Carells to endow chair in Pediatric Infectious DiseasesFeb. 11, 2021, 10:10 AM
by Nancy Humphrey
Julie Carell Stadler, Kathryn Carell Brown and Edie Carell Johnson have made a commitment to endow a new chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The inaugural chair holder of the Edie Carell Johnson Chair in Pediatrics will be announced this spring.
Johnson, chair of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center board of directors, and her sisters have a longtime relationship with both Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, particularly Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. They follow in the generous footsteps of their late parents, Monroe Carell Jr. and Ann Scott Carell.
The gift was made to celebrate Johnson’s leadership as the chair of VUMC’s inaugural board of directors. She has been chair since the board was formed in 2015 during the reorganization of VUMC as a financially and legally independent academic medical center.
“Edie has given so much of her time and talents. She is so dedicated to the mission of improving children’s health, and we felt it was time to honor her with a chair,” Stadler said. “We feel it’s important to continue the family legacy our parents started because we so believe in the mission ourselves,” she said. “Not only has Edie given her time to the Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, but she has put her financial resources toward both. It’s great when you can do both and show how much we support this organization,” Stadler said.
“Giving a chair to a deserving physician faculty member is a great boost for their career and signifies the importance of their work,” Brown said. “It’s a pleasure to help advance the research, clinical and educational mission and to do it in Edie’s name.”
The Carell family has a long tradition of funding chairs. The first one, funded by Monroe Carell Jr. and Ann Scott Carell in 1991 — the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Chair in Pediatric Cardiology — is held by Thomas Doyle, MD.
In 2010 the family established the Monroe Carell Jr. Chair held by John W. Brock III, MD; then in 2013, the Ann Scott Carell Chair held by James Crowe Jr., MD; and in 2009, the Julia Carell Stadler Chair in Pediatrics held by Susan Guttentag, MD.
“With their amazing generosity the Carell family continues to advance child health with VUMC’s broader goals in health care, training and discovery, benefiting patients and families in the mid-South and increasingly worldwide,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of VUMC and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “As the chair of our board of directors, Edie remains a guiding light. Recognizing the incredible contributions over the years from our Carell family chairholders, having this new chair named in her honor is a fitting tribute.”
In addition to establishing chairs, the sisters have been instrumental in funding the expansions of Children’s Hospital. For the Growing to New Heights Campaign, the sisters and their families made a $10 million cornerstone gift to launch the expansion effort.
“We are grateful for the enduring and extraordinary support from the Carell family, starting with Ann and Monroe and now carried on through their three daughters, Kathryn, Julie and Edie, as well as their families,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, who chairs the Department of Pediatrics, serves as Pediatrician-in-Chief and holds the James C. Overall Chair in Pediatrics. “Their vision for what pediatric health care could and should be is truly inspiring. We are honored that the inaugural Edie Carell Johnson Chair will be given to a Pediatric Infectious Diseases faculty member within the Department of Pediatrics, giving that researcher the opportunity to advance in our clinical, educational and discovery missions.”
Johnson has a longtime association with the University and Medical Center. She was elected to the Vanderbilt University board of trust in 2007 and became secretary of the board in 2014. She served as chair of the Medical Center affairs committee and has been on the executive committee and athletics committee. She played a leadership role in helping reorganize VUMC as an independent legal entity in 2016, chairing its board ever since.
A civic leader, community volunteer and philanthropist, Johnson received the Women United in Giving’s “Spirit of Giving Award” in 2006 and is former chair of the board of trustees at Harpeth Hall School. She is a current member of the board of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art and has served on the boards of the Nashville Zoo and McNeilly Center for Children.
“Given my involvement on the board of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and our family’s longstanding interest in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, I am pleased to have a chair named for me,” Johnson said. “I am so proud to be associated with an institution that produces groundbreaking research and excellent care to all its patients.”