FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tanya R. DeVaughn
Howland PR, Inc.
SICKLE CELL DISEASE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP
Baltimore, MD – April 6, 2009 – The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) announces
SCDAA president Willarda V. Edwards, M.D., M.B.A. has left the SDCAA to assume the presidency of
the National Medical Association.
Dr. Willarda Edwards has been president of the SCDAA for the past five years. The SCDAA board of
directors engaged Dr. Edwards after their decision to relocate the national office from Culver City,
California to Baltimore, Maryland. “It has been a wonderful experience working with the members of the
SCDAA and the families affected by sickle cell disease,” said Edwards. SCDAA thanks Dr. Edwards for
her years of service and wishes her well in her new endeavors. A national search will begin soon for a
new President for SCDAA.
Elizabeth Simpson, formally the treasurer of the national board of SCDAA will serve as its Interim
President while a national search is conducted. Ms. Simpson, a Partner with Bentley Simpson Consulting,
specializes in the areas of executive coaching, strategic planning, and team building. She has a passion
for assisting clients in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in organizational development and
business design. Ms. Simpson has been recognized for her communication skills and attention to details.
“The SCDAA’s agenda is as focused as ever. We will continue in our commitment to stamp out sickle cell
disease.” said Simpson. “We have a strong national network of member organizations and a committed
team of staff and volunteers who are focused on the mission of the SCDAA.”
In addition to Ms. Simpson, board member Duane N. Bruce, J.D., LL.M will serve as Acting Chair
pending formal elections to be held at the SCDAA annual conference in September. Mr. Bruce has been a
member of the SCDAA Board of Directors since 2001 and has served in several officer roles. Mr. Bruce
is employed as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in
Kansas City, Missouri where he has been engaged as legal counsel since 1998.
SCDAA continues in its efforts to build awareness on Capitol Hill regarding its mission. Most recently,
SCDAA leadership took their message to Washington, DC in March in conjunction with Sickle Cell
Disease Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Over 100 SCDAA representatives and SCDAA leaders met with
their respective state Legislators on Capitol Hill with the day concluding with President Obama meeting
Gabriel George, the SCDAA national poster child.
About the SCDAA
The mission of the SCDAA is to advocate for and enhance our membership's ability to improve the
quality of health, life and services for individuals, families and communities affected by sickle cell
disease and related conditions, while promoting the search for a cure for all people in the world with
sickle cell disease. For more information, visit www.sicklecelldisease.org.