As a student of pharmacy back in the late 1960’s, Ron Grooms never envisioned that someday he would help young students embarking on careers in healthcare. After nearly 40 years of successfully operating his own pharmacy and 11 years as Indiana State Senator for the 46th district, on December 14, Grooms endowed a $25,000 community scholarship at Indiana University Southeast.
The Ron Grooms Community Scholarship will be used to support scholarships for students of IU Southeast who have financial need. Preference will be given to first-year students residing in Floyd and Clark Counties who are majoring in a field of health science and have a history of demonstrated community service, specifically volunteering in Floyd or Clark counties. The intention is to award one scholarship annually, with the potential to increase the number of students receiving the award.
“Healthcare is a career path that is always in demand,” said Grooms. “Healthcare was my chosen profession, and we need more people to choose to serve others by becoming health providers. This scholarship is in appreciation for education in general, and for those entering higher education with the intent to study in the health sciences fields for careers in healthcare.”
A native of Lizton, Indiana, Grooms earned a B.S. in Pharmacy from Butler University in 1967. He served as a pharmacist and owner of Hanger’s Pharmacy in Jeffersonville for nearly 40 years. In 1983, Grooms entered public service, first as a member of the Jeffersonville City Council, and then as a State Senator in 2010.
During his time on the Jeffersonville City Council, from 1983 to 1991, then again from 1997 to 2010, Grooms helped eliminate the city’s deficit, balance the budget, and produce a surplus. As a member of the Indiana State Senate, he worked to pass balanced budgets and the largest tax cut in Indiana history. His most significant legislation included prevention of drug abuse, awareness of mental health issues and promotion of healthcare reform. Grooms also authored legislation which created the Clark Regional Airport Authority in 2013.
During Grooms tenure, he served as Chair of the Family & Children’s Services Committee and Public Health subcommittee and served as majority member for Health & Provider Services committee, Homeland Security & Transportation committee, Veterans Affairs & Military committee and Interim Study committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services and elections committees.
Locally, Grooms is a former member of the Clark, Floyd, and Harrison Family Health Center advisory board. He has also served on the Jeffersonville Housing Authority Board and the Police Officers & Firefighters Fund Advisory Committee for the state and was President of the New Hope Services Board of Directors. He is a member of Leadership Southern Indiana, the Rotary Club of Clark County, One Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Kosair Charities Advisory Council and is a fifty-year member of the Jeffersonville Masonic Lodge 340.
His daughter Marcia Taylor is a graduate of Butler University, and his daughter Melissa is a graduate of the University of Louisville.
Grooms has twice been honored with the Sagamore of the Wabash for his service to the State of Indiana, first by Governor Robert Orr in 1984, then again in 2022, by Governor Eric Holcomb. He was awarded the IU Southeast Chancellor’s Medallion in 2017, by Dr. Ray Wallace and the Indiana University Bicentennial Medal in 2020. He was also named Pharmacist of the Year in 2010 by the Indiana Pharmacist Alliance.
“Ron Grooms has had a storied career and great impact on the citizens of Southern Indiana,” said Dr. Kelly Ryan, interim chancellor at IU Southeast. “His legacy will continue with this generous gift to IU Southeast students and help provide the needed healthcare professionals to serve our region for years and decades to come.”