Dolly Parton Donates $1 Million Toward Pediatric Infectious Disease Research

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Dolly Parton has made another $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, this time aimed at helping pediatric infectious disease research.

The donation will aid Vanderbilt’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases to continue its effort in understanding how viruses and bacteria cause disease, understanding and preventing resistance to antibiotics, diagnosing and treating infections in children with cancer and more.

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“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 said in a press release.

In April 2020, Parton made a previous $1 million gift to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in honor of her longtime friend, Naji Abumrad, MD, professor of Surgery, to support research to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“We are deeply honored by Dolly’s contribution to our research mission,” said Mark Denison, MD, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, said in the release. “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.”

In 2018, Parton and her niece Hannah Dennison were honored with the dedication of the Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Parton donated $1 million to Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Cancer Program in honor of Dennison, who was treated for leukemia as a child at the Children’s Hospital.

“Dolly’s previous support to infectious disease research, and also our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives,” said 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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