Spring 2017
Alumni Accent

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Endowed Scholarship Established in Memory of H. Malin Prupas, M.D.

By Seema Donahoe and Curtis Vickers

Mailn Prupas
A renowned specialist in the treatment of arthritis and clinical professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, the late Henry Malin Prupas ‘71 (premedical), of the two-year Class of 1973, dedicated more than 40 years of his life to helping his patients and students. In his honor, the Henry Malin Prupas, M.D. Medical Student Scholarship Endowment has been established with gifts from his wife Barbara Prupas ‘86 and additional memorial gifts. Photo provided by Prupas family.

The University of Nevada, Reno and the larger Reno community lost an exceptional leader when Henry Malin Prupas, M.D. passed away in February 2016. After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1971, he was a member of the charter class of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine ’73, when it began as a two-year medical school.

In honor of Dr. Prupas’ exceptional career of service, instruction, and research, the Henry Malin Prupas, M.D. Medical Student Scholarship Endowment was established with gifts from his wife, Barbara Prupas ’86 M.A., and donations from family, friends and colleagues. Scholarship recipients will be medical students from northern Nevada.

“The Prupas family chose a medical student scholarship because Malin was so proud of his profession and to have been accepted to the charter class at UNR’s School of Medicine. He wanted to be a doctor from the time he was in elementary school,” said Mrs. Prupas, noting that although he was fortunate to have a family that could support him financially through school, he knew that was not the case for so many students.

“We chose to support a student from northern Nevada because Malin always wanted to return to Reno to practice, and we hope future students also will return to northern Nevada to practice medicine.”

In his 40-year medical career, Dr. Prupas was not only dedicated to the treatment of his patients suffering from arthritis pain, but also to participating in clinical trials and other academic studies designed to facilitate medical breakthroughs. The author of two books, “Arthritis Made Simple” and “Learn About Your Arthritis,” Prupas shared his medical expertise as an associate clinical professor in the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine for 35 years.

“Malin knew and remembered the names of all his professors from medical school, and he loved teaching medical students, especially about arthritis. He thought it was important for students to know how to identify and diagnose rheumatoid arthritis,” said Mrs. Prupas, adding that he said his patients never once objected to having a student learn during their appointments. “He always said the students got smarter every year.”

Dr. Prupas took pride in showing students how to do joint injections and then watching them hone their own skills. He also enjoyed learning from students as well, requiring them to do 20-minute presentations on topics specific to rheumatology.

“As a researcher and clinician, Dr. Prupas combined mastery of his field with a passion for helping anyone suffering from arthritis and related diseases,” said Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

“He carried his warmth and kindness into the classroom, demonstrating through his words and his deeds what is required to be the very best in our profession.

The Henry Malin Prupas, M.D. Medical Student Scholarship Endowment will ensure that the legacy of this exceptional man will persevere.”

The philanthropic spirit behind the named scholarship is in keeping with Dr. Prupas’ own generosity. Among many gifts he made to support the University and its students, he made memorial gifts to the University in honor of his parents, Robert and Berniece; his sister, Roxann Prupas Leid; and his brother, Norman, to name the Prupas Family Suite in Morrill Hall. His gifts continued, ensuring the room’s upkeep and providing support to the University’s iconic original building.

To learn more about supporting students in the School of Medicine or to make a memorial gift in honor of Dr. Prupas, please contact Seema Donahoe, director of development, at sdonahoe@unr.edu or (775) 682-7304.