Dolly Parton Donates Another $1 Million To The Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Dolly Parton Donates Another $1 Million To The Vanderbilt University Medical Center

The amount was donated towards pediatric infectious disease research after Parton made a similar donation last year towards the Moderna vaccine.

On Wednesday, country music icon Dolly Parton donated $1 million towards pediatric infectious disease research to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. 


Previously, in 2020, the "9 to 5" singer had also donated $1 million towards research for the Moderna vaccine. Posting about the donation on her Instagram page at the time, she said: "My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who's been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements towards research of the coronavirus for a cure."


Sharing her reason behind making the latest donation, Parton said: "No child should ever have to suffer, I'm willing to do my part to try and keep as many of them as I can as healthy and safe as possible." She also implored her fans to donate to the cause if they can, PEOPLE reported. The impact of this research will help understand how viruses and bacteria cause disease, recognize and prevent resistance to antibiotics, diagnose and treat infections in children with cancer and more, according to Billboard


Professors at the Vanderbilt Medical Center are extremely pleased with Parton's contributions. Mark Denison, MD, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, said in a release, "We are deeply honored by Dolly's contribution to our research mission. 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."


Dr. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, also praised Parton in the release: "Dolly's previous support to infectious disease research, and also our pediatric cancer program, has already saved countless lives. This new gift will bolster our defenses against future threats to the safety of this region and society as a whole." The country music legend's philanthropy streak doesn't end here. In 2018, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt dedicated the butterfly garden to her niece, Hannah Dennison, after 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 medical institution.


Apart from the illustrious donations towards medical research, the singer also dabbles in other avenues of helping people. In October 2021, Parton donated $700,000 towards relief aid during the severe floods in Middle Tennessee. In an effort to support nature, she sat down with National Geographic earlier this year and engaged in a dialogue to safeguard her native Tennessee's Smoky Mountains from climate change, a cause that is close to her heart. Speaking on the issue, the singer—who expressed her love for the place in the song "My Tennessee Mountain Home" which came out in 1972—said: "We should pay more attention... We're just mistreating Mother Nature—that's like being ugly to your mama... We need to take better care of the things that God gave us freely. And that we're so freely messing up."


Parton also has a longstanding project named The Imagination Library, which was inspired by her father's illiteracy. Established in 1995, it has since distributed almost 170 million books to children under the age of five. During the early months of the pandemic, the country star took to YouTube and read bedtime stories to the little kids on the platform. The series called "Goodnight with Dolly" aimed to help parents tuck their kids in at night. "This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love," she wrote in her press release.


"I'm kind of addicted to the feeling of giving. Knowing that I'm doing something good for someone else," Parton told PEOPLE for the "People of the Year" story in December. However, she isn't too comfortable with the recognition she receives for the same. "I'm glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I'm not the worst person in the world," she remarked.

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