Canchola Family Honors Late Father Jose With a Comforting New “Family Room” at TMC

New dads, grandparents, siblings and relatives have a new comfortable space to regroup at Tucson Medical Center’s Mother Baby Unit, thanks to the sons and daughters of  Jose and Carmen Canchola.

“I think about all our families – relieved about Mom’s safe delivery and basking in the joy of  the new addition – and how they’ll now have this wonderful place, thanks to the generosity of the Canchola family members who wanted to honor their late father,” said Michael Duran, Vice President and Chief Development Officer for the Tucson Medical Center Foundation.

The new space is marked by a plaque that honors the gift from Jose and Carmen Canchola and family.  Nearly two dozen family members – including five of the six Canchola siblings – were able to attend the dedication on Saturday, July 14, while also commemorating Carmen’s upcoming birthday.

“We think about how much our Dad loved us and how excited he was when a new child or grandchild was born,” said Roger Canchola, son of Jose Canchola and President & CEO, Arcos De Oro. “Childbirth is all about families and it seemed natural that this be the site to honor our father.”

The room, he said, is also a way to honor his father’s long-time support of health care services in Southern Arizona, including cofounding the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson. “We’re going to continue giving back to the community as part of the legacy that my dad started,” he continued.

Jose Canchola, who passed away in 2008, was the first Hispanic member of the New York Stock Exchange. In addition to eight McDonald’s Restaurants, he fulfilled a life-long dream of being involved in professional baseball and became a co-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His sons continue the McDonald’s franchises and remain active owners with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

His interest in civics led him to serve as Mayor of Nogales, Arizona, from 1993 to 1994. He also served on many local and national civic and business boards, including the Tucson Airport Authority and Tucson Electric Power Company.

Another of his sons, Bob Canchola, joked that as someone who had two children born at TMC, he knows a thing or two about how new dads feel. He said the room is an appropriate legacy for his father, given the important role family played in his life.

The new space is tastefully decorated in warm tones, with expansive windows that offer guests a view of a beautifully landscaped courtyard, shaded by magnolia trees and decorated with sculpture. The room not only provides a comfortable space for family members to give Mom some private time in those new precious hours, but is aesthetically focused on creating a healing environment.

The room is already getting use. Millie Scott, a payroll clerk, said it came in handy when she welcomed her first grandson this week. She said her family used the room to give her daughter a little space and to let her have some private time with visitors. “The view was beautiful and the room was very comfortable. It was a very nice place to gather,” she said.

Patricia Wagner, a registered nurse in the mom-baby unit, said that anecdote is a common one. “People use it all the time. It’s very cozy and more like a family room instead of being hospital-y,” she said.

The room also gives a nod to one of Jose Canchola’s best known community events: an annual Christmas party in Nogales where more than 50,000 kids have been helped over the years. Photos taken at the annual benefit, including a photo of Jose and Carmen at the last benefit he attended, adorn the wall.


  1. Brian Wood says:

    I think this is a lovely gesture made by the Canchola family,but does not surprise me. I have had the good fortune to meet the son Anthony on my travels from England to the United States of America. He is a caring,honest and generous person,I feel proud to know him and call him a true friend. Brian from England.

    • It’s a credit to his siblings who lived in Az & were there for their parents.

      • Bob, Rick, Roger, who lived in state & their spouses . Along with sisters, Carmen & Mary Ellen, who lived away, were there, while Tony was always traveling. They are a credit to their parents & the family.

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