South Texas Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Center

The Sickle Cell and Thalassemia program is dedicated to the evidence based treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults living with sickle cell disease and thalassemia through a comprehensive program aimed at preventing disease complications, promoting health literacy and maximizing quality of life.

Services Include:

  1. Genetic counseling of hemoglobinopathy disorders identified by newborn screen
  2. Comprehensive annual evaluations focusing on disease awareness, infections and pulmonary complications
  3. Transcranial doppler for primary stroke prevention
  4. Hydroxyurea for disease modification
  5. Chronic transfusion therapy including erythrocytopheresis and iron chelation
  6. Combined Sickle Cell and Pulmonology Clinic
  7. Community outreach including schools, churches, camps and support groups for sickle cell awareness/education
  8. Psychosocial support for educational testing and evaluation of transition readiness

Program StaffThe Team


Left to Right: Dr. Chatch Assanasen, Dr. Melissa Frei-Jones, Donna Doulton, RN, Ms. Alexis Boggess


Melissa Frei-Jones, MD MSCI, Medical Director
Donna Doulton. RN BScN, Sickle Cell Nurse Coordinator
Megan Colletta, LMSW, Social Work
Leanne Embry, PhD, Psychologist
Lindsey Mette, MS, MSPH, CGC