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Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc. appoints two to board

HANOVER, Md. — The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc., a national nonprofit membership organization that advocates for people affected by sickle cell disease, has welcomed Katherine Napier, EDB, and Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., to the association’s board of directors.

“Katherine and Kenneth bring decades of experience in their fields — finance, business operations, health policy innovation and management — and we’re excited to welcome them to the board,” said Thomas Johnson, chair of the board. “Their knowledge and wisdom will benefit the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America as we move forward into the future.

Katherine Napier, EDB
Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D
  • Katherine Napier, EDB, brings over 31 years of experience overseeing financial and business operations. She serves as senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer for Morehouse School of Medicine. Her experience in higher education includes roles as associate vice president of business operations at Kentucky State University, director of internal audit at the University of the Pacific and associate director of audit services at Case Western Reserve University. She received an executive doctorate in business administration from Georgia State University, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College. Napier holds a certified public accountant license.
  • Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., is a professor and was the chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University for over 20 years. He serves as the executive director of Emory’s Institute of Advanced Policy Solutions and director of the institute’s Center for Entitlement Reform. Additionally, Thorpe is chairman of Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an international coalition of over 80 groups focused on highlighting the key role that chronic disease plays in health care spending and high rates of morbidity and mortality, and he serves as co-chair of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare. Thorpe received his doctorate from the Pardee Rand Graduate School and his master’s degree from Duke University.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disease causing red blood cells to take a sickle shape, which leads to blockages that prevent blood from reaching parts of the body. As a result, people with sickle cell complications can experience anemia, jaundice, gallstones, stroke, chronic pain, organ damage and premature death. No universal cure exists.

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Inc. advocates for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empowers community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure. The association and more than 50 member organizations support sickle cell research, public and professional health education and patient and community services. (

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