Professor honored as healthcare educator of the year

April 12, 2024

Tania Grgurich

Tania Grgurich, clinical professor of diagnostic imaging in the School of Health Sciences, was honored as the healthcare educator of the year at the Hamden Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Warrior Awards ceremony on April 11.

Last year, Grgurich became a living kidney donor after learning that Quinnipiac student Samantha Markham ‘21 was facing challenges due to a childhood kidney transplant that was beginning to fail.

While Grgurich did not donate directly to Markham, by offering to be an altruistic donor through Yale’s Kidney Exchange Program, she guaranteed Markham received a living kidney donation, while also setting off a chain of transplants with two other donor-recipients registered with Yale’s organ transplant program.

"I am humbled and grateful to be among the recipients of this year’s Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Heroes Award,” said Grgurich, clinical professor of diagnostic imaging in the School of Health Sciences. “My journey over the past 18 months has been a whirlwind of emotions, from the initial testing, hoping that I would be approved as a living kidney donor and a match for my student, to learning that I could start a chain that would not only benefit Samantha, but also two others, and later, learning that all of the surgeries were successful and everyone is doing well.”

Bethany Zemba, vice president for strategy and community relations and chief of staff at Quinnipiac, nominated Grgurich for the award.

“Tania is not only a well-respected faculty member, well regarded by both her students and colleagues, but she is a hero,” Zemba wrote. “Tania is an amazing human being who is not only advancing the healthcare field by teaching and training diagnostic imaging students, but by saving lives.”

“When I think of healthcare heroes, I think of every person who has been instrumental not only in my journey, but those of all the donors and recipients in our chain,” Grgurich said. “As healthcare workers, we don’t work in silos. We are all part of a team, each doing our very best for our patients. When I think of this incredible honor, I think of everyone who has been instrumental in my journey, without them, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

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