Program Director

Mitchell S. Cairo, MD

Clinical Director

Jessica Hochberg, MD

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Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease

The Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital serves infants, children, adolescents and young adults affected throughout the Hudson Valley. The program is led by an experienced team of physicians, nurses, and social workers in both English and Spanish.

Patients are identified through the Newborn Screening Program, and parents are contacted to arrange an appointment. Through collaboration with the Stem Cell Transplantation team, patients can benefit from the most cutting-edge therapies available. Patients and their families are evaluated in a family-friendly atmosphere, and appointments to see other sub-specialists or to undergo testing are all done on the same day. We provide personal care to our patients with sickle cell disease. Additionally, we are the founding center in the Haplo SCD Consortium stem cell transplant clinical trial.


[Our Clinical Trials, Patient Information]

  • Hemoglobin SS
  • Hemoglobin SC
  • Hemoglobin S/thalassemia
  • Other Hemoglobin S syndromes
  • Hemoglobin S trait
  • Hemoglobin C trait

Unique Features

  • Newborn Screening Program
  • Comprehensive Stem and Cellular Therapy and Transplantation Program
  • Bilingual physicians, nurses, and social workers
  • Advanced customized patient treatment protocols
  • Neurocognitive Screening and Care
  • Erythrocytosis and exchange transfusion to prevent iron accumulation in patients on hypertransfusion treatments
  • Novel and targeted treatment for acute chest syndrome
  • Multidisciplinary team approach, including dedicated social worker and psychologist

Research and Education Highlights

  • ACGME Accredited Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, and Stem Cell Transplantation Fellowship Training Program
  • Student, resident, and other allied health professional elective/selectives
  • PTCTC, Member Institution
  • National Marrow Donor Program, Member Institution


Success Stories

CBS2 | 8-Year-Old Named Ambassador At Maria Fareri Children's Hospital After Beating Back Blood Disease And Rare Brain Syndrome

NBC4 | 8-Year-Old Sickle Cell Ambassador

People Magazine | 17-Year-Old Who Beat Life-Threatening Disease Now Hopes to Become Doctor — and Is Headed to Harvard! (People Magazine)

NBC4 | Sickle Cell Disease Survivor Pays It Forward (NBC4)


More Information

Understanding Sickle Cell Disease

Contact Us

Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplant
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595

Edo Schaefer, MD

Emily Thatcher, PA-C

By Car


Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital is served by Metro North's Harlem line via two stations:

  • White Plains - Bus transfer options available
  • Hawthorne - Taxi service available For train fare and schedule information, call 1-800-METRO-INFO or go to METRO NORTH


There are three bus lines (Westchester Bee Line) you can take to our campus. Please call 914.813.7777 for bus routes and fares.

Campus Map

The Westchester Medical Center campus includes the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center.

Braniecki, Suzanne H., PhD
Suzanne Braniecki, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
  • Clinical Neuropsychologist
Cairo, Mitchell S., MD
Mitchell Cairo, MD

Chief, Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation;
Director, Childhood and Adolescent Cancer and Blood Diseases Center
  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Campbell, Megan C., FNP
  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Gardenswartz, Aliza E., MD
Aliza Gardenswartz, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Pereira, Lila M., PhD
Lila Pereira, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry & Neurology, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Psychologist, Clinical
Schaefer, Edo, MD
Edo Schaefer, MD
Assistant Professor, New York Medical College
  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
Thatcher, Emily M., PA
  • Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology

Social Work

Barbara McLain, LCSW