A member of the Arizona Board of Regents has made a $1 million gift to the University of Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix.
Regent Dr. Ram Krishna and his wife, Dr. Meera Krishna, made the gift in memory of Meera Krishna's sister, Dr. Mandira Jalajakshi, who was a physician practicing in England when she died in 2012.
The gift will go toward the construction of the University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center/Dignity Health outpatient facility, which will offer comprehensive cancer services, including infusion, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, endoscopic/interventional radiology, patient wellness and support services, a prevention center, clinical lab space and several specialized cancer clinics.
The five-story, 220,000-square-foot facility — a partnership between the UA and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center/Dignity Health — is under construction on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix and expected to open in September.
"We are very grateful for the generous support of Drs. Ram and Meera Krishna for the University of Arizona Cancer Center's new facility in Phoenix," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "The UA is committed to serving the Phoenix area as part of our land-grant mission. To do so, we are focused on expanding our presence and partnerships there. With this new facility, we will be able to provide patients in Phoenix access to the world-renowned resources of the University of Arizona Cancer Center."
The Krishnas' two daughters graduated from the UA — one with an undergraduate degree and a law degree and the other with a dual degree in medicine and public health. And one of the girls was born at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, formerly the UA Medical Center. Ram Krishna said he and his wife wanted to give back to the school their children attended while supporting UA medical education and research.
"I was very impressed with President Hart's vision, and we wanted to give back," said Ram Krishna, an orthopedic surgeon who has a private practice in Yuma. "Education and research in the medical field are very important to us."
In recognition of the Krishnas' gift, a space in the new center will bear the name of Mandira Jalajakshi and serve as a memorial honoring her work as a physician.