Paula (Kavasch ’67) Groncy has been a physician in southern California for more than 30 years, specializing in pediatric and adolescent hematology oncology. In 1991, she established the Sickle Cell Center at Miller Children’s Hospital, an achievement that helped propel her to recognition as Physician of the Year by the Pediatric Hematology Oncology unit at the same hospital. A decade later, she established the hospital’s Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center. She has served as the director of both centers since their inceptions. Groncy is a member of numerous professional organizations and societies, serving as an auditor and clinical investigator for Children’s Oncology Group, and treasurer of the board of directors for Miller Children’s Hospital Subspecialty Group. She also serves as a physician adviser for Parents Against Cancer and, in March 2006, completed her first marathon in a fundraising effort for the same organization, raising $4,200. Before completing her medical degree at The Ohio State University in 1971, Groncy earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry at Valparaiso University, where she was a student of Christ College. She is a former member of Valparaiso University’s Christ College National Council.
On her time at Valpo, Groncy says, “It is a great honor to have been selected to receive this award. … I have always thought of Valpo as part of my family, not only because my father and two sisters-in-law attended Valpo, but also because Valpo was my family during the years I attended. My professors took an active interest in me and my fellow classmates. We were not just students in a classroom, we were people. I’ve tried to maintain a similar relationship with the interns and residents in training with whom I work.”