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BCDI Breaks Ground On Old Midstate College Campus

The Bleeding and Clotting Disorders Institute will soon call home the former Midstate College campus.

BCDI is moving from its previous location on Lindbergh Drive in far north Peoria after it outgrew that space. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis said BCDI's reinvestment in the old campus on Northmoor is an important reinvestment in that part of the community.

"If there's one thing, you're going to take away from here, this is a reinforcement of Peoria as it's in the process of reinventing itself," said Ardis. "Peoria has done that over decades, through different times of ups and downs. This community is on the way to establishing itself as a premier healthcare community."

Ardis said BCDI is considered one of the country's top hemophilia treatment centers. It's also the only one in Illinois outside Chicago.

The area around Knoxville and Northmoor has seen several major projects in recent years, including the Kellar Station, Donovan Park, Rock Island Trail, and nearby Junction City.

"What BCDI does is continue to put Peoria on the map," said U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria). "Whether it's the economic development that this is going to bring and bringing more people to Peoria, or helping out the families and kids and children throughout the state of Illinois."

Joshua Gunn, president and CEO of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, said he knows personally how important blood clot treatment can be. Several years ago, he suffered from a deep vein thrombosis in his calf.

"I lost my grandfather to a pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot which travels up to your lungs. So very, very scary," Gunn said. "I went to the doctor, and there was no doctor in that town that could help me, so I drove several hours to fortunately find a hematologist who gave me what I needed, gave me the medication, and quite honestly, could have saved my life."

Gunn said Peoria is fortunate to have that level of care so close to home.

Several speakers credited Dr. Michael Tarantino, BCDI's CEO and chief medical officer.

"Because of our tremendous, dedicated expert staff, Peoria community support, wonderful patient community, BCDI has become the destination for - I'm a little biased - but the best comprehensive care in downstate Illinois, and for certain disorders and referrals, for patients over the U.S." 

Tarantino was persuaded to uproot his family and move to Peoria 21 years ago. It's a decision he said he's never regretted.

BCDI will occupy part of the former Midstate College campus. A commercial retailer or restaurant will occupy another portion of the former campus. A ribbon cutting is tentatively planned for next summer.

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Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio /