Wilton-based gastroenterologist, Dr. Claudia Gruss, was recently inaugurated as the 180th president of the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS).

Gruss has been considered a champion for women physicians and organized medicine throughout her career. She works at Western Connecticut Medical Group — Wilton Primary and Specialty Care. She was preceded by Dr. Steven Thornquist, who concluded his successful one-year term as the medical society’s 179th president.

“Dr. Gruss is an insightful, thoughtful, and sincere leader, able to consider both sides of an issue before deciding, and willing to lead others to the best path. We will be in good hands this next year,” Thornquist said at the society’s 226th annual meeting ceremony.   

Gruss earned a combined B.A., M.D. from Brown University and completed her internship and residency at Rhode Island Hospital.

Long active in organized medicine, Gruss has served in a number of leadership roles at the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Fairfield County Medical Association, and the Women’s Medical Association of Fairfield County. At the national level, Gruss is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology, and the American College of Physicians.

Gruss is a mentor to young physicians through her role as a clinical educator with the Yale-affiliated gastroenterology fellowship program at Norwalk Hospital. She has also assisted with the CSMS Young Physician Leadership Program.

She has co-authored articles for peer-reviewed journals pertaining not only to her specialty, but also on hospital readmissions, clinical practice, and quality management. She has also helped organize leadership symposia for women in medicine, an area she is passionate about developing.

At the CSMS Annual Meeting, Gruss thanked the audience of physicians for the opportunity to serve as president and championed the practice of medicine, saying, “We must beware of changes in health care that aim to minimize concerns about the mental health of our fellow physicians and the wellbeing of our patients, in the guise of increasing productivity and decreasing the cost of health care. The only way we can effect a change is by all of us speaking up in concert and being actively involved in CSMS is one way we can accomplish this.”