The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) lost a member of its family earlier this year. Inger Margareta Grenvik, beloved wife of founding Society member and past president, Ake Grenvik, MD, PhD, MCCM, passed away on January 21 at the age of 83.
“The Society has lost a giant,” said Society President Craig M. Coopersmith, MD, FCCM. “Inger was an important member of our SCCM family from the very beginnings of the organization.” Her contributions, he added, “will never be forgotten.”
Inger was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on Sept. 14, 1931. After completing a then traditional all-girls school, she received an associate degree in medical technology at the Karolinska Institute. Inger and Ake married on May 31, 1952. Lifelong partners, Inger provided unconditional support as Ake revolutionized the field of critical care medicine through his prolific clinical research and integral role in founding the Society.
“Inger Grenvik was a truly special contributor to SCCM and its mission,” said Patrick M. Kochanek, MD, MCCM, Ake N. Grenvik Professor of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and editor of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine. “I never met a more loyal and dedicated volunteer, and I know that she took pride in helping a society that she strongly believed in.” Inger, he noted, quite possibly attended more consecutive Society meetings than any volunteer in the organization’s history.
Inger and Ake had four children: Anders, Monica, Christer, and Stefan. Tragically, Christer passed in 1989 of a brain tumor while an anesthesiology resident. Inger and Ake consequently initiated the Christer Grenvik Memorial Award, which reflected Christer’s deep interest in ethics and end-of-life care. This prestigious Society accolade, now known as the Grenvik Family Award for Ethics, is given each year to acknowledge an SCCM member who has made significant contributions toward addressing ethical problems in critical care.
Of course, creating something so altruistic after such a loss spoke volumes about Inger’s constitution. It also encapsulated her perennial and unwavering commitment to advancing the aims of the Society.
“She will be greatly missed,” said Dr. Kochanek.