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Patrick M. Growney M.D.

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Patrick M. Growney M.D. Obituary
PATRICK M. GROWNEY, M.D. March 30, 1933 - December 8, 2013 Patrick M. Growney, MD, of Villanova, Pennsylvania -- a renowned physician on the Main Line and consummate gentleman -- passed suddenly but peacefully to new life on December 8th. He was 80. Dr. Growney was born in New York City in 1933, the son of Patrick Joseph Growney, Esquire and Lillian Stoneman Growney. He grew up in Bergen County, NJ. At the age of 3, after several corrective procedures, a congenital eye condition claimed the sight in his right eye. Dr. Growney never regarded his partial blindness as a disability and gravitated toward sports in school and during his summers in Highland Lakes, NJ, where he excelled in swimming, tennis, softball and won recognition for his prowess with a yo-yo. He was a three-sport athlete at Bergenfield High School and earned All-County honors in soccer and basketball. Other extra-curricular pursuits included singing in Bergenfield's a cappella choir and playing percussion in the school's orchestra. Dr. Growney finished as the salutatorian of his high school class. His academic credentials led him to Princeton University, where he continued his musical interests as a drummer in the marching band and played intercollegiate basketball until he suffered a career-ending knee injury. He was a member of the Cannon Club and an avid pool and billiards player. He graduated cum laude from Princeton 1955. He continued to spend summers in Highland Lakes, were he met his wife of 57 years -- Dorothy Carr Inglis, a student at Wagner College School of Nursing on Staten Island. They were married in Brooklyn after Dr. Growney's second year of medical school at Georgetown University. The couple lived in Washington DC and had their first 2 children while Dr. Growney completed his post-graduate degree in medicine. He graduated cum laude from Georgetown in 1959. Dr. Growney performed his residency in Internal Medicine and, later, his fellowship in hematology, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife had their 3rd child while living in Haddonfield, NJ. He joined the medical staff at Bryn Mawr Hospital in 1964, where he served as Chief of the Hematology Service for thirty-four years. The couple relocated to Wynnewood, had a 4th child, and finally settled in Gladwyne. Dr. Growney was board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology. As such, he devoted his professional career to treating patients battling blood and lymphatic diseases such as aplastic anemia, multiple myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma as well as other forms of cancer. He utilized his expertise and his storied compassion as a caregiver to touch the lives of so many in the course of their ordeals. In 1969, Dr. Growney and 5 colleagues had the vision collaborate clinically and offer an array of services using a team-oriented approach. It was novel and bold to combine specialty practices during a time when physicians traditionally practiced separately. They established Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association, which today consists of 62 physicians practicing in 9 medical specialties. The group anticipated the integration of providers to coordinate patient care and proved the merit of a new model of practice. Dr. Growney and others also joined forces to provide medical coverage for Rush Hospital in Malvern, which had turned it focus to geriatric medicine and physiatry. Two years after initial arrangements, the hospital merged into BMH and became known as Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. Growney was instrumental in helping to foster that affiliation. In 1984, he also supported hospital executives in connection with the formation of Main Line Health, a new healthcare system involving BMH, BMRH, Lankenau Hospital and, later, Paoli Hospital. Dr. Growney was a medical staff leader for much of his career. He was elected as President of the BMH Medical Staff in 1987 and served on the hospital's Executive Committee and Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1991. He worked closely with administrators as the new system evolved, mindful of the pressures changing healthcare. Dr. Growney retired in 1998 but remained an Emeritus member of the medical staff. During his tenure, Dr. Growney was keenly interested in nursing and medical education. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and was a hematology/oncology consultant at Veterans Hospital in Wilmington. Students at BMH once awarded him with what was affectionately known as the "Revere Bowl" - an honor given to the physician who provided the greatest support to hospital residents. Throughout his career, Dr. Growney was adored and respected by colleagues, staff members, patients and their families, nurses and others. He was regarded as a quintessential gentleman, a brilliant clinician and a warm and understanding caregiver who gave guidance and support to patients suffering from chronic and often terminal illnesses. In his personal life, he enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Philadelphia County Club. At PCC, Dr. Growney enjoyed spending time on a weekly basis with the "Raiders" - a group of senior members and cherished friends who played golf together every week. During retirement, he spent portions of the winter in Bonita Bay, FL, where he was a member of the Bonita Bay Country Club. He was also an avid gardener and enjoyed traveling, writing poetry and children's stories, crossword puzzles, painting, photography, baseball cards and a good game of poker. But probably his greatest joy was watching his children and grandchildren play sports, particularly lacrosse, and he was a fixture on the sidelines in support of his family. He was a member of the fun-loving "Ralph Club" - an aggregation of fathers who celebrated and often embellished their sons' achievements on the playing field and who later formed the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association as the regional chapter of US Lacrosse. Dr. Growney was an avid supporter of the PLA; he played in its golf outing every year to help raise funds to support the growth of the game in Southeastern PA. He was exceedingly fortunate to have the success he enjoyed professionally and personally. After all the sickness and suffering he saw in his career, he appreciated the vicissitudes of fate, the value of time together and the important things in life. When asked over Thanksgiving what he was thankful for, he said "Our great family." And as he wrote with a note of optimism in the program for his 50th anniversary reunion at Princeton -- "Isn't this life the greatest, or what?" Dr. Growney is survived by his beloved wife Dorothy, his sister Lillian Theresa Growney; four children - Patrice Growney (Mark) Aitken, Scott (McCall) Growney, Esq., Steven R. Growney, MD, and Dorothy "Doss" (Peter) Masterson; and nine grandchildren - Colton, Chase, and Scottie Rose Growney; Chandler, Schuyler and Doxrud "Dox" Aitken; and Reilly, Peter "Jack," and Peyton Masterson. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 am on Sat., December 21, 2013 at St. David's Episcopal Church, 763 S. Valley Forge Road, Wayne. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Philadelphia Lacrosse Association, 107 Steinbright Drive, Collegeville, PA 19426; the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675; or The Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation Nursing Excellence Fund, 130 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Chadwick & McKinney Funeral Home www.chadwickmckinney.com
Published in Main Line Media News on Dec. 17, 2013
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