In memory of a local dentist’s life and legacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso community partners Robin and Tony Furman have established the Furman Family-Dr. Ross Fruithandler Memorial Fund for the Hunt School of Dental Medicine.
Ross Fruithandler, DDS, died on March 31, 2021. He served the El Paso community as an endodontist in private practice from 1989 to 2019. He earned his DDS at the University of Texas at Houston in 1987 and completed an endodontic residency in 1989. Also, he was a member of the El Paso District Dental Society for 31 years.
Robin and Tony Furman, family friends of Dr. Fruithandler, created the fund to honor his life and the impact he had on the El Paso community. Tony Furman is a community advocate and member of the TTUHSC El Paso President’s Development Council, and Robin co-chairs anniversary events for the Foster School of Medicine and the Hunt School of Nursing.
Funds will provide scholarships for the community’s future dental students, the dental school said, many of whom will graduate to serve in the Paso del Norte region. Gifts up to $25,000 will be matched by the Furman family for a permanent scholarship endowment that celebrates Dr. Fruithandler’s life work and service to his patients and their families, the school said.
“Ross’ esteemed career in the practice of dentistry, his volunteer work with the dental school admissions staff, and his mentorship of aspiring dentists brought him great pride and satisfaction,” said Tony Furman.
“The Furman family is delighted and honored to establish the Furman Family-Dr. Ross Fruithandler Memorial Fund in his memory. By establishing this endowment, and by matching other donors’ gifts, we hope to inspire others who were friends, former patients, or professional colleagues to consider honoring Dr. Fruithandler’s memory with a gift,” he continued.
Dr. Fruithandler generously volunteered his time as part of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine Applications and Interview Committee in 2020 for the inaugural class of 40 students, who will arrive in the summer of 2021, the school said.
Donations to the fund may be sent to the Texas Tech University Foundation, Institutional Advancement Office, 1414 N. Oregon Street, El Paso, Texas 79902.