Dolly Parton has announced a $1 million donation to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
“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 statement.
The donation will benefit VUMC’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and its ongoing research into understanding how viruses and bacteria cause disease, their resistance to antibiotics, and how these infections can be prevented and treated in the future.
“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,” said Mark Denison, MD, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
In 2021, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center as part of its efforts to discover a COVID-19 vaccinate. Vanderbilt’s research subsequently played a key role in developing Moderna’s vaccine — which Parton herself later received.
Throughout her career, Parton has been a potent force for social good. Her Imagination Library has given away 150 million books to children, and she’s an enthusiastic backer of the Black Lives Matter movement. Though the country singer is quite literally helping to save the world, she maintains that she’s undeserving of any accolade. She has twice turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she asked the Tennessee State Legislature to pull legislation that called for the construction of a statue in her honor. She also asked for her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination to be rescinded, but after she was voted in as part of the Class of 2022, Parton said that she would “accept gracefully” her impending enshrinement.