$1 million donated to program for children with cleft lip and palate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A giant gift to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital in Vanderbilt will help more children have the smiles they deserve.

On Sunday, a $1.075 million donation from Delta Dental of Tennessee went to the hospital’s cleft and craniofacial program. It will be used to establish the direction of the Delta Dental of Tennessee Smile180 Foundation. The funds will also provide essential support to the program as it seeks to expand its services to care for more young patients and their families.

The program supports patients with a wide range of facial differences, including cleft lip and palate. Dr. Michael Golink is the Medical Director.

“Our team is made up of several specialists. It absolutely takes a whole village and it’s absolutely a team sport,” Dr Golinko said during the announcement.

One of his patients, Judah Anderson, 3, joined the doctor for the announcement at First Horizon Park.

“This is the first time I’ve seen a tight-knit team break their backs and bend over backwards for their patient,” said David Anderson, Judah’s father. “As a parent – who must somehow entrust their child to their care – you know that your child will always be loved and cared for and will receive the best medical care imaginable.”

Children with facial differences often need specialized medical and dental care until they reach adulthood.

Since 2001, Delta Dental and Smile180 have donated over $2.3 million to the hospital.

Christine E. Phillips