MARTIN — A large crowd gathered at Saint Joseph Martin, a member of KentuckyOne Health, on Friday, Sept. 7, to celebrate the implementation of Digital Mammography and naming of the suite in honor of Drs. Chandra and Mahendra Varia.
Last fall, Saint Joseph Martin began a capital campaign to purchase digital mammography and Drs. Chandra and Mahendra Varia made the initial donation of $125,000.
Drs. Chandra and Mahendra Varia have been affiliated with Saint Joseph Martin (formerly Our Lady of the Way Hospital) since 1979. She came to Martin as an OB/GYN and he as a veterinarian, thinking it was going to be a brief stay, but fell in love with the area and people and soon called it home.
The Varias have worked closely with area institutions of higher learning to provide scholarships for the 3,400 babies she delivered from 1979 until 1990. They are also civic oriented. Dr. Chandra has served as a member of the Floyd County School Board since 2001 and Dr. Mahendra Varia has been a council member for the City of Martin since 1998.
“When I first came to Kentucky, no one believed I would stay,” Dr. Chandra Varia said. “My husband Mahendra and I love the mountains and the people. My father always told me to give back to the community where you make your money and I have never forgotten that lesson. Having money is a pleasure, but sharing it for a great cause such as digital mammography, is most rewarding. I sincerely believe that having digital mammography at Saint Joseph Martin will save lives and that is why we have committed our resources to this campaign.”
Former Gov. Brereton Jones and his wife Libby were approached to assist with this campaign through their family foundation. Gov. Jones has always had a deep love for the people and beauty of Floyd County and offered a challenge; if Saint Joseph Martin could raise $50,000 privately, he would match their efforts. This challenge was met and exceeded through the significant gifts of $10,000 or more from donors Melissa Martin, proprietor of Downtown Drug in Martin to honor her mom, Marie Samons; Drs. Gopal and Mina Majmundar of Martin and their daughters, Dr. Mamata Majmundar, of Lexington, and Dr. Monica Majmundar Sheth, of New York; Charles Johnson and James Robinson, of First Guaranty Bank of Martin; and Jennifer Bricking and Eileen Levy, of the Susan G. Komen Foundation Lexington Affiliate. Saint Joseph Martin administration and staff also made monetary donations to this campaign.
“This capital campaign has been a very humbling experience,” said Kathy Stumbo, president of Saint Joseph Martin. “Our community has been so generous and we are very pleased that we have the most up-to-date digital mammography for our patients.”
Barry Stumbo, president and CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation and Diane Boyer, director of major gifts and planning for Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation assisted with the campaign and provided guidance for Saint Joseph Martin.
Saint Joseph Martin will now provide the technological improvements of digital mammography where testing results are immediate and can be viewed electronically by radiologists and by consulting physicians. To schedule a mammogram, please call (606) 285-6480.
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System.
The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has nearly 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with more than 13,600 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.