Dolly Parton donates $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research

  • Dolly Parton donates $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

In Dolly Parton’s latest round of philanthropic work, the country music icon has donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for pediatric infectious disease research.

The funding will help advance Vanderbilt’s major studies on the causes of disease, understanding antibiotic resistance, and preventing and treating infections in children with cancer.

“No child should ever have to suffer,” Parton said in a statement. “I’m ready to do my part to try to keep as many of them healthy and safe as possible.”

His financial support of scientific research at VUMC spans years, with several million-dollar donations.

Dolly Parton takes the stage during the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on Monday, March 7, 2022.

Parton offered $1 million for coronavirus research in 2020 to VUMC, part of which was credited with funding Moderna’s vaccine development. As the country music star received her first dose of the vaccine at VUMC, she urged others to follow suit.

“I just want to say to all the cowards: don’t be so crouched,” Parton said in the video. “Go out and take your picture.”

As emergencies unfolded across the state, Parton raised funds to help those affected.

When a deadly flood hit Waverly, Tennessee last August, Parton raised $700,000 in support of United Way of Humphreys County to help those affected.

After a fire burned more than 17,000 acres of land, killed 14 people and damaged more than 2,000 buildings in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Parton raised $9 million for people who lost their homes. The telethon was in addition to the donation of $1,000 a month for six months that Parton had promised each of the 1,300 families who lost their homes in the fire.

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His theme park just outside of Gatlinburg, Dollywood Park and Resorts, announced earlier this year that it would be cover 100% of tuition, fees and books for any employee.

Among Parton’s other gifts to VUMC, he helped transform Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital into the Vanderbilt Pediatric Cancer Program in honor of his niece, Hannah Dennison, who was successfully treated for leukemia when she was a child in the children’s hospital.

“Dolly’s previous support of infectious disease research, as well as our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives,” said Jeff Balser, President and CEO of VUMC and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This new gift will strengthen our defenses against future threats to the security of this region and society as a whole. That says a lot about his passion for people, and we couldn’t be more grateful. »

Arcelia Martin covers the growth and development of Tennessean, part of the USA TODAY Network. Contact Arcelia at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @arcelitamartin.

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