By Anastasia Cusack-Mercedez
“I couldn’t stand to see animals in pain,” said Dr. Stacy Gropack, who originally planned to be a veterinarian. However, always sensitive to the suffering of others, she was unable to pursue her original dream. For this reason, her mother suggested that she look into the field of physical therapy. Now, LIU Post has Dr. Gropack’s mother to thank for a new addition to the staff. Gropack began as the dean of the School of Health Professions and Nursing on July 1.
At the time that Gropack’s mother suggested physical therapy as a possible career choice, Gropack knew little to nothing of the field. However, she attended school for the subject and proceeded to fall in love with the work.
“It’s a wonderful profession. I get to help people really maintain and get back the quality of their lives,” she said.
Gropack is a New York native. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Long Island about 18 years ago. Gropack studied at LIU, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s degree in physical therapy, subsequently earning a PhD from NYU and a license as a physical therapist.
Gropack is an accomplished health care professional who still finds time to continue her work in physical therapy with developmentally delayed children as a consultant for a special needs preschool in Brooklyn.
Gropack’s new position at LIU Post is far from her first experience working for LIU. Gropack began working at LIU’s Brooklyn campus in 1990. She became the Associate Dean for the school of Health Professions in Brooklyn before she was hired as the Dean at LIU Post.
From Gropack’s short time here at LIU Post, she said that she has come to realize that because the Post campus is more spread out than Brooklyn’s, she is unable to have as much contact with faculty and students as she previously had on Brooklyn’s closer campus.
Gropack said that the students and faculty she has met here at LIU Post have been both very responsive and very kind. She has also perceived that her coworkers in the School of Health Professions and Nursing are extremely committed, and work to create a successful and ever growing environment.
Gropack headed the LIU Summer Honors Institute course in the field of health care at LIU Brooklyn from July 19-24. She has headed the health care summer institute program on the Brooklyn campus for three years, and hopes to bring a similar summer institute in health care to the Post campus in the future.
Gropack hopes that as she works here, she will begin to improve the Post community by implementing new programs focusing on the necessities of the local people and work force. Additionally, she hopes to increase the visibility of, and strengthen each program currently offered by her school.