The Jim Tarantino BCDI Hero Award

Each year, BCDI recognizes and honors individuals who go above and beyond in making an impact to the bleeding and clotting disorders community. Starting in 2024, this prestigious distinction will be renamed “The Jim Tarantino BCDI Hero Award.”

Jim Tarantino, the brother of BCDI CEO/CMO Dr. Michael Tarantino, passed away unexpectedly in January 2024. Whether through generous donations or lending his expertise to drive the construction of BCDI’s state of the art campus, Jim’s support of the bleeding and clotting disorders community and BCDI was abundant, giving of himself freely and without reservation, taking great joy in helping those around him.

Jim Tarantino is a perfect example of the qualities of a BCDI Hero, and the highest award BCDI honors will now be named after Jim’s legacy.


2024 Recipient: Caroline Kruse

Caroline Kruse is the President and CEO of the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA), the global leader in empowering individuals with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Caroline’s visionary leadership is supported by the fact that she has lived with ITP as a patient.

“Through Caroline’s direction of PDSA, she has helped thousands of people with ITP with advocacy, support groups, annual meetings and conferences and the PDSA website,” BCDI CEO/CMO Dr. Michael Tarantino said. “I really consider her one of my heroes. She is the model for advocacy for people that need a voice.”

Caroline’s main focus in her 16 years at PDSA was patient advocacy, resulting in PDSA’s Patient Connect program growing to over 60 ITP support groups across North America. Caroline co-founded the International ITP Alliance in 2016 which has expanded to 32 patient associations in 27 countries around the world.

Through Caroline’s leadership, PDSA has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money to support individuals with ITP and for research. Caroline has co-authored over 30 publications to spread the ITP patient perspectives and experiences to numerous scientific publications.

BCDI, the ITP patient population and the entire bleeding disorders community is extremely fortunate to have Caroline’s support and leadership. We are honored to present her with the 2024 Jim Tarantino BCDI Hero Award!


Previous BCDI Hero Award Recipients

Year AwardedAward Recipient
2024Caroline Kruse
2023Representative Darin LaHood
2022Patrick and Denise Dills
2021Jim Tarantino
2019Kristie and Deveraux Hubbard
2018Bob Robinson
2017Susanna Riley
2016Kollet Koulianos
2015Representative Mike Unes


The stunning Jim Tarantino BCDI Hero Award, created by the incredible team at Karg Art Glass.