Cece Calhoun is a native of Detroit, MI and after 5 years in St. Louis still considers Michigan her home. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Michigan where she majored in Afro-American studies. She then went back to her birth city to attend medical school at Wayne State University. It was during this time that she had the chance to care for her first sickle cell patient and decided that pediatric hematology was the path for her. She went on to complete her pediatrics residency at Michigan State University before moving to St. Louis for her Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship.
While she knew that caring for those with sickle cell disease was her clinical passion, it was during her time in fellowship that she decided to take a systematic and rigorous research approach in solving the issues that these patients face, with the goal of making a more widespread impact. With the mentorship of Dr. Allison King and the methodological training provided by the Masters in Population Health Sciences here at Wash U she began to explore healthcare utilization amongst sickle cell patients using administrative data. This supported knowledge that the most vulnerable subgroup of patients with sickle cell disease are adolescent and young adults as they transition from pediatric to adult care. As in many chronic pediatric conditions, the transition from the pediatric to adult healthcare environment is a complex and sometimes elusive challenge. Cece’s current research aims to unravel the barriers and facilitators to this process for young adults to develop readily implementable interventions to improve this transition and, ultimately, health outcomes.
With the continued mentorship of Dr. King as well as collaboration with leaders in the field of Implementation Science at the Brown School, Cece is currently looking for ways to successfully implement the AAP guidelines for healthcare transition in the development of structured transition programs for young adults with sickle cell disease. She also realized that in order to fully understand the nuances of the organizational and system level factors that play a role in the development of such programs she would need additional expertise. She was honored to be accepted into the inaugural class of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Leadership at Yale University. Through this tremendous opportunity she is currently obtaining an MBA with a healthcare focus from Yale University School of Management, in addition to maintaining her faculty appointment and research pursuits here at Wash U. With this additional knowledge she hopes to transform healthcare delivery for young sickle cell patients in St. Louis. She is grateful for the opportunity to combine her love of hematology with her commitment to the underserved in an environment with such tremendous intellectual resources.