St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is celebrating the $2 million they raised to rename a section of the institution in honor of a pioneering sickle cell disease researcher and the first black medical researcher in the hospital. hospital.
A campaign named after Dr. rodolphe jackson aimed to rename part of the building after the medical pioneer, ABC 24 reported. Members of Jackson’s family were on hand for a June 23 ceremony that unveiled two plaques named in his honor that will be placed at the lab’s entrance. of Weiss hematology in the Danny Thomas Research Center.
The building is where blood disorders are researched, something Dr. Jackson helped start at the hospital in the 1960s.
“It’s a beautiful tribute to the lifesaving work of Dr Jackson,” said Reginald PorterChief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at ALSAC, St. Jude’s fundraising and outreach organization.
Two organizations, ABCD & Company, a marketing and events agency in Rockville, Maryland, and Speer Charitable Trust, won the naming rights to the plaques after they each donated $500,000 as part of a broader five-year commitment to St. Jude.
Jackson had a tremendous impact on blood disease research that helped pave the way for a cure beyond sickle cell anemia for diseases like anemia, parasitic infections, and growth disorders that greatly threatened people. children in the 1960s, especially those from low-income households.
He worked to develop a program at St. Jude that enrolled thousands of local infants and mothers to receive nutritional assistance, medication, and diapers. The program served as the prototype for what would become the Special Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The daughters of Dr. Jackson, Kimberly Marter and Kelley Alexanderwere present for the ceremony and shared stories about their father’s legacy.
“It was important for my dad to understand what it was like for all African Americans,” Marter said.
“He wanted to make sure that other doctors offered the same type of training and opportunities in other hospitals so that we had representation around the world.”
“Even after his retirement, he was still a mentor to many young doctors,” Alexander said.
“He was doing community service and he had this compassion to let African Americans know they had someone to advocate for their health. We are very proud of him.
Dr Jackson died in August 2021 at the age of 86.