Mid-Valley Physicians Establish Endowed Chair of Neurosciences

Mid-Valley Physicians Establish Endowed Chair of Neurosciences

Drs. Subram and Elizabeth Krishnan with their daughter, Sujata G. Krishnan (center), at the announcement and reception celebrating the Sujata G. Krishnan Endowed Chair of Neurosciences at the McAllen Country Club, February 15, 2018. Guests also celebrated Sujata G. Krishnan’s birthday at the event.

By Lisa Peña

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 15, 2018 – Drs. Subram and Elizabeth Krishnan, natives of India, arrived in New York City for post-graduate training in 1963. She specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. He focused on orthopedic surgery. Ten years later, they went in search of warmth. “I couldn’t take the cold. So, we just followed the sun,” said Dr. Elizabeth Krishnan. The tropical climate of the Rio Grande Valley lured them to Donna, Texas. The needs of their new community kept them here. “When we came to this area, I was the only orthopedic surgeon in the Mid-Valley, and there were just two or three others in the whole Valley,” said Dr. Subram Krishnan. “My wife was the first female board certified in obstetrics and gynecology in the Valley. There were no others here.”

For four decades, the doctors practiced their specialties from their offices in Weslaco. Along with running her own private practice, Dr. Elizabeth Krishnan delivered babies for Holy Family Services, a free-standing birthing center in Raymondville serving indigent women. The center has since relocated to Weslaco. Dr. Subram Krishnan performed orthopedic surgeries at hospitals from Harlingen to Mission. He also ran an orthopedic clinic for children with congenital and acquired deformities. Many of these young patients crossed the border for care. The children were treated, whether their parents could pay or not.

In the Valley, the Krishnans not only found a warm home, but also brought warmth to the area with their community service and patient care philosophy. “The human touch, the personal relationship with the patient, don’t treat the patient as a number. That has been our goal since the beginning,” said Dr. Elizabeth Krishnan. “There’s a lot more to giving care than just giving medicine or performing surgery. It’s important to be an all-around physician, not just a doctor.”

It’s that core belief that led the Krishnans, now retired, to The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine where they saw an opportunity to influence the next generation of physicians, and bring critical funding to an important field. They established the Sujata G. Krishnan Endowed Chair of Neurosciences, named in honor of their daughter, a Weslaco, Texas attorney, with the goal of expanding education and services in neurology. “We hope to see a blossoming of brain health care,” said Dr. Subram Krishnan.

The endowment will allow UTRGV to recruit a top scholar in the field of neurology and support neurological research. “We are grateful for the generous donation from the Krishnan family to establish the Sujata G. Krishnan Endowed Chair of Neurosciences,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs at UTRGV. “This gift will enable the School of Medicine to move forward in establishing innovative research that will advance the development of solutions to treat brain health issues, and clinical services that will benefit the health and well-being of the Rio Grande Valley community.”

The Krishnans have a long history with UTRGV and its legacy institution, UTPA. Dr. Subram Krishnan cared for the orthopedic needs of many of the university’s athletes over the years. The couple started their philanthropy as members of the President’s Circle, a distinguished giving society. Today, they continue to contribute to higher education in the Rio Grande Valley in a meaningful way. While the Krishnans “followed the sun” to settle here, it is these doctors who are a ray of hope for expanded health care in this area. Their generosity is making South Texas a warmer and healthier place to live.