Dr. Ross Fruithandler Memorial Fund Established at Hunt School of Dental Medicine

Dr. Ross Fruithandler Memorial Fund Established at Hunt School of Dental Medicine

In memory of a local dentist’s life and legacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 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, D.D.S., passed away March 31, 2021. He served the El Paso community as an endodontist in private practice from 1989 to 2019. Dr. Fruithandler completed his Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1983 at the University of Texas at Austin and received his D.D.S. degree from the University of Texas at Houston in 1987. He went on to complete an endodontic residency in 1989. 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 memorial fund to honor his life and the deep impact he made in 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 our community’s future dental students, 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.

“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.”

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 that will arrive in the summer of 2021.

To read more about Dr. Fruithandler’s life, visit: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/elpasotimes/obituary.aspx?n=ross-fruithandler&pid=198227468&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=obitshareamp&utm_content=p198227468

Memorial gifts may be made here:

Or checks made payable to:

Texas Tech University Foundation and sent to the Institutional Advancement Office at 1414 N. Oregon St., El Paso, TX 79902

About the Hunt School of Dental Medicine

TTUHSC El Paso will be the home of the first dental school to open in Texas in nearly 50 years.

Across West Texas, many suffer from poor dental health due to a lack of access to affordable care – in 2017, only 50% of El Paso residents visited a dentist. In El Paso County, there’s only one dentist for every 4,840 residents, compared to the national average of one dentist for every 1,638. Currently, more than 50% of Texas’ general dentists are currently located in the five most populated counties, hundreds of miles from West Texas. 

In the past 10 years, only 22 out of 2,390 Texas dental school graduates have chosen to practice in West Texas. Because most graduating dentists establish their practices in proximity to their dental schools, the Hunt School of Dental Medicine will help alleviate the severe shortage of dentists in the Paso del Norte region. The school will welcome its first class of 40 students in 2021 and 60 students per year subsequently.