In Remembrance of Dr. Robert Kraus

Robert F. Kraus, M.D. died on March 3rd at the age of 84. He was professor emeritus of Psychiatry and Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, where he served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry from 1981 to 1991. He had a long, distinguished academic career in the area of transcultural psychiatry and was an expert in circumpolar mental health but derived the greatest pleasure from the care of patients and training future physicians.  His love of medicine continued, even as his health slowed him over the past years.  A memorial service will be announced at a future date

He was educated at Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania,  and Harvard University, School of Public Health, and Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. He held academic appointments at the Medical College of Georgia, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, University of Alaska, and University of Kentucky. Visiting professorshipsincluded appointments at Marmora University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey, University of Colorado, Department of Psychiatry, School for Young Psychiatrists, U.S.S.R. Academy for Medical Sciences, Suzdal, U.S.S.R., University of Kuwait, Faculty of Medicine, and the University of Capetown, South Africa.

Dr. Kraus provided a spectrum of services to professional organizations including the  Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Residency Review Committee for Psychiatry, National Standing Panel for Accreditation Appeals in Adult Psychiatry, University Center of Excellence in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Kentucky Medical Services Foundation, Executive Board, American Public Health Association Task Force on National Arctic Health Science Policy, American Psychiatric Association, Dean's Committee, Seattle VAH and Lexington VAMC, Board of Directors, Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Sanders Brown Center on Aging, National Academy of Science, National Research Council, Arctic and Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Methodist University, and as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

He fostered clinical and research affiliations with the American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research Center, University of Colorado, National Mental Health Research Center, Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia, Tomsk Medical Institute (Siberian Medical School), Tomsk, Russia, Siberia, Khabarovsk Medical Institute (Siberian Medical School), Khabarovsk, Russian Far East; School for Young Psychiatrists, U.S.S.R. Academy for Medical Sciences, Suzdal, U.S.S.R., Traditional Healing Community Council, Tribal Doctor Program, South Central Foundation, Alaska Republic Hospital for Nervous Diseases.

Dr. Kraus held fellow status with the American Anthropological Association, American Psychiatric Association, Kentucky Psychiatric Association, Society for Psychological Anthropology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Psychoanalysis and the World Psychiatric Association.

He held editorial responsibilities with the American Journal of Psychiatry, American Anthropologist, Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, Hospital and Community Psychiatry, Arctic Anthropology, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Anthropologica.

Dr. Kraus was a Charter Member of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry & Culture and held membership with the American Society for Circumpolar Health, American Medical Association, American Association of Chairmen of Departments of Psychiatry. He is the recipient of the WAMI "Pioneer" Award, the Distinguished Teacher Award, University of Kentucky, PEW National Award for Exemplary Collaboration, and Residents Special Recognition Award, Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky.  Among his most cherished awards and honors was the Lifetime Achievement Award, Society     for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, for contribution to Cultural Psychiatry and Circumpolar Research, which was presented at a joint meeting of the Society and the Transcultural Psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Dolores "Dee" Kraus, of Lexington (formerly of Wilmore); his son Fritz Kraus (LeNor) of Kasilof, Alaska; his daughters Karen Kraus, M.D. (Craig) of Fresno, CA, Karla Kraus (Mario) of San Diego, CA, and Kristin Denton (Kyle) of Anchorage, AK; and 7 grandchildren, including Robert Kraus and Kelson, Kaden and Kinsey Denton of Anchorage, and Stephan Kraus of Kasilof AK.


Please send remembrances to: Alaska WWAMI Della Keats Summer Enrichment Program or

Alaska WWAMI’s Della Keats Summer Enrichment Program

The Della Keats Program is the foundation for Alaska WWAMI’s pathways programs. Its most visible feature is a six-week intensive summer program for minority, rural and other disadvantaged Alaskan high school students interested in careers in medicine and other health-care fields. The program fosters, affirms and encourages high school students’ interest in the medical profession by allowing them to further explore health-care careers

American Indian/Alaska Native National Resource Center for Health, Education and Research.  One Sky Center.

The One Sky Center Promotes and nurtures effective and culturally appropriate mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment services for Native populations. 

By: Thomas W. Miller Ph.D. ABPP