The professor is dead Francesco Caronia, a hematologist from Palermo. He began his university career at the Faculty of Medicine in Palermo, already in the 1960s setting up a first group of Hematologists at the Medical Pathology of the time. He dealt with applied research and studies immunoproliferative pathologies, coming to publish several scientific articles on the subject, so much so that he was recognized as one of the leading experts in the field. Caronia was also involved in politics as an activist of the PCI, even reaching institutional positions, such as municipal councilor.
In the 1970s, together with other colleagues from the Policlinico di Palermo, he became one of the protagonists of the transformation of the Sanatorio Vincenzo Cervello into a specialized hospital where he constituted the Hematology Division, which was rapidly destined to become a center of reference, not only regional, also for transplantation. hematopoietic. He called several young haematologists to collaborate in this enterprise and, a rare case for the time, also numerous biologists. Together with them, he succeeds in strengthening the Unit by creating both a strong care center, and by favoring the birth of advanced laboratories, of molecular and cellular genetics and histocompatibility (HLA), laying the foundations for the establishment of the hematopoietic transplant and important achievements in applied research. Thanks to his foresight, a very articulated working group was set up, which in addition to the ordinary hospitalization, guaranteed a strong outpatient assistance as well as a pioneering short and daily hospitalization (what will be years later called “Day Hospital”), with the hidden goal to complete the path up to home care.
Professor Caronia at the same time supported the birth of a strong volunteer pole, favoring the foundation of various associations such as Ail, Admo, Fratres, which gave, and continues to give, the added value necessary to involve civil society in haematological assistance and in the support of patients’ families. Thanks to AIL, important help was given to assistance in the ward and at home for patients, until the first hotel house in the city dedicated to families of hemopaths was created. Thanks to Admo and Fratres, serious foundations began to be laid to promote the donation of bone marrow and, in addition to blood, also of platelets and plasma, thus giving a serious innovative boost to a sector of strategic importance for the treatment of hemopathies.
Ail commemorates him with a note: “We like to remember Ciccio Caronia for what was perhaps his most important quality, namely that of knowing how to listen and encourage teamwork, leaving all collaborators free to develop ideas and programs, supporting them. in an apparently detached form, but in reality full of respect for their professionalism. A dutiful thanks to him from all his collaborators “.
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