Mat-Su Schools Foundation
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Scholarships for 2013

Dr. George W. Brown Memorial Scholarship - Application deadline was April 1, 2024.

Eligible applicants are individuals who will graduate and earn a diploma from a Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District high school in 2024. Preference will be given to applicants seeking a bachelor's degree in education.

The Dr. George W. Brown Memorial Scholarship is a $1,000 competitive scholarship offered through the Mat-Su Schools Foundations. To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must:

Dr. George W. Brown Memorial Scholarship Application

The Dr. George W. Brown Memorial scholarship was established in 2017 in honor and memory of Dr. Brown who was the first pediatrician to practice in the Mat-Su Valley. This scholarship provides funds for graduates of Mat-Su high schools to attend a college or university.

About Dr. Brown

Dr. George BrownDr. Brown graduated from North Carolina State University (honors) with a degree in mechanical engineering. He received a Reynolds Scholarship to attend Bowman Gray School of Medicine and graduated as a Medical Doctor in 1964. George’s career was focused with children, families and the communities they live in. His specialization and board certification in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Honolulu further enabled him to participate in cultural dimensions of the lives of children, families and societies.

Dr. Brown moved to Alaska in 1965 with his wife, Dr. carolyn Brown, and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. From 1968-1970 Dr. Brown completed his pediatric residency at the Children's Hospital in Honolulu. In 1970, Dr. Brown returned to Alaska and continued his work with Alaska children as the Medical Director of the Alaska Child Development Center (1970-1975). In this capacity he consulted to the Mat-Su School District regarding services for students with disabilities.

In 1971 Dr. Brown became one of Alaska's first Board Certified Pediatricians. His ongoing work and scholarship led him to recognize the unreported epidemic of domestic violence and child abuse among Alaska Natives and in the general population. His recognition of the extent of child abuse led him to recognize more clearly the need for inclusion of behavioral health and child development into clinical pediatrics as well as in schools and community organizations.

In 1978, together with his wife Dr. carolyn, George established a non-profit medical clinic in Palmer through the National Health Service Corps efforts to provide medical services in underserved areas. Dr. Brown was the first (and for many years the only) pediatrician to practice in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The major focus of this practice included both clinical and hospital care as well as preventive medicine and collaboration with public health services in the area. He also worked closely with Mat-Su school nurses to coordinate care for children who otherwise had limited access to medical services. His efforts resulted in the establishment of mandatory Kindergarten and extended day Kindergarten for children at risk. Dr. Brown provided free physicals for students who participated in Special Olympics.

He founded a program called Friends of Families for parents to learn positive nurturing skills. This included development of a home visitation program. Through coordination with other physicians, this program also included prenatal, neonatal, and follow up supports for new parents. His unfailing and daily efforts to foster community-based child wellness extended to extensive teaching in schools, at community events, churches and other venues about public health in pediatrics, the issues of child abuse and neglect, and positive integration of families, children and society. Through this he developed an increased interest and involvement of time and resources in the legal issues of child abuse and neglect and provided many forensic examinations and testified in court as an expert witness as to the extent of problems. Dr. Brown also worked with and supported the local Women’s Shelter in the area and provided care for the children involved.

Knowing that public policy can be a component of effective prevention efforts, Dr. Brown also worked with the Alaska Legislature to develop the Alaska Children’s Trust Fund. In 1986 Dr. Brown received the first C. Henry Kemp International Award for his work in prevention of child abuse and neglect in recognition of his many and ongoing efforts to promote child development. Dr. Brown's later research and publications focused on interdisciplinary approaches to child development and wellness, including a book chapter in a textbook for child and school psychologists.

Another component of Dr. Brown's efforts to support child development and wellness included his ongoing support of regular exercise, in particular running. Dr. Brown began running in the early 1970s and ran over 70 marathons and countless shorter races in his life. He infused his love of running into his medical practice and every well child visit through regular reminders to kids to get exercise. In addition, he founded and directed the Valley Youth Marathon to encourage running and physical exercise by Mat-Su children.

From 1989 through 2001 George and carolyn lived in Burlington, Vermont where George practiced pediatrics and served as adjunct faculty at the University of Vermont Medical School. In 2001, George and carolyn returned to Alaska to work in Juneau where George resumed pediatric practice and advocacy for Alaska's children in the Legislature. In 2017 the Alaska Legislature awarded a posthumous citation to Dr. Brown for his lifelong commitment to Alaska’s children.