New medical school scholarship created to honor mother, wife

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.Kathy Fortunato (September 6, 1959 – July 18, 2006) had a passion for leadership, philanthropy and the medical community. She was the executive director of the Ohio County Medical Society and marketing director of First Financial Partners in Wheeling, West Virginia. She enjoyed giving her time, talents and treasures to all the clubs and organizations she belonged to in the Ohio Valley, but her first love was always her family. 

To honor her, her husband, Michael A. Fortunato, M.D., and daughter, Andrea L. Kellar, M.D., have established the Kathleen M. “Kathy” Fortunato Memorial Scholarship at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. The one-time scholarship is for a rising fourth-year medical student from West Virginia’s northern panhandle. The student must be in good academic standing and have a track record of leadership, community service and philanthropy.  
“Our family is so appreciative of the opportunity to keep my mom’s legacy alive while providing financial support for medical students,” Dr. Kellar said. 

 Dr. Fortunato is a family medicine physician in Vero Beach, Florida. He graduated from the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences in 1985 and completed a residency at Wheeling Hospital. 

 Dr. Kellar, a 2007 graduate of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine where she also completed her residency, is an obstetrician/gynecologist with Valley Health in Huntington and Hurricane, West Virginia. She is also a member of the School of Medicine’s alumni association board of directors. 

“Kathy was a good friend to many,” Dr. Fortunato said. “Her dedication, drive, compassion and loyalty could only be surpassed by her loving smile and joy for life.” 

For more information or to make a gift to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, at 304.691.1711 or For news and information about the school of medicine, follow us on X @MUSOMWV, like us on Facebook or visit 

Date Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2024