Dolly Parton has donated $1 million towards research into pediatric infectious diseases and treatments at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Songwriter, entertainer, and philanthropist Dolly Parton has donated millions towards health care since the mid-1980s, including a large donation towards a cancer center, a million dollars for the critical early stages of the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 and regular donations to children’s cancer wards.
“Dolly’s previous support to infectious disease research, and also our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives,” Dr. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of VUMC and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said in a Tuesday press release. “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.”
According to the press release, Vanderbilt’s division of pediatric infectious diseases conducts research into how viruses and bacteria cause disease, resistance to antibiotics, preventing and treating infections in children with cancer and “research to define the impact of childhood infections throughout the world.”
Work done to protect children against infections is perhaps the most important medical work there is. Just since 1990, treatments and vaccines for childhood illnesses have cut the global mortality rate of children under 5 from 1 in 11 to 1 in 27, and that down from 1 in 2 in 1890.
“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 was quoted in the statement from VUMC.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center sees over 1.6 million patients a year, approximately 400,000 of those children.
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