First, it was the positive reputation of Akron Children’s skeletal dysplasia center, and second, his personal interest in bone disease.
Also known as brittle bone disease, OI is a genetic condition that causes extremely fragile bones. Most people with OI are also below average height.
Dr. Artinian has cleidocranial dysplasia, which is associated with moderate short stature, scoliosis and problems with teeth, collarbone and skull development. There are some similarities with OI including decreased bone density and the variability of the condition from individual to individual.
“I don’t have a ton of major health issues associated with this condition, and in fact, many shorter than average people may be walking around with it and not know it,” said Dr. Artinian.
According to his OI patients, having a doctor who can personally relate to the families’ concerns makes all the difference.
“The fact that Dr. Artinian has a skeletal dysplasia makes him so relatable to families like us,” said Sara Taggart, mother of Annie, an OI clinic patient. “It’s so awesome to talk to an adult with a disability. He makes you feel like you’re learning together.”
The OI clinic, co-directed by Dr. William Schrader, began in October 2015. While Dr. Schrader covers the surgical needs of patients, Dr. Artinian acts as the “heart and soul” of the clinic handling their overall health needs.
Dr. Artinian received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.
He practiced in Iowa before coming to Akron Children’s in 2014, and now practices at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics – Perry Township.
Working with the diverse OI team – from orthopedics and genetics to physical therapy and dietary – is a “dream come true” for Dr. Artinian. And the clinic families are just as enthusiastic about him.
“I just love working with Dr. Artinian,” said Jolitta Iorfida, mother of OI patient Silas. “He and the clinic staff have done wonders for my son, who will now grow up with more mobility and less breaks.”
Before Akron Children’s opened the OI clinic, parents had to travel hundreds of miles to Omaha, Neb., or Wilmington, Del., to get care for the complex disease.
Dr. Artinian plans to ramp up the OI clinic and help pediatricians play a larger role in OI patient care. He’d also like to offer bone-strengthening infusion treatments in the clinic instead of in a separate location.
“What matters is how the child does over time,” said Dr. Artinian. “A huge part of this care includes good nutrition and exercise.”
His philosophy emphasizes a holistic approach. He feels that children receive the best care when there is a partnership between parents and their healthcare provider that focuses on 2-way communication.