Couple's pledge supports psychiatric research

After nearly 35 years of providing clinical psychiatric services at four hospitals and at his own practice in Southside Virginia, Dr. Jagan Reddy decided to take a rest and give back.

In 2010 with a $100,000 pledge, he and his wife, Dr. Vijaya Reddy, an OB-GYN, established the P. Jagan and Vijaya Reddy Fund for Psychiatric Research in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. The fund currently supports behavioral studies conducted by Dr. Kenneth Kendler, professor of psychiatry and human and molecular genetics in the department.

Kendler is a recent recipient of the World Psychiatric Association’s Jean Delay Prize, which honors a scientist whose work merges the biological, psychological and social aspects of psychiatry.

“The research advancements in biological psychiatry treatments continue to improve, but I think the future is in genetic research,” Jagan Reddy said. “There is so much to discover, and Dr. Kendler is one of the world’s leading genetic researchers. We’re proud to have a person like him here in our community.”

In November 2010, the Reddys hosted 175 friends, family and staff members at their home to announce the creation of the fund.

Tony Vadella, CEO of Virginia South Psychiatric and Family Services, Reddy's private practice, presented Jagan Reddy with a plaque to commemorate his career and his dedication to the Southside Virginia community through psychiatry. Vadella also presented a $10,000 gift to the fund on behalf of the practice. Nearly all of the partygoers also made contributions.

Before establishing his practice in Petersburg, Va., in 1978, Jagan Reddy served as medical director at Central State Hospital in Petersburg. During his career, he has provided services to Southside Regional Medical Center, John Randolph Medical Center and Poplar Springs Hospital. The practice now has locations in Hopewell and Midlothian, Va., and more than 20 professionals on staff.

“Jagan and Vijaya Reddy have devoted their lives and practices to helping the sick,” said Dr. Joel J. Silverman (H.S. ’73), chair of the VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. “Their financial support of psychiatric research recognizes the outstanding work being done at VCU and the importance to our patients and families of discovering the causes and cures for mental illness.”

Jagan Reddy, now semiretired, has a history of providing services regardless of his patients’ ability to pay.

“I always told myself to collect what you can but allow people to pay whatever they can,” he said. “It’s more important to provide a good service.”

Both he and his wife share a strong belief in giving back.

“I never thought there would be a chance to give like this,” he said. “The way I see it, God has given me enough opportunity to work and serve the community. It’s good to give back.”

To make a gift to the Department of Psychiatry, contact Rupa S. Murthy, director of development, at (804) 628-3878 or