Hedy Smith

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Dr. Smith has been in clinical practice as a Hematologist at tertiary academic hospitals for the past 17 years. As director of the non-malignant Hematology services at Tufts Medical Center, she led the effort to restructure the clinical program for the management of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD). She oversaw a multi-disciplinary team caring for patients with SCD and has successfully advocated for a day clinic through her infusion center. Dr. Smith spearheaded an effort to partner with her institution's emergency room physicians to individualize the treatment of patients with SCD. Each patient in her practice has a pain protocol which instructs their care in the emergency department. These innovations have been transformative in the lives of the patients in her practice. She has engaged her pediatric colleagues in discussions on novel approaches to the process of transition from pediatric to adult care. She has been the principal investigator on several clinical drug trials in sickle cell disease and has supervised SCD-related clinical research projects conducted by Hematology fellows. One of these documented the narratives of patients with SCD in great detail, giving them an opportunity to discuss their very difficult relationships with providers. The contrast was drawn with the provider’s narratives and their perception of the interaction. Another project examined the disparities in the reporting of pain during vasoocclusive crises; between the providers and patients. The study looked at the impact of this on clinical outcomes and length of hospital stay. Curative therapies such as bone marrow transplant and gene therapy for sickle cell disease remain a strong interest of hers. Dr. Smith brings a vast clinical experience in Hematology (non-malignant and malignant) and commitment to medical education that spans more than a decade.