NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A giant gift given to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is going to help more kids have the smiles they deserve.
On Sunday, a $1.075 million donation from Delta Dental of Tennessee was given to the hospital's cleft and craniofacial program. It will be used to establish the Delta Dental of Tennessee's Smile180 Foundation Directorship. Funds will also provide critical support to the program as it seeks to expand its services to care for more young patients and their families.
The program cares for patients with a wide range of facial differences, including cleft lips and cleft palates. Dr. Michael Golink is the medical director.
"Our team is made up of multiple specialists. It absolutely takes a village and this is absolutely a team sport," said Dr. Golinko at the announcement.
One of his patients, 3-year-old Judah Anderson, joined the doctor for the announcement at First Horizon Park.
"It's the first time I've seen a cohesive team break their back and bend over backwards for their patient," said David Anderson, Judah's father. "As a parent — who kind of has to hand over their child to their care — you know your child is still going to be loved and taken care and given the best medical care imaginable."
Kids with facial differences often need specialized medical and dental care until they reach adulthood.
Since 2001, Delta Dental and Smile180 have donated more than $2.3M to the hospital.