Laurel Highlands lauds alumni's achievements
When Dr. George Garrow's oldest sister, Patricia, was diagnosed with cancer, he vowed at that moment to make things better for cancer patients.
His career path led Garrow, a 1977 Laurel Highlands High School graduate, and four other alumni to be inducted into the Laurel Highlands Life Achievement Hall of Fame on Aug. 31 at the Uniontown Holiday Inn.
The other four are the late Joseph J. DiNunno, a 1938 South Union High School graduate; Dr. Mark Esper, a 1982 LH graduate; Douglas Matthews, a 1987 graduate; and Dr. David Sheba, a 1990 LH graduate.
Garrow said he remembers his first oncology patient, Joe, while he was serving as assistant professor of medicine in oncology at Vanderbilt University and the University of Rochester, N.Y.
“I spent as much time with Joe and his family the day that he died,” Garrow said. “I remember sitting in a room as a tear rolled down my cheek. One of my supervising doctors asked me why I was crying. I told him that Joe died. The doctor told me ‘You must be tough. We don't do that here. If you do it again, you will be asked to leave the program.' ”
Garrow, who calls himself a very compassionate person, said he decided at that moment he would not settle for doing things the way they were always done. And he has used that philosophy during his career.
“I will never forget my sister, Patty, and Joe and hundreds of other patients I treated over the years,” Garrow said.
After graduating from Laurel Highlands in 1977, Garrow attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors with a bachelor of applied science degree in 1981. He received his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University's Hershey Medical School in 1985 and was honored by his classmates to give the commencement address. He has earned board certification in internal medicine, medical oncology and hospice and palliative care.
The late Joseph J. DiNunno graduated from South Union High School in 1938 with a 3.96 grade point average. DiNunno began his college education at the Penn State Fayette Campus and in 1940 transferred to the University Park campus, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1942.
After holding several positions, DiNunno transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission and became one of the regulatory staff who monitored the safety of nuclear reactors, along with uranium and plutonium processing plants. In 1967, DiNunno was reassigned as the AEC's scientific representative in Paris, where he served as a technical liaison with the International Atomic Energy Commission and with the atomic energy authorities in 10 European countries.
Dr. Mark Esper graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in 1982 with honors and earned varsity letters in football, basketball and track. He attended the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1986 as a Dean's Life student and recipient of the MacArthur Award for Leadership.
Lt. Esper served in various leadership positions in the 101st Airborne Division and deployed with the Screaming Eagles for the 1990-91 Gulf War. His battalion was part of the famous “left hook” that led to the defeat of the Iraqi Army. For his actions, Esper was awarded a Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and various service medals. He went on to command an Airborne rifle company in Europe, was selected to serve as an Army Fellow at the Pentagon and completed his master's degree at Harvard University's JFK School of Government.
Douglas Matthews graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in 1983. He graduated from the Penns State in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and received a master's degree in business administration from Duquesne University in 1993.
Dr. David Sheba graduated from Laurel Highlands High School in 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State and his medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
After completing his training, he returned to Uniontown in 2004 and opened his practice. Currently on staff at Uniontown Hospital, Sheba specializes in minimally invasive hip and knee-joint replacements and offers treatment for shoulder and arthroscopic surgery, sports medicine, trauma and fracture care. He and his wife, Toni, reside in Uniontown.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman killed in Fayette County van-motorcycle collision
- Purple Heart recipient from Connellsville Township soldiers on
- Fayette SPCA closure causes void
- Living History: Uniontown man aboard USS San Diego duing Japan’s WWII surrender
- Connellsville Health Board revisits proposed blight ordinance
- Parade of Mustangs to kick off Connellsville’s Mum Festival
- Quarantine lifted for most Fayette dogs
- ‘Lego’ night planned at East Park
- Circles Connellsville receives $5K from Diocese of Greensburg
- Connellsville walkers get dose of railroad talk, tracing trains’ track
- 30 days to decide fate of WCVI