Dolly Parton has made another impressive donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), this time donating $1 million to the hospital’s pediatric infectious disease research to help in the fight against infectious diseases, such as the coronavirus.
Ongoing research in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases includes understanding how viruses and bacteria cause disease, understanding and preventing resistance to antibiotics, preventing and treating infections, diagnosing and treating infections in children with cancer, and research to define the impact of childhood infections throughout the world.
“I love all children. No child should ever have to suffer, and I’m willing to do my part to try and keep as many of them as I can as healthy and safe as possible,” Parton explains.
The country legend previously made a $1 million gift to VUMC in April 2020 in honor of her longtime friend, Naji Abumrad, MD, Professor of Surgery, to increase scientific knowledge and advance the battle against COVID-19. VUMC’s researchers have tested an array of already existing drugs in clinical trials aimed at reducing life-threatening symptoms associated with COVID-19 and focused on entirely new therapies that could effectively treat and prevent the infection.
“We are deeply honored by Dolly’s contribution to our research mission,” adds Mark Denison, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. “For over 40 years our division has been a national and international leader in studies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of life-threatening infections, and this gift will accelerate our work and support new ideas.”
Among Parton’s other gifts to VUMC was a transformational contribution to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Pediatric Cancer Program in honor of Abumrad and her niece, Hannah Dennison, who was successfully treated for leukemia as a child at Children’s Hospital.
“Dolly’s previous support to infectious disease research, and also our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives,” says Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of VUMC and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This new gift will bolster our defenses against future threats to the safety of this region and society as a whole. It speaks volumes about her passion for people, and we couldn’t be more thankful.”
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