About us

Jacqueline Baker

Founder/CEO

My name is Jacqueline Baker, Founder/CEO Westchester Sickle Cell Disease Outreach. I’m the parent of two adult sons with Sickle Cell Disease and a grandmother of an eight year old who has sickle cell trait. I am a retired elementary school teacher having taught for 35 years in Westchester County.

I have a BA in Psychology and a MS in Elementary Education. I have extensive experience collaborating with SCD community based organizations to support advocacy and legislation in Albany, New York. I partner with other health facilities and attend events to educate the public about Sickle Cell Disease.

I know what it feels like to be all alone with no help, support, and hope, while caring for your loved ones facing many challenges of a chronic illness. My goal is to bring awareness and support for sickle cell disease patients/families living in Westchester County where they can learn from each other to build their strength, body, and mind to live longer healthier lives.

You’re not alone! We’re here to support you, comfort you, and give you inner peace.

I know for a fact that having a support system has helped me to cope better with challenges and gain a sense of well being as a parent raising children born with sickle cell disease. Attending support groups has given me power, a voice, and strength to help improve the lives of individuals living with Sickle cell Disease.
We want to help you educate your mind, strengthen your body and expand your spirit.
It’s time to take control of YOUR health!

OUR Mission

To provide resources that will improve the quality of life for patients with Sickle Cell Disease and other hemoglobinopathies; through education awareness of the disease process, treatment, research, and funding. The mission is personified through our unconditional commitment and dedication to health care, through advocacy, knowledge, referrals and equityto empower patients to make personal health goals.

OUR Vision

Our vision is to provide holisgtic support and education while buildig stronger collaborative community partnerships that will guide the pateitns/families to bring about sustainable changes and gain appropiate health care.

Cassandra E. Dobson

Co-Founder

 PhD, MS, BS, RN-BC, Ph(c)       

I believe in the delivery of optimum patient care.  I believe that I am an efficient nurse who always goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the patients. My vision for the future is to educate and empower patients to seek appropriate health care in a timely manner. I am an advocate for the promotion of self-management for the individuals with sickle cell disease.

 

I have worked in several different positions during my nursing career, from LPN, staff nurse. Currently my position is  the Director of Undergraduate studies, Associate Professor at Lehman College, Bronx N.Y.; I have worked on a Per-diem basis as a Patient educator and community services for SCD patients at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y. 2015-2016. I have completed a post doctorate in Epidemiology and Public Health, at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in May of 2010. I believe this additional knowledge was needed to gain better insight on the health of SCD patients. 

 

I am very active in several community organizations, where I sit on the Board of Directors for Coalition for Concern Medical Professionals (CCMP) since 1998 and Queens Sickle Cell Advocacy Network (QSCAN) in 2006-2008. In addition, I am an advisory member for QSCAN 2010 – 2019. I have served as a nurse consultant to persons with sickle cell disease from various organizations.    In 2015, I received the Iconic women award from SCDAA.  I also received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for my work in the SCD community, from Senator. Charles Rangel. My goal is to continue to touch the lives of children and families who suffer with sickle cell disease and other chronic diseases through research, education and public health programs.

Athena Dent

Multi-talented creative artist

Athena Dent is a Multi-talented creative artist, who offers a variety of professional skills and Humanitarian work. Whether it is as a Universal Writer (39 years), Self-published Author (13 years), Entrepreneur, Educator, Mentor, Artistic Director, Certified Health Coach and Volunteer; Mrs. Dent offers compassion, consistency, positivity, productivity and tenacity. Her professional services range from ghostwriting (assisting others with the completion of their stories; whether it be autobiographies or literary work), screenwriting and editing to selling her self-published books (she has written seven books, four screenplays and self-published five novels). Mrs. Dent utilizes her novels to EDUCATE, HEAL & INSPIRE!. Her novels gear towards various populations: toddlers, teens, middle-aged, older people and are for all genders/races. She also does Public Speaking engagements; which allows her literary work to get exposure, benefit others in different kinds of environments (school settings, programs, libraries, public forums and events) and meet different people from all over the world. Future goals are to work on getting her screenplays and novels done into movies and/or Broadway plays and continue to create/publish more novels. Mrs. Dent also distributes her books as gifts called ‘Book-Baskets’; these baskets include an autographed book(s) and various kinds of gifts. These baskets are created for various occasions such as birthdays, weddings/wedding anniversaries, baby showers, graduations, get-well sentiments and holidays.

Nadine Baker

Blandit Fermentum

I am a graduate of Boston University with a BA degree in English Literature with an avid love of books and writing. I’ve worked as an administrative assistant in several departments of Columbia University Law School for 19 years. I am an outgoing person whose strong communication skills enable me to deal proficiently with people from all walks of life. I am also the aunt of two grown nephews who have sickle cell disease. I’ve witnessed their medical challenges and suffering from this disease over the years. I’m a passionate advocate and want to help promote and support bringing Sickle Cell Disease awareness nationwide and all over the world.

Akimie Worrell

Advocate – Board Member

Akimie Worrell is a Sickle cell advocate and community health worker, specializing in the area of Art Therapy.  She has obtained her Masters in Science from an accredited university and states that she may pursue a doctorate in the future. Miss Worrell who is originally from Barbados, relocated to Westchester County with her mother and brother in search of better health care, she is the only living member in her family with SS.  While in Westchester’s health care system, Miss Worrell noticed a slew of disparities, and dealt with many challenges known only to the sickle cell community. She realized that in her area, there were no local sickle cell groups or advocates. She longed to help her community so that others would not need to struggle as she did and by the grace of God in 2020, Akimie, -through a chain of other sickle cell non-profits- found a set of likeminded individuals within her county. With no hesitation She decided to sign on in the effort to start up/be a board member of   what is now Westchester Sickle Cell Outreach. WSCO’s priorities line up well with Akimie’s focus of providing holistic and mental health support. She believes her art therapy expertise, life lesions and knowledge base, combines well with each educated, talented and empathic individual making up WSCO.  It is hoped that the sickle cell community is able to fully band together in order to provide support, change expectations of health care and greatly enrich the lives for all affected by sickle cell.

Toni Denicola

CPNP

Hello! I am a lifelong Yonkers resident, graduate of Gorton HS and Nurse Practitioner for many years taking care of children/families in NYC and in Yonkers through School-based clinics and member of the Gorton HS Health Magnet Advisory Board.  Professionally and personally, I have always been interested in people living well with any chronic disease but have worked with many CBO’s in the sickle cell communities of NYC since 2016. As Program Manager of a QI SCD ECHO federal grant working in the NYC Public Hospital Centers, together we are working to improve the quality of care for people living with SCD.  Through my political advocacy I work with many other groups to support laws and funding for research and continuity of care from infancy through adult life.  Joining the WSCO as a board member, I hope to share best practices through QI SCD ECHO to Westchester health care professionals and working with WSCO to develop continuous quality of health care and community support for people living with SCD and getting to know new people in my neighborhood!

Cheryl Cannon

Advocate – Board Member

Cheryl Cannon is a retired social worker from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
She is the founder of the Capital District Sickle Cell Disease Support Group.  Cheryl is an active
sickle cell disease advocate with over 30 years experience, which began with the birth of her
youngest son Shakir.  Shakir was born with sickle cell disease and had a stroke at age three.
Shakir died in 2017 due to acute complications attributed to sickle cell disease.  Shakir worked
tirelessly to increase awareness, needed research, and treatment of sickle cell disease and
Cheryl continues his work.