Tom Fortner was appointed UMMC’s chief institutional advancement officer in March 2019. In this role, he oversees communications, marketing, development, alumni affairs, community relations and web strategy for UMMC, its six health professions schools, its research enterprise and an extensive health system. Prior to his appointment, Fortner served as chief public affairs and communications officer at UMMC for 10 ½ years, and held similar positions at academic medical centers at the University of Florida from 2004 to 2008 and East Carolina University from 1986 to 2004.
Raised in Texas, Fortner earned a bachelor’s degree in American history, with an emphasis in journalism, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He began his career as a reporter and editor for community newspapers in North Carolina. He also holds an MBA from East Carolina.
He is a member and former national steering committee chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Institutional Advancement, consisting of professionals in public relations, fundraising, marketing, alumni and public affairs who work for the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.
His wife, Laurilyn McDonald Fortner, is a painter.