June 8, 2015

A Great Loss

The Department announces the establishment of the Karen R. Fonde, M.D. Family Medicine Underserved Populations Fund in memorial of Dr. Fonde's legacy. 


Karen Fonde, M.D.
Karen R. Fonde, M.D.

Karen R. Fonde, M.D. was a member of the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine from 1993-2010. An assistant professor, she was instrumental in the opening of the family medicine clinic at the Ypsilanti Health Center, where she saw patients and taught both residents and medical students for many years.

Not your typical medical student, Dr. Fonde graduated from U-M’s medical school at age 40. She then completed her residency training with the Department before becoming a faculty member. She was passionate about science and helping others and family medicine was a perfect fit. Before her career in medicine, Dr. Fonde focused on education. She and her husband, Joel Thurtell, also served as Peace Corps volunteers in Togo, Africa.

Dr. Fonde died on March 1, 2015, at age 65, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Karen R. Fonde, M.D. Family Medicine Underserved Populations Fund has a goal of $100,000. The Fund will support medically underserved populations in the U.S. and the world through focused initiatives, programs and hands-on experiences.

The Fund constitutes a gift for endowment, and distributions from the Fund shall be made in accordance with the University’s then existing distribution policy. Any surplus distributions during any period may be accumulated for later use or may be added to the principal of the fund, at the University’s discretion.

Karen was passionate about science and helping others, as was evident from her work as a Peace Corps volunteer and her commitment to the success of the Ypsilanti Health Center and the Corner Health Center, which provides health care to underserved adolescents in Ypsilanti. This Fund honors Dr. Fonde’s tireless work and will carry on her dedication to helping the underserved in perpetuity.

You can read more about her life in Hometown Life or the Michigan Record

Gifts may be made online at https://leadersandbest.umich.edu/find/#!/give/basket/fund/799070 or sent directly to:

Amy C. St. Amour
Department of Family Medicine
University of Michigan Medical School
300 North Ingalls Street, NI4C06
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5435