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Dr. Tarantino named Physician of the Year

National Hemophilia Foundation names UICOMP’s
Dr. Tarantino ‘Physician of the Year’



Dr. Michael Tarantino, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and Director of the Bleeding and Clotting Disorders Institute, was named Physician of the Year by the National Hemophilia Foundation.

Tarantino’s contributions to the hemophilia community include more than 75 peer-reviewed scientific publications, a lead investigator for the first fully synthetic blood clotting factor product and service on various boards, committees and sub-committees that have helped shape care for patients with bleeding disorders around the world. Tarantino has been a physician and faculty member in Peoria for 13 years.

Dr. Tarantino received the 2012 Kenneth Brinkhous Physician of the Year award. This is the highest honor given to a physician by the National Hemophilia Foundation. The award ceremony took place during the NHF’s annual meeting held in Orlando, Fla.

Tarantino directs a network of clinics in Peoria, Rockford, Macomb, Danville and five other cities. The number of patients has tripled in the last 2.5 years to more than 1,500 patients.

Tarantino said he is actively trying to bring about more community awareness to a lesser-known but more common bleeding disorder called von Willebrand Disease. People with von Willebrand’s take longer to stop bleeding than normal. Some symptoms include easy bruising, frequent or excessive nosebleeds and heavy menstrual bleeding.

“When I arrived in Peoria in 1999, I cared for approximately 30 patients with von Willebrand’s,” says Tarantino. “Now, we have over 250 patients in our clinic and even a special Comprehensive Care Clinic for women with bleeding disorders that is mostly comprised of women with von Willebrand’s Disease.”

By the Numbers:

20,000: Approximate number of people in the U.S. with hemophilia, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Hemophilia refers to a group of bleeding disorders in which the blood takes a long time to clot.

1,000: Number people in Illinois with hemophilia. The incidence of hemophilia is not changing.

Up to 1 percent of the U.S. population, or about 3 million people, may have von Willebrand Disease, a more common but less severe clotting disorder.

The number of women seeking treatment at hemophilia treatment centers for bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand’s disease has increased by 50 percent during the past ten years, to more than 10,000 in 2009, according to the National Hemophilia Foundation.