Dr. Robert Fortuine Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Robert FortuineIn honor of Dr. Robert Fortuine’s profound medical career in Alaska and commitment to Alaska Native health, UAA in partnership with friends and family of Dr. Fortuine seeks to create the Dr. Robert Fortuine Scholarship for medical students in the Alaska WWAMI program.

Recipients must have an expressed interest in practicing medicine in Alaska's tribal health system and preferably be Alaska Native and/or from rural Alaska. The Fortuine Scholarship will help to nurture the next generation of Alaska tribal health physicians with essential financial support for their medical education while honoring Dr. Fortuine’s own personal commitment to Alaska Native health.

The Fortuine Scholarship will be an endowed fund meaning contributions to the fund will be invested to produce income to fund annual scholarship awards. The scholarship will be managed by the University of Alaska Foundation to ensure that the principal will grow modestly over time while producing annual scholarship payout of four percent.

Help build this scholarship

Help build this scholarship now by sending your donation along with a completed Dr. Fortuine Endowed Scholarship gift form (PDF). Or, you can contribute online now and specify the "Dr. Fortuine Endowed Scholarship.

Robert Fortuine

March 10, 1934-May 11, 2009

Robert Fortuine was a committed public servant who served with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) from 1962 until his retirement in 1987 with assignments as diverse as Geneva, Switzerland, Kanakanak, Alaska and the Alaska Native Medical Center. He also became a medical historian of Alaska and the arctic regions writing six books including The Alaska Diary of Adelbert von Chamisso: Naturalist on the Kotzebue Voyage, 1815-1818 (translator and editor, 1986), Alaska Native Medical Center: A History 1953-1983 (1986), and Chills and Fever: Health and Disease in the Early History of Alaska (1989).

Beginning in 1989, Dr. Fortuine taught first year WWAMI medical students until 2004 when he officially retired. However, he continued to teach for another 5 years. Dr. Fortuine had a profound impact on many of the hundreds of WWAMI students he taught at UAA.

He was profoundly committed to Alaska’s Native peoples for whom he felt a strong sense of compassion and commitment. Dr. Fortuine’s commitment to Alaska’s Native peoples is institutionalized in co-founding of the Amundsen Educational Center in Soldotna (a Christian vocational school for Alaska Natives) where a building in his name stands.

The Robert Fortuine Scholarship brings together two of his lifelong passions: medicine and a commitment to Alaska’s Native peoples’ health and vitality.