Dolly Parton is continuing to do her bit to help others.
The country crooner is donating $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
It’s yet another transformative gift from the singer in the fight against serious infectious diseases such as COVID-19 that affect people around the world.
A press release stated, “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.”
Parton shared, “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’s latest gift comes after she gave $1 million to VUMC in April 2020 in honour of her longtime friend Naji Abumrad, MD, professor of surgery, to increase scientific knowledge and advance the battle against COVID-19 by supporting research teams working urgently to perfect a vaccine.
“When the pandemic came out, I just felt led to do something because I knew something bad was on the rise and I just kind of wanted to help with that, so I donated to help with that,” Parton told Absolute Country in August, according to BreakingNews.ie.
“So, mine was a small part, of course, but I probably get a lot more credit than I deserve,” she added, “but I was happy to be part of that, and to be able to try stop something in its tracks that’s really just become such a monster for all of us.”
A press release revealed that VUMC’s researchers have tested a range of existing drugs in urgent 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 honoured by Dolly’s contribution to our research mission,” said 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 contribution to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Pediatric Cancer Program in honour 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,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of VUMC and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.