Meet the Board
Annette Gantt is our new Chair of the board of directors at SCMA. She comes to our organization with twenty-five (25) years of board experience.
She has primarily worked in the nonprofit sector, and currently holds a leadership position with a very prominent organization, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She also carries the badge of being a caregiver to a daughter living with Sickle Cell disease. Annette is excited about the opportunity to chair the board as we work together to prepare SCMA for success.”
Simone Uwan MD is the
Co-founder and director of SCMA. Dr. Uwan (preferably called Dr. Simone) attended Barnard College at Columbia University in Manhattan, NY for her undergraduate work. She studied medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and afterwards completed her residency as a
Family Practice physician at a Stanford School of Medicine affiliated Family Practice Residency program.
From early on she committed her life to serving underrepresented minority populations. Throughout her career as Family Practice physician, she has had the honor of caring for sickle cell patients with the compassion they often long for.
She has developed an active presence on social media where she teaches a global audience about Sickle Cells. She created a group called “Sickle Cell Stories with Doctor Simone” on Facebook where she teaches to make sure that every Sickle Cell survivor becomes a Sickle cell Thriver. She covers many health management strategies not covered in the textbooks. Her free teaching videos can be found on her YouTube channel Sickle Cell Medical Advocacy by Dr. Simone.
(For more about Dr. Simone, please see selection tab “The Sickle Cell Doctor.”)
Aniekan Uwan is the Co-founder and CFO of SCMA. Husband of Simone Uwan, MD. Aniekan has a background in Project Management. That skill was honed while working at Google, as a Senior Project Specialist overseeing international projects.
His Accounting skills are also a welcomed asset. Exceptional relationship-building skills and keen problem solver, positively affecting overall productivity and work culture. These skills will lend themselves well to the organization.
Pierre Fotso MD is the Associate Director of in-patient Medicine here at Orlando Regional Medical Center here in Orlando, Florida. He completed medical school in Moscow, Russia and graduated in 2001.
He then completed Internal Medicine Residency at Orlando Regional Medical Center and started Hospitalist group after residency.
He is recognized as a skilled and thorough hospitalist. Dr. Fotso has joined forces to change the way Sickle Cell patients are managed in the inpatient setting, and has written about the effects of structural racism and unconscious bias on the treatment of patients living with Sickle Cell disease.
Rita Hoyt has been a certified nutritionist here in Orlando Florida for over two decades. She brings this knowledge as well as her strengths in fundraising and social connection to the organization.
Ade Adeyokunnu is the Director of Marketing and has always been passionate about sickle cell advocacy for as long as he can remember. It’s what drove him to create sikcell.com in 2009, the first online community for people living with sickle cell disease. He believes building a support network of people who understand what you’re going through is crucial when you’re living with an isolating and often misunderstood, chronic condition like this sickle cell disease. Ade brings extensive technology consulting experience as a former tech consultant with multiple big 4 firms. He now works in product marketing at a technology company. Ade received his MBA from The University of Texas, his B.A. in Computer science from St. Marys and his MSc in IT from Stevenson University.
Kara O’Connor is a
Board member and volunteer staff. She sits on others Board including her local YMCA, and has been in the financial services industry for 25 years. She currently owns a financial advisory practice in Nebraska.
She is pursuing her Organizational Communications degree with Creighton University. She says “I am passionate about community, diversity and equity”. She's married with three teenage sons and an adopted son who lives with Sickle Cell disease.
Jenny Valentin is on the advisory board. She has been an emergency room nurse for nine years and is currently the Charge Nurse at her local hospital’s Emergency Room.
She has made healthcare equity for patients living with Sickle Cell disease a big part of her platform, with her area of interest being to include Sickle Cell disease management into the curriculum of nurses with cultural sensitivity as well. She is excited about helping to develop the curriculum for nurses.
Lena Harvey is a Sickle Cell Warrior & Advocate, Content Creator, Hair Model, and is a true Visionary. Lena hails from the heartland of Indianapolis, Indiana with husband Anthony, son Jaxon and dog Apollo. Lena has an eclectic yet powerful professional history, having become a chef as well as a bridal stylist. She is most proud of her more than a decade of SCD advocacy and awareness. Lena is a proud client of the historic Martin Center Sickle Cell Initiative. Over the years, Lena has volunteered, been employed by, as well as served on various panels and committees. Lena is co-chair to the Indiana Sickle Cell Awareness Day Committee. As of 2022 Lena has fully dedicated her time and energy to Sickle Cell warriors everywhere.