Becky Long (seated, middle) and family made a transformational gift to establish the Dr. William R. Long Fund in the Department of Pediatrics.

An enduring legacy

Published on November 11th, 2022 by Christina Echegaray.

The legacy left behind by the late William (Bill) Long, MD, goes beyond his many years as a beloved Nashville pediatrician. He was a quintessential clinician-educator, always helping advance the mission of Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The family of the longtime pediatrician at Old Harding Pediatric Associates, who died in June 2020, made a gift to establish the Dr. William R. Long Fund to support directorships, resident education, fellowships and psychologists in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Through this fund, established by Long’s wife of 50 years, Becky, with her children and their spouses, Matt, Suzanne, John, Lindsley, Emily and Dan:

  • Rebecca Swan, MD, professor of Pediatrics, vice chair for Education in the Department of Pediatrics and assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education, has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Dr. William R. Long Directorship in Pediatric Medical Education.
  • Sarah Jaser, PhD, director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology and associate professor of Pediatrics, has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Dr. William R. Long Directorship in Pediatric Psychology.
  • Kelsey Gastineau, MD, a second-year fellow in Pediatric Hospital Medicine, has been awarded the inaugural Dr. William R. Long Fellowship.

“Dr. Long was a beloved community pediatrician who dedicated his long career to caring for thousands of children and their families in Nashville,” said Steven A. Webber, MBChB, MRCP, James C. Overall Professor, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief of Monroe Carell. “He had an intense passion for teaching, and through his practice, he welcomed countless Vanderbilt medical students and residents to observe and learn, while also exemplifying the vital role pediatricians play in a child’s health journey. We are forever grateful to Becky Long, and the entire Long family, for their tremendous generosity and for allowing his work and commitment to pediatric health care to endure through the support of these three outstanding clinicians.”

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Long received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University, his medical degree from the University of Kentucky, and was a resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Becky Long said that her husband would approve of the ways the fund is being used. “He was passionate about his work. He would be thrilled.”