The Phillips Cancer Center is named in honor of Ray and Jane Bellomy Phillips and in memory of their daughter, Debra. The Phillips are longtime friends of Martha Jefferson—both Ray and Jane were born at Martha Jefferson, and both have been lifetime community members.
The family’s ties to the hospital tightened in 1985, when Deb (as she preferred to be called) became a member of Martha Jefferson’s medical staff. She had fought thyroid cancer during her college years—successfully—and during her battle with the disease, she developed a strong desire to practice medicine.
During her time with Martha Jefferson, Deb was involved with more than just her patients. Her generosity led her to get involved in the formation of the Charlottesville Free Clinic, and she also enjoyed time with her family, taking advantage of their close proximity.
In her early thirties, Deb was again diagnosed with cancer, this time in her breast. After valiantly fighting the disease for more than two years, Deb passed away in 1992, in the company of her parents at their home.
As Ray and Jane looked to the opening of the new hospital, they both had a desire to share their success and establish a legacy to help others. The family has made a significant commitment that will help fund the provision of community cancer care services for the future, and Martha Jefferson sincerely thanks the Phillips for their dedication.
For more information about the new Martha Jefferson Cancer Center, see our article on page 28 of the Summer 2011 Martha Jefferson Magazine.