issue Summer 2021

A Need Finds Opportunity

Dr. John and Kathleen Grady

The Dr. John and Kathleen Grady Scholarship, established in 2014, embodies the values of its patrons as expressed by John F. Grady, DPM ’80, an internationally recognized foot and ankle surgeon.

“Podiatric medicine is special,” Dr. Grady said. “It’s a vocation, not a job. It requires humility and compassion. It’s really specific, focused — and desperately needed. The longer you practice, the more need you see.”

Dr. Grady has spent his career in private practice — where all eight podiatric physicians are graduates of Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine — and in education as adjunct clinical faculty for Scholl College and six other podiatry schools across the nation. He is the founder and director of the podiatric surgical residency program at Advocate Christ Medical Center and Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Dr. Grady’s philosophy of giving took shape as he matured in his profession. In the early years, he didn’t think much about philanthropy.

It’s been my experience that as soon as you begin to give, your life improves.

“Younger clinicians are focused on surviving,” he said. “You’re raising children, you’re opening a practice, paying the bills, paying down student debt. But my thinking changed once I started to pay off my bills, and as I continued to teach such excellent students who were so hungry to learn. I discovered that I am a lot happier just thinking about what I can do for others with my money or talent and whatever I have to offer. It’s been my experience that as soon as you begin to give, your life improves.”

Scholarships, Dr. Grady observes, help Scholl College recruit the best students, including those who initially consider other fields and those who, through practice and research, make significant contributions to podiatric medicine.

“That’s why scholarships are so important,” he said. “They give opportunity to people who otherwise wouldn’t have it.”

A 2000 Scholl College Alumnus of the Year, John F. Grady, DPM ’80, was elected to RFU’s Board of Trustees in 2019. He was the first American surgeon awarded an honorary membership by the Gesellschaft für Fuß- und Sprunggelenkchirurgie (German Society for Foot and Ankle Surgery). He is a 2010 recipient of the American Podiatric Medical Association’s Award of Excellence, and the founder of The Illinois Institute for Foot & Ankle Surgery. His contributions to podiatric medicine, including innovations in reconstructive surgery, have garnered international recognition.