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Grace H. Elta (Author photo 1, Author photo 2, Author photo 3, Author photo 4, Author photo 5, Author photo 6, Author photo 7, Author photo 8, Author photo 9; Video 1, available online at www.VideoGIE.org) was born in Flint, Michigan, in 1951. She attended the University of Michigan for both her bachelor of science and medical degrees, where she was awarded Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honor societies. Her internal medicine residency and GI fellowship were at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. In 1982, she returned to Ann Arbor for a faculty position and was promoted to Professor of Medicine in 1997. In 2015, she was named the H. Marvin Pollard Collegiate Chair of Gastroenterology. She has had many administrative duties in Ann Arbor; since 1986 she has been the physician lead of the GI outpatient clinics and from 2002 to 2017 was the Associate Chief for Clinical Programs in Gastroenterology and the Physician Lead for the Medical Procedures Unit.
In the 1990s, Grace served on the Governing Board of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) during her term as Chair of the AGA Patient Care Committee, and in 2005 she completed a 6-year term on the Subspecialty Board in Gastroenterology for the American Board of Internal Medicine. However, Grace has been primarily involved in the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), serving on several committees, as councilor on the Governing Board, as ASGE secretary, and as annual meeting program chair, culminating as Society president from 2007 to 2008. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Digestive Disease Week council, the 4-society group that puts on the largest annual GI professional conference in the world.
Since 2001, she has been on the annual list of “Best Doctors in America,” and she is the recipient of many grants and awards. She has received 2 University of Michigan outstanding clinician awards. In 2013, she received both the AGA Distinguished Clinician Award and the ASGE Distinguished Educator Award. Dr Elta is a frequent speaker at national and international meetings and has authored over 100 original peer-reviewed manuscripts and numerous abstracts and book chapters. Interventional endoscopy has been her GI subspecialty.
Grace has been married to Michael Elta for 45 years and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She is currently in “phased retirement,” which gives her additional time off for 3 years before retirement. She primarily spends this “off time” at her lake home in northern Michigan with her husband and 2 Corgis. Grace and Michael enjoy numerous outdoor activities throughout all of the seasons.
Dr Marie Ortmayer was the first woman to win the Schindler Award, which she did in 1956 at the age of 72. This is the highest award in the ASGE, first established in 1953 by the Governing Board of the American Gastroscopic Society, which later became the ASGE. Grace is honored to walk in her footsteps as the second woman to win this award, 62 years later in 2018. She looks forward to the day when it will no longer be remarkable that a woman receives the Schindler Award.
The author disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.