Celebrating Diversity Within the Sickle Cell Community: Commitment, Innovation, Practice
avatar for Velvet Brown Watts, MSW, CM

Velvet Brown Watts, MSW, CM

Oklahoma Healthcare Authority (Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, Inc.)
Master Level Social Worker
Velvet Brown-Watts is the Founder and Chairperson of Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, Inc. Supporters (as it is affectionately known) is a community-based Oklahoma nonprofit organization that has assisted families living with sickle cell and its inherited diseases and traits since, 2004. Supporters is an IRS 501(c)(3) designated nonprofit agency in the state of Oklahoma; and is the only comprehensive grassroots education, advocacy and family enrichment organization. Supporters serves as a center of contact and referral services for community resources to assist individuals and impacted by sickle cell and its inherited disorders and traits.  Supporters promotes self-care management, testing, education, research and development, and economic self-sufficiency as key approaches to empowerment and effective management of sickle cell disease. The vision is to break the cycle of the disease by increasing self-efficacy and improving the overall quality of life for children, adults and families impacted.
Velvet is an inspirational voice in the sickle cell community.  She is a pioneering executive, social worker and community activist.  She is the wife of Pastor Jeremiah Sr., and mother of four children, of which Jeremiah Jr. was diagnosed with sickle cell disease in 2004.  Velvet fuses profound cultural sensitivity and team-work, with a heart of compassion and understanding. She is passionate about leadership, social justice, dignity and worth of a person. She knows the importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence for those who serve individuals within the disability communities.  Velvet believes “empowering” people who are vulnerable is the best way to help one become successful in life.
Raised, in the inner city of Chicago with a theology of service to others, Velvet loves people. Velvet received the Social Justice Award from University of Oklahoma Women Gender Studies for her work with sickle cell disease and women, in 2010, and was also named graduate student of the year by the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for her advocacy and awareness work with Sickle Cell Disease in the state of Oklahoma. In 2018, Velvet was inducted into the Tulsa’s 100 Black Men Hall of Honor for her work in the community pertaining to sickle cell.
Velvet has spent over 20 years in social services, serving on several non-profit community boards, and volunteering with many different organizations in Oklahoma. Velvet conducts workshops for varies agencies throughout Oklahoma regarding the impact of SCD/SCT to the family and the community.  Velvet is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, Phi Alpha Honor Society and was a member of Oklahoma Sickle Cell Disease Association of America Patient Advocacy Committee. Velvet is currently, the President of the General Assembly of the Sickle Cell Community Consortium. Velvet holds an AA in Liberal Arts from Tulsa Community College, a BSW degree in Social Work from Northeastern University and MSW in Administration and Organization from the University of Oklahoma. Velvet is a certified case manager through the Advantage Program and has extensive knowledge as a medical social worker in hospice and home health. She is an advisory member of the My Sister’s Keeper, mentorship and leadership program for women.  Through Velvet’s work, Supporters of Families with Sickle Cell Disease, was recognized with the Phyllis Zachery Thomas Award for advocacy. Supporters is a partner and contractor with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority providing statewide education, outreach and advocacy. Supporters is the state of Oklahoma entity for the HRSA SCDAA Newborn Screening Program. Under Velvet’s leadership the first Oklahoma Sickle Cell Collective Impact Team was created to address the gap and proving patient center outcomes recommendations. Velvet is passionate about serving the Oklahoma community and empowering others thriving with sickle cell and its related disorders and traits.  Her motto is “Learn the Facts, Know the Truth, Save a Life- Sickle Cell Disease Awareness”.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, October 12

12:00pm EDT