Remembering Dr. Adrian Grubs

Capital Cardiology Associates is sad to learn of the passing of our colleague, friend, and founding partner, Dr. Adrian Welles Grubs
The following content is comprised of Dr. Grubs’ online obituary and an internal employee newsletter published in 2008 when Dr. Grubs announced his retirement from our practice.

Dr. Adrian Welles Grubs, resident at the Woodlands at Furman (Greenville, South Carolina), died suddenly on August 22, 2017, after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born on January 21, 1933, at Cornwell-on-Hudson, attended the public schools of Monticello, N.Y. He then graduated from Norwich University in 1955. Following his graduation at Norwich, Dr. Grubs attended the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He served his internship and one year of residency in Albany, then served two years in the 5th Army medical unit, caring for Nike Missile crews. Leaving with the rank of Captain, he returned to Albany and completed his program of residency in cardiology.

He then practiced in Albany for 43 years, starting the cardiovascular unit at St. Peter’s Hospital. His group had offices in Albany and Troy, and Bennington, Vt. In his civic life, he served on several boards and committees, as well as the board of governors of the Albany Country Club, where he continued to enjoy golf and parties.

Dr. Grubs, one of the original founders of the practice that became Capital Cardiology Associates, retired on January 31, 2008. In reflecting about his career, Dr. Grubs stated that in those days cardiology seemed simple, but it wasn’t. Physicians only had four or five heart medications, and only right heart catheterizations were done. Cardiac surgery was only in its nascent stages, there was no such thing as a pacemaker, and the mortality of a heart attack brought into the hospital was 50%. It was a little better if the patient suffered a heart attack in the hospital because they were just beginning to do mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compressions. Prior to that, doctors cut into the chest to directly massage the heart.

Medical highlights during Dr. Grubs’ career include improved testing, especially CT imaging, catheterizations, pacemaker development and his own integral involvement in developing and directing the first, second, and third Coronary Care Units at St. Peter’s Hospital. Much of the way it was developed is still in use today. He was Chief of Staff at St. Peter’s from 1975-1977 and on the Board of Directors for St. Peter’s from 1977-80. Dr. Grubs also served on the Medical Board of Albany Medical Center from 1977-78 and is mentioned in “Who’s Who of American MDs”.

In retirement, Dr. Grubs provided some cardiology coverage in Saranac Lake. He and his wife, Shirley, enjoyed extensive travels. He also had time to improve his golf game, splitting time in their retirement community in the mountains of South Carolina as well as their home in the Adirondacks.

Dr. Grubs is survived by his wife, Shirley Ullmann Grubs. They were married in 1956 and enjoyed 61 years together. He is also survived by three daughters, Lori Grubs (Dorie Perec) of Austin, Texas, Deanna Moerer (Kim) of Stroudsburg, Pa., and Dr. Robin Grubs (Dr. Roy Clark) of Export, Pa.; a grandchild, Colette Clark of Export; and a niece Barbara Sue Schildhorn of Kingston. A memorial service will be held, September 23, at 1 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Travelers Rest, S.C. In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to make a gift to the charity of one’s choice.

To those of us who will miss his easy smile and joking manner (especially his cheer on the 1st of May), Adrian Grubs was as sweet as the whipped cream he loved to put on everything.