Dr. Betsy Grunch was nominated to be a Face of Hall County, by Jennifer Sandford. Jennifer says, “Dr Grunch’s story is one that provokes immense inspiration. She is a role model for all young ladies, forging a path less traveled. When Dr. Grunch was just 13 years old, her mother, a Hall County Sheriff’s deputy, was critically injured in the line of duty. At Dr. Grunch’s young age, she worked hard to become a nursing assistant so that she could provide care for her mother. At that time during her childhood, she decided that her future had been determined and she would pursue a career in neurosurgery.
In addition to being an incredible doctor in her selected field and a passionate ambassador of better health for her hometown, Dr. Grunch is a caring and attentive mother, wife, and friend. You will not meet another individual who is so gifted and intelligent, yet so easy to talk to and empathetic. Dr. Grunch is compassionate and truly cares about all those around her.”
Dr. Betsy Grunch, one of very few female Neurosurgeons in the United States, is also a world traveling, hip hop loving, funny mother of 1 (with one on the way). She is a graduate of West Hall High School, the University of Georgia, the Medical College of Georgia, and completed her residency at Duke University. She now works at The Longstreet Clinic in Gainesville, Georgia, alongside her early mentors Drs. Muhanna and Nixon, who both treated her mother after her accident.
We had a wonderful time interviewing Dr. Grunch. We are thankful to her for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about her life here in Hall County.
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “My mom’s injury in 1994. Dr. Muhanna operated on her. I was intrigued that something like this could happen and it couldn’t be fixed.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “Golden Buddah in Oakwood. I love Chinese food. I order the Chicken and Broccoli. I also love El Sombrero.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “I think I would have to say Dr. Nabil Muhanna. He’s from Syria, but he’s been here a very long time. He has so many stories and history from other places as well as from here.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “Bora Bora. But it’s a 24 hour flight!”
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “A League of Their Own.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “I know it sounds like a cliche, but you can do anything you want to do being from Hall County, as long as you put your mind to it.”
Q: What is your favorite type of music? What are 3 bands you’d like to see, dead or alive?
A: “I like Hip Hop music. I’d like to see Tupac, Michael Jackson, and Prince.”
Q: Choosing anyone non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Where would you take them?
A: “Christopher Reeve. He went through the same thing as my mom and he pushed research. I would have to take him somewhere wheel chair accessible, and I like La Parilla, so I would take him there.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
A: “My favorite thing about Hall County is it seems very big, but it is still very tight nit. Everyone knows everyone somehow. I always see someone who knows me somehow when we go out to eat.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
A: “Here. Doing the same thing and advancing surgery field and seeing the hospital grow.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I like to wake surf.”
Q: What are 3 words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Family, relaxing, and peaceful.”
This interview was conducted by Brad Abernathy and Rosemary Hancock with the Abernathy Cochran Group. Thank you for visiting our community project, The Faces of Hall County. We would love to have your nominations for this project, too. Please email them to Brad Abernathy firstname.lastname@example.org.