACE Grant Program, to which U.S.-based CBOs are invited to apply now; and the fourth annual ACCEL Grant Program, which will begin accepting proposals in mid-2022 from nonprofit healthcare organizations and institutions.

“Community-based organizations are uniquely equipped to improve access to high-quality care for people with sickle cell disease, who have suffered for far too long from disparities in care and inequitable investment in their communities,” said Jung Choi, board member of The GBT Foundation and chief business and strategy officer and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT. “We are immensely proud of the accomplishments of past grantees and eagerly await new proposals that align with The GBT Foundation’s mission to improve the health and well-being of underserved patient communities.”

Over its first three years, the ACCEL program funded nearly $1 million in total to 19 organizations to accelerate the development of sustainable and innovative programs for SCD patients. Previous recipients used grant funding for activities including augmenting provider education, helping organizations transition their patients from pediatric to adult care, creating community health worker initiatives, educating on the impact of COVID-19 on SCD, and expanding healthcare options for SCD patients in rural areas.

The GBT Foundation is accepting proposals for the ACE program through Friday, April 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. A panel of representatives from The GBT Foundation and external stakeholders with expertise in the issues affecting people with SCD will review proposal submissions. The panel will select grant recipients based on the proposal’s goals and objectives consistent with the mission of The GBT Foundation, potential impact on SCD patient care, evaluation plan, organizational capabilities, and sustainability plan.

Photo: Jung Choi, board member of The GBT Foundation and chief business and strategy officer and head of patient advocacy and government affairs at GBT

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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