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Jeanne A. Smith, 75; sickle cell expert pushed testing of infants

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Dr. Jeanne A. Smith, 75, a hematologist and expert on sickle cell anemia who helped expand federal guidelines for testing infants, died Nov. 11 of a stoke in Lewisboro, N.Y., the New York Times reported.

Through the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, Smith led several studies on the disease financed by the National Institutes of Health.

According to the Times, she helped lead a federal panel that in 1993 called for broadened screening for the disease.

The group suggested that infants and children in families of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and South American origin be included.

That recommendation and others that called for vaccinations and daily treatments of penicillin to prevent infections were widely adopted after their initial acceptance by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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According to the Times, Smith was a co-principal investigator of a key National Institutes of Health study in the 1970s that traced sickle cell from infancy to adulthood.

Smith was born in New York City and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College before earning her medical degree at New York University. She received a master’s degree in public health from Columbia.

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Lynn Bennett, owner of the Sahara Hotel and Casino, died Sunday at her home in Las Vegas. She was 64.


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